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I just glanced at the math, it looks ok.
They are disregarding electron density and other ions so it probably weighs a little more than that.
But not much, electrons are pretty light weight critters.
Why does that surprise you? It is space, after all. Space doesn't mass much.
Problem 3 - Assuming that the maximum, average density of the van Allen Belts is about 100 protons/cm^3 , and that the mass of a proton is 1.6 x 10^-24 grams, what is the total mass of the van Allen Belts in kilograms?
Answer: Mass = density x Volume, V = 1.1 x 10^23 meters^3.
D = 100 protons/cm^3 x 1.6 x 10^-24 grams/proton = 1.6 x 10^-22 grams/cm^3 which, when converted into MKS units gives 1.6 x 10^-22 g/cm^3 x (1kg/1000 gm) x (100 cm/1 meter)^3 = 1.6 x 10^-25 kg/m^3. So the total mass is about M = 1.6 x 10^-25 kg/m^3 x 1.1 x 10^23 meters^3 and so M = 0.018 kilograms
Yeah, it looks like he missed the conversion from cubic cm to cubic meters.
So the Van Allen belts actually weigh 17.6 kg.
Hows the math on the volume look?
If I were you I would write to Dr. Odenwald and point out his error to him. I always got a good laugh when one of my teachers goofed.
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by virgom129
Here's a "sampler" (as of a few years ago). There are hundreds of papers, written by hundreds of scientists from universities and other institutions all over the world. HAARP is a research facility. A good one.