This video shares astounding material!
We all know that air has mass and that when it moves (cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes) it can do great damage. But, have you stopped to think seriously about how much mass is in a certain volume of air?
I am sitting in a room that is about 8m x 4m x 3m. The temperature is about 20°C. Using the same information that I share in this video, I calculate that the air in my room weighs about 115.2 kg. That means that it weighs more than I do! If I could construct a weightless box the size of my room and pump all the air out, it could lift me off the ground! That is, it would displace 115.2 kg of air and the surrounding air, in trying to push in the fill the vacuum, would force the box (and me) upwards.
This is why hot air balloons "fly" and why blimps and dirigibles were built ... and why Zeppelins like the Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin were constructed and flown. Would you be interested in taking a few days to fly halfway around the world at low altitude (the scenic trip) instead of completing the trip in less than 24 hours at high altitude? There are companies today experimenting with reviving the days of those great airships.
Let's use some very simple mathematics to calculate the mass of air that surrounds the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We construct a box and calculate its volume. A cubic metre of air at 20°C weighs about 1.20 kg. When we calculate the mass of air that surrounds the Eiffel Tower and compare it with the mass of the tower itself, the result may astonish you! I hope you enjoy the video and that it provokes you to think about the forces in nature.
My thanks to MarkTheGr8 at DeviantArt for providing such a wonderful image of the Eiffel Tower. The image I used in this video was significantly cropped. You may enjoy the original (and other great images from Mark) here.
If you would like to see a little of what the Graf Zeppelin was like, this 9:10 video contains some impressive footage. It is difficult to comprehend the length of this vessel as it was about the length of three football fields!
And this 10:15 video opens with the Graf Zeppelin flying over Wembley Stadium.