Many countries have extreme devastating nuclear weapons. Also they have weapons in very large numbers.

I want to ask that

Is it possible for man to break earth into 2 parts with the help powerful weapons like nuclear weapons or any other technology?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Are there any constraints on the size ratios of the two parts, because you could argue that every time a rocket is launched into space that part of Earth got separated from it. $\endgroup$ – fibonatic Jun 23 '15 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ @fibonatic I mean break earth into 2 parts in which each part is nearly equal to half of volume of the earth. $\endgroup$ – pandu Jun 23 '15 at 10:28
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/102486 and physics.stackexchange.com/questions/129099 $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 23 '15 at 13:27

One can answer this question by calculating the energy needed to shift half the Earth's mass so that it is infinitely far from the other half. Let's calculate the gravitational potential energy released as we create a planet: assuming a constant density $\rho$, when the planet is growing and of radius $r$ and thus of mass $M(r)=\frac{4}{3}\pi\,r^3\,\rho$, suppose we drop enough stuff on it to raise its radius to $r+\mathrm{d}r$. The mass of the increment is $\mathrm{d}m = 4\,\pi\,r^2\,\rho\,\mathrm{d}r$, so this lets slip energy $G\,\frac{M(r)}{r}\,\mathrm{d}m$. The total energy let slip in building a planet of radius $r$ is therefore roughly:

$$E(r) =\int_0^r\,G\,\frac{M(u)}{u}\,4\,\pi\,u^2\,\rho^2\,\mathrm{d}u=\frac{16\,G\,\rho^2}{15}\pi^2\,r^5\tag{1}$$

We get, for $r=r_\oplus=6.4\times10^6m$, $G=6.7\times10^{-11} N\,m^2/kg^2$ and $\rho=5500kg\,m^{-3}$, the stupendous figure of $2.3\times 10^{32}J$. The Earth has half as much mass when the radius is $r_\oplus/\sqrt[3]{2}$; at this point, the energy figure is scaled by $(1/\sqrt[3]{2})^5=0.31$. So we would need to input into the Earth an energy of the order of:

$$E_{\frac{1}{2}}\approx 0.7\times 2.3\times 10^{32}J\approx 1.6\times10^{32}J$$

i.e. $1.8\times 10^{15}kg$ of energy. Given the Sun outputs about $4\times10^{26}W$, this is the total energy output of the Sun for about four days.

In terms of human equivalents, the biggest bomb ever built, the 57Megatonne TNT Tsar Bomba, output about 200PJ. So our figure is $8\times 10^{14}$ Tsar Bombas! Human energy consumption equates to roughly 500EJ per year. The energy figure we have calculated is therefore roughly 320 billion years at humanity's current rate of energy consumption! The Chixulub impactor, thought to be the cause of the dinosaurs' demise, output roughly $4.2\times10^{23}J$. So our energy figure is four hundred million Chixulub impactors.

So, in short, the answer to your question is: No way, José!

Alternative Calculation

The above calculation is of the energy input needed to disperse one half of the planet, i.e. scatter it to an infinitely diffuse dust such that each dust particle of the dispersed part is infinitely far from every other part as well as infinitely far from the half planet left behind. Something more in line with the OP's idea of ripping the planet in two is if we begin with a whole and end up with two spherical halves, infinitely far from one another. From the above calculation, the energy of assembly of two separate halves as a fraction of the energy of assembly of the whole planet is:

$$2\times \left(\frac{1}{\sqrt[3]{2}}\right)^5 = \frac{\sqrt[3]{2}^3}{\sqrt[3]{2}^5}\tag{2}=2^{-\frac{2}{3}}\approx 0.63$$

So that the fraction of the total assembly energy we would need to come up with to replace the planet by two halves is:

$$1-2^{-\frac{2}{3}}\approx 0.37$$

So our total figure is $0.37\times 2.3\times 10^{32}J\approx 9\times10^{31}J$, about half the figures above. So still the answer is: No way, José!

Humor Award

This question has got to be the best black humor on this site. Like, the thought of living in the sixth great dying, possibly more severe than the great Permian dying, isn't woeful enough for us: what the heck, let's just tear the planet in two and be done with it!


break earth into 2 parts in which each part is nearly equal to half of volume of the earth

Yes and no.

No, as in you can't neatly split the planet in half. Most of the earth is liquid and will re-form once the cutting device has passed through it. Much like cutting pudding.

Yes, if you want 2 half-earth balls when you are done and don't care about the intermediate states. You would need to apply enough energy to overcome the gravitational binding forces plus just the right amount to accelerate the bits to lunar orbit. Then just arrange for half to reform here and half to reform there. After a few millenia you should end up with two half-earth size balls orbiting each other.

Does Man have the energy to do this? Not by many orders of magnitude. Every nuke ever made, piled in one place and detonated all at once, will make a most awesome explosion and crater. The shockwave will (literally) be heard around the world, and there will be a rather large glowing crater left behind. It's possible the environmental and radioactive effects will extinguish all life, but there will be zero measurable effect on the planet or it's orbit. We've been hit by pretty big rocks in the past, some of them made bigger bangs.

You will need either a Death Star or an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator to pull off the Big Split. The latter is preferred as it is apparently pocket-size.


No, because the vast majority of the planet has a molten interior and where it is not in the liquid phase it is held in solid phase by the internal pressure. You could maybe disperse it into space with a big enough bomb, but not actually break it into two parts.


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