Fermi's Big Gulp

So we already guessed how much the Flash would have to eat but what about breathing? He needs air to turn all that food into energy. Would he use up the entire atmosphere?


Ok. Some backup science info. Energy release is controlled by mitochondria and the production of ATP through the Krebs cycle. It seems fairly complicated to me but in essence the most important thing for accessing all the stored chemical energy in the food is the oxygen intake and the carbon dioxide output. The hydrocarbons in our food get split up and carbons are oxidized into C0_2 and a bunch of water reactions are also needed to make this happen BUT the point is we really do basically burn the hydrocarbons that we eat.

Chemical reactions are all about exchanging electrons. Remembering that we are estimating: typically, when one electron is exchanged between two atoms there is an energy release of about 1.5eV. The units eV stand for electron volts and their just a convenient unit for \textbf{energy} when electrons are involved. To convert to everyday joules just know 1eV = 1.6 * 10^{-19}J = 2 * 10^{-19}J.

And one last thing: Most everyday hydrocarbons are just long chains of CH_2.

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