How much energy does it take to vaporize a human?


Then it only takes less than 1 MJ to vaporize Bond’s flaccid member…

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To put that into a different perspective, it would take Marty McFly getting hit by that 1.21 gigawatt lightening bolt for a sustained 2.47 seconds to be vaporized.


Evil isn’t about being efficient. If it was evil would have completely triumphed long ago, totally eradicating good from the universe.

No, evil is about being evil and, preferably, looking cool while being evil. Therefore it really doesn’t matter how many lasers you need to vaporize someone, it only matters that it is evil and looks cool. And, let’s face it, 70 lasers is pretty frickin’ cool!

Oh, it is also important the evil doer gets a chance to rant a little before and after the vaporization. Once must observe the proprietaries.


Here is a person getting vaporized by an arc flash accident (a violent electrical explosion involving hot plasma). I am not kidding, this is real.

The video is now used in training technicians to avoid the kinds of mistakes that caused this accident.

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I’ll volunteer for the vaporization experiment if I get to reassemble into a blue-tinged demi-god…


And how much energy do you need to varporize a Boeing 757-223ER including 64 people?

Run them through a blender and/or dissolve them in acid first. Once they are sufficiently liquid, you can run them through a suitable spray nozzle, rendering them into a fine, albeit sticky, mist. Vapour status achieved.

The “ton of TNT” is a unit of energy equal to 4.184 gigajoules. I can’t believe it takes 2/3rds of a ton of TNT to completely vaporize someone. It all depends on how small you want the chunks to be, hmm…

Exactly. I took the posting to mean vaporize as in disintegrate the way people shot with phasers in classic star trek episodes just glowed and vanished.

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I actually read the paper. Their definition of vaporization for the water content is kind of strange. They use the bonding energy for hydrogen-oxygen links in the water molecule - as if they really wanted to split you up into pure oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to use the energy required to just boil away the water instead? Seems much lower according to this calculation for 1kg of water:

And thus you need much less TNT equivalent to achieve the desired effect for a body’s water mass. :wink:

So you’re saying we need to invest in more efficient ways of being evil? I’m down.


Annals of Mad Science



Inefficient, yes, but oh! OH! So damn satisfying in some cases! What!? You can’t tell me there aren’t some folks WORTH vaporizing!

Didn’t BB report here recently that Kim Jong Un vaporised one of his generals in North Korea by executing him with a targeted mortar round?

The applications are unlimited. Let the engineers figure out a use for it.

My my, is this what passes for evil science these days? No wonder we don’t have any supervillains around. This stuff is all wrong. Firstly, in their previous paper (which is mentioned but not properly cited, sheesh!) the authors define their goal like this:

This is both an unconventional definition of “vaporisation” and an impractical one - if you really want somebody gone without a trace, a puff of common gases like CO2 and H2O would be rather more discreet than a ball of insanely hot plasma.

Secondly, the way they go about calculating the required energies is much too reductionist. Only the costs of breaking individual bonds between pairs of atoms are considered, ignoring various intermolecular interactions, the formation of different bonds while the material is being heated up, etc. I’m not a materials scientist, but I’m sure a bunch of energy sinks were overlooked there.

And finally they try to determine the vaporisation energy of all the organic matter in a body from the nutritional facts of dried pork. This information is completely irrelevant to the problem at hand - it tells us how much net energy would be released by digesting a body, and not at all how much much energy input would be required to vaporise it.

It’s a disgrace. Forget about vaporising humans, I wouldn’t trust these guys to know how to properly kick a puppy.


…and then you turn up as a Smurf.

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The Smurfiest damn Smurf that ever did Smurf!!!

I tell you one thing. If I ever decide to become evil I am not going to fall for that impulse to explain myself just before chopping the good guy in half. I am out of there once I get him tied down and the machine turned on. No point in hanging around. Am I right?

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