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  • What would happen if you were to bring a tiny piece of the Sun to Earth?

  • Short answer: you die. Long answer: it depends which piece of the Sun.

  • Like most of the matter in the universe, our Sun is neither solid, liquid or gas, but plasma.

  • Plasma is when stuff is so hot that the nuclei and electrons can separate and flow around freely, which creates a goo like substance.

  • So, you can imagine our Sun as an extremely big, spherical ocean of very hot goo.

  • The deeper you, go the denser and weirder the goo becomes.

  • So let's bring 3 samples (each the size of a house), to our lab here on Earth and see what happens.

  • First sample: the chromosphere.

  • The chromosphere is the atmosphere of the Sun, a layer of sparse gas up to 5,000 kilometers deep,

  • that's covered in a forest of plasma spikes that can be almost as big as Earth.

  • It's pretty hot here between 6,000 and 20,000 degrees Celsius, but if we brought a solvent of it to Earth,

  • we're not really getting our money's worth.

  • Where we take our sample, the chromosphere is over a million times less dense than air.

  • So, compared to our atmosphere at sea level, it's basically the same as bringing the vacuum of space down to Earth.

  • The moment our sample arrives, it would immediately be crushed by Earth's atmospheric pressure and implode.

  • Air would rush to fill the vacuum and use as much energy as 12 kilograms of TNT in the process.

  • This creates a high pressure shockwave, which shatters glass, ruptures ear drums,

  • and maybe some internal organs. If you're standing too close it could kill you, so you'd better keep your distance

  • Let's go deeper.

  • Second sample, the photosphere

  • Beneath the chromosphere, is the glowing surface of the Sun: the photosphere, which produces the light we see.

  • It's covered in a grid of a million hot spots called granules. Each of them about as big as the United States,

  • and over 5,000 degrees Celsius.

  • These granules are the tops of convective columns, churning gas that brings the heat up from the center of the Sun to its surface.

  • In these columns, a few hundred kilometres down, we take our second plasma sample. It has about the same pressure as our atmosphere on earth

  • Though still much less dense for there. Its heat supports it, so it won't implode.

  • Our sphere now carries twice as much energy, as much as 25 kilograms of TNT, that this time as heat.

  • For a dazzling instant, this plasma would glow with a million times the brightness of the Sun seen from Earth,

  • instantly lighting fires throughout our lab, but a few milliseconds later. Those fires are all that's left.

  • The plasma has cooled to harmless gas, floating up from the flaming ruins.

  • What if we go deeper?

  • Third sample. The radiative zone.

  • Here, the plasma is about two million degrees Celsius, and so dense and tightly packed, that it creates a sort of maze for itself.

  • Energy in the form of photons tries to escape,

  • but has to wander for hundreds of thousands of years, bouncing endlessly from particle to particle, until it eventually finds an exit.

  • Bringing matter from here to our lab, is what experts call, a very bad idea.

  • As soon as it arrives in our lab, the extreme pressure that holds the plasma tightly together is gone,

  • and the material explodes with the power of a thermonuclear weapon. Our lab as well as the city around it will be destroyed in an instant.

  • On the bright side, there won't be any radioactive fallout.

  • With our lab destroyed, we can abandon the illusion that we're trying to do any science today. What if we go much, much deeper?

  • Last sample. The core

  • Here in the central 1% of the star, we find a third of the sun's mass.

  • The matter here is compressed by the weight of the entire star above it. In the center of the core,

  • the temperature is 15 million degrees,

  • hot enough to make helium by smashing together hydrogen, powering the Sun by nuclear fusion.

  • In billions of years after the death of the Sun, this core will remain as a white dwarf.

  • If we brought a sample of it to Earth, it would cause a lot of inconvenience

  • The biggest nuclear weapon ever detonated, had an energy of 40 megatons of TNT, or a cube the size of the Empire State Building.

  • Our sample has the equivalent of 4,000 megatons.

  • This is four billion tons of TNT, or a cube 1.3 kilometers high.

  • To give you a sense of scale this is the cube inside Manhattan.

  • Once the sphere arrives on Earth, this super dense matter expands instantly and creates an explosion with the force of well,

  • the Sun.

  • If we get the sample in Paris, in the morning the citizens of London would see what looks like a second sunrise.

  • But, one that gets brighter and brighter, and hotter and hotter, until London burns to ashes.

  • In a radius of about 300 kilometres around the blast, everything would be burnt.

  • The shockwave would travel around the Earth multiple times.

  • Most buildings in Central Europe would be flattened, eardrums would rupture, and windows break across the continent.

  • The explosion would be apocalyptic.

  • possibly humans civilization ending.

  • If humans did survive, we could count on the dust blown into the atmosphere to create a small ice age.

  • So, if there is one tiny bright side, it would be that the explosion might be an effective way to control

  • human-caused climate change for a few decades.

  • While this is definitely a good thing, all in all we conclude, that we should not try to bring the Sun to earth

  • We've made a lot of questionable assumptions in this video, but our maths is real. If you're like us

  • and you enjoy using the power of math to calculate

  • absurd ways to destroy stuff you may be interested in all the other things you can do with maths. For example,

  • You could calculate how to mine mercury for silicon to build a Dyson Sphere,

  • determine how long it will take the Sun to burn out or simply do your taxes.

  • But as much as we love explaining these things, the best way to learn anything is by doing it yourself.

  • Brilliant is a problem-solving website that teaches you to think like a scientist by guiding you through problems they take concepts like these

  • break them up into bite-sized nuggets present clear thinking in each part, and then build back up to an interesting conclusion.

  • If you visit brilliant.org/nutshell, or click the link in the description, you can sign up for free and learn all kinds

  • of things.

  • and as a bonus for Kurzgesagt viewers, the first 200 people will also get 20% off their annual membership.

What would happen if you were to bring a tiny piece of the Sun to Earth?

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What Happens If We Bring the Sun to Earth?

  • 213 10
    汪摳   posted on 2017/09/08
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