National Engineers Week

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 10 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

It’s National Engineers Week. It’s mostly an outreach goal designed to expose young minds to the wonders of engineering. I like to think of it as a week when we get to celebrate engineers and how awesome we are.

My compromise is to answer any questions about engineering you have and to do my best to answer them. Please try to limit yourselves to serious questions (i.e. I’m not going to answer questions about relative velocities of a certain avian).

Ready. Go.

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2 thoughts on “National Engineers Week”

    1. Sorry it took so long to get an answer. I’ve been doing other engineery things.

      The primary reaction we’re looking at is going to be:
      H2SO4 + H2O ? H3O+ + HSO4?

      Four molar of H2SO4 is about 400 grams.

      An average human arm masses about 3216 grams. Figure that 57% of a persons mass is water; so we have about 1833 grams of water in the arm. Converting the water to moles gives us just over 100 moles of H2O. This reacts in a one to one ratio with the sulfuric acid. So only about 4% of the arm is eaten through in this particular reaction. You might lose some more arm due to the violent exothermic nature of the reaction, but I don’t think you’ll lose the entire arm.

      That’s my engineering answer. If you want an exact answer, ask a chemist during National Chemist Week.

      Some sources:
      http://www.webelements.com/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfuric_acid
      http://www.ulb.ac.be/medecine/anatemb/biblio/Clauser1969.pdf
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_water
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_(molecule)

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