Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Elemental Man

A piece of art, and potentially transcendental effects.
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This is an idea to have, in elemental form, and freely decorated around a living space in any fashion, all the seperated components of a human being. The list is as follows (Raw data from which this table was made are from Emsley, John, The Elements, 3rd ed., Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998):

For a 70kg human being:

oxygen 43 kg 37 L 33.5 cm
carbon 16 kg 7.08 L 19.2 cm
hydrogen 7 kg 98.6 L 46.2 cm
nitrogen 1.8 kg 2.05 L 12.7 cm
calcium 1.0 kg 645 mL 8.64 cm
phosphorus 780 g 429 mL 7.54 cm
potassium 140 g 162 mL 5.46 cm
sulfur 140 g 67.6 mL 4.07 cm
sodium 100 g 103 mL 4.69 cm
chlorine 95 g 63 mL 3.98 cm
magnesium 19 g 10.9 mL 2.22 cm
iron 4.2 g 0.53 mL 8.1 mm
fluorine 2.6 g 1.72 mL 1.20 cm
zinc 2.3 g 0.32 mL 6.9 mm
silicon 1.0 g 0.43 mL 7.5 mm
rubidium 0.68 g 0.44 mL 7.6 mm
strontium 0.32 g 0.13 mL 5.0 mm
bromine 0.26 g 64.2 µL 4.0 mm
lead 0.12 g 10.6 µL 2.2 mm
copper 72 mg 8.04 µL 2.0 mm
aluminum 60 mg 22 µL 2.8 mm
cadmium 50 mg 5.78 µL 1.8 mm
cerium 40 mg 4.85 µL 1.7 mm
barium 22 mg 6.12 µL 1.8 mm
iodine 20 mg 4.06 µL 1.6 mm
tin 20 mg 3.48 µL 1.5 mm
titanium 20 mg 4.41 µL 1.6 mm
boron 18 mg 7.69 µL 2.0 mm
nickel 15 mg 1.69 µL 1.2 mm
selenium 15 mg 3.13 µL 1.5 mm
chromium 14 mg 1.95 µL 1.3 mm
manganese 12 mg 1.61 µL 1.2 mm
arsenic 7 mg 1.21 µL 1.1 mm
lithium 7 mg 13.1 µL 2.4 mm
cesium 6 mg 3.2 µL 1.5 mm
mercury 6 mg 0.44 µL 0.8 mm
germanium 5 mg 0.94 µL 1.0 mm
molybdenum 5 mg 0.49 µL 0.8 mm
cobalt 3 mg 0.34 µL 0.7 mm
antimony 2 mg 0.30 µL 0.7 mm
silver 2 mg 0.19 µL 0.6 mm
niobium 1.5 mg 0.18 µL 0.6 mm
zirconium 1 mg 0.15 µL 0.54 mm
lanthanium 0.8 mg 0.13 µL 0.51 mm
gallium 0.7 mg 0.12 µL 0.49 mm
tellurium 0.7 mg 0.11 µL 0.48 mm
yttrium 0.6 mg 0.13 µL 0.51 mm
bismuth 0.5 mg 51 nL 0.37 mm
thallium 0.5 mg 42 nL 0.35 mm
indium 0.4 mg 55 nL 0.38 mm
gold 0.2 mg 10 nL 0.22 mm
scandium 0.2 mg 67 nL 0.41 mm
tantalum 0.2 mg 12 nL 0.23 mm M
vanadium 0.11 mg 18 nL 0.26 mm
thorium 0.1 mg 8.5 nL 0.20 mm
uranium 0.1 mg 5.3 nL 0.17 mm
samarium 50 µg 6.7 nL 0.19 mm
beryllium 36 µg 20 nL 0.27 mm
tungsten 20 µg 1.0 nL 0.10 mm

Many would be kept in tanks and vials as a gas.

Believers in robust quantum entanglement and/or the existence of an akashic field can use the vicinity of such elements to induce apparently supernatural events to occur or maybe just a placebo to get those people in a deep trance.

daseva, Dec 07 2008

Human Body Worth http://www.google.c...q=human+body+worth+
Several answers... [csea, Dec 07 2008]

HUMAN BODY EXHIBITION http://www.amazinghumanbody.com.au/
[superjohn, Dec 08 2008]

Plastination http://www.bodyworl...a_plastination.html
Fascinating. [8th of 7, Dec 08 2008]

[link]






       You don't actually mean to have reactive metals such as potassium or sodium placed in an art display, right? Or is the intent to also break the observer into elemental parts?
Amos Kito, Dec 07 2008
  

       It would take more than a few grams for that.
Spacecoyote, Dec 07 2008
  

       So what's a human body worth in $ ? (Just curious ;-)
superjohn, Dec 07 2008
  

       // reactive metals //   

       // kept in tanks and vials //   

       You forgot phosphorous ..... it would be OK to kep these elements in sealed vials, using a bit of the Nitrogen to blanket them.   

