Question

Instructions How much mass (in kilograms) radioactive material is need to power Earth’s interior over its lifetime? What fraction of Earth's mass is this? The flow of heat from Earth's interior to the surface is estimated to be 50 terawatt (1 terawatt = 1e12 joule/sec) and comes from two main sources in roughly equal amounts: the energy produced by the radioactive decay of isotopes, and the energy left over from the formation of the Earth. All numbers must be entered as 5000 or 5e3 or 5.0e3 and not with commas as in "5,000" and not as fractions as in "3/4" and not as percentages as in "70%"

A. Estimate the age of Earth (in billions of years).

B. Using the hint provided, estimate the energy (in units of 1e30 joule) produced from radioactivity over the Earth's lifetime.

C. Estimate the energy density (in units of 1e12 joule/kg) of nuclear fission fuels.

D. Estimate mass (in kg) of radioactive material is need to power Earth’s interior over its lifetime.

E.Estimate the mass of Earth (in units of 1e24 kg).

F.Estimate the fraction of Earth's mass in radioactive material.

Answer #1

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