       The bulk of the mass is the first four elements; Oxygen and Nitrogen are "free issue" from the atmsophere and the Carbon and Hydrogen would be available from about 25Kg of coal. So, check the current price of coal..........
8th of 7, Dec 07 2008
  

       Don't forget 20 grams of soul, soluble in holy water.
ldischler, Dec 07 2008
  

       //lanthanium// sp. lanthanum
csea, Dec 07 2008
  

       //So what's a human body worth in $ ? (Just curious ;-)//   

       You'd probably have to take into account the costs of extraction which, because of efficiencies of scale, would vary with the number of bodies you had available. For one body, I suspect those costs would reduce your net profit below zero.   

       Please don't tell me you can source bodies wholesale.
pertinax, Dec 07 2008
  

       Periodically.   

       We have the body of a 19-year old.   

       If there's ever a long power cut and the freezer defrosts, we will be in BIG trouble.....
8th of 7, Dec 07 2008
  

       [pertinax] Only retail!
superjohn, Dec 08 2008
  

       How things touch or communicate is everything, isn't it ? Could be seen as a vial exploded man.
wjt, Dec 08 2008
  

       Gunther von Hagens shouid Bake this ....   

       <link>
8th of 7, Dec 08 2008
  

       //a vial exploded man//   

       Careful, [wjt] or you'll break your tantalum.
Amos Kito, Dec 08 2008
  

       If you stored your more reactive samples in solid lucite blocks with inch-thick sides, or some other such clear durable insulating plastic, you could probably get past the safety issues. It would have to be tough enough to withstand a couple hammer blows without breaking.
bookwench, Dec 10 2008
  

       I haven't done the math, but is this bakeable at human scale? What is the volume of all that gas even at high pressures? Are you cryo storing the H2?   

       Oh and here is a question for [8/7], forget the value, what is the explosive force of one human converted to elements?
MisterQED, Dec 10 2008
  

       <crosses fingers> ...please be in mega-tonnes... </cf>
theleopard, Dec 10 2008
  

       Assuming a mass of 80kg, and sub-perfect energy conversion from mass to energy, there's got to be an upper limit of:
from e = mc²
80kg translates to
7.19004143 × 10^18 joules
  

       A megaton is
4.184 × 10^15 joules
  

       Which means that one human body is about 1,718 megatons - tops. But that's for a full matter-to-energy conversion, chemical conversion from all manner of compounds back to their elemental forms is unlikely to be exothermic.   

       In terms of chemical energy, bacon has about 257kcal per 100g - or 1,075,288 joules.
If a person is 80kg, and consists of matter that's roughly equivalent to bacon, then their chemical energy content is going to be around 8,602,304,000 joules or, in TNT terms, about 2.05 kilotons.
This is the amount of energy you get through oxidation, which is kind of the opposite direction we want to go in terms of turning our man into his elemental components.
zen_tom, Dec 10 2008
  

       [MisterQED], the oxygen, at atmospheric pressure would take up 34500L, however you can get cylinders that can hold up to 80kg of oxygen at pressure.   

       At uni there was a periodic table with vials of the elements in the correct position, although Im guessing some of the more volatile ones were replicas as it was only behind a perspex panel.
miasere, Dec 10 2008
  

       //If you stored your more reactive samples in solid lucite blocks with inch-thick sides, or some other such clear durable insulating plastic// - Kryptonite, that's the answer.   

       Welcome [bookwench], pull up a chair and grab yourself a beer from the solar powered laser-fridge.
wagster, Dec 10 2008
  

       /If you stored your more reactive samples in solid lucite blocks with inch-thick sides,/   

       it might make it tougher for the cognoscienti to discern that your scandium, lanthanum, tantalum, thorium and samarium are all actually grains of MaltoMeal.
bungston, Dec 11 2008
  

       The real challenge would be using only the solid and stables elements listed, in the amounts listed, to contain the reactive and gaseous ones. That 16 kg of carbon should make some nice carbon fibre gas tanks, and a few vacuum-deposited artificial diamond shells to contain the nasties.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 04 2009
  

       wonder if you could put it all back together as something else.
FlyingToaster, Sep 04 2009
  

       Isn't it fascinating that all of this radioactive explosive stuff (and thousands of liters of gases) is in our bodies?   

       I love the idea of the art piece. Just beautiful to think about how amazing 'life' is.
paix120, Sep 04 2009
  
      
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