Introducing the Stupid-Crazy Amount of Money Series! As the name sorta kinda hints at, this series will focus on having a stupid-crazy amount of money and what could possibly be done with it. For those who don’t possess the vernacular of a mid-20’s geek, stupid-crazy is actually in fact a scientific term, a hyphenated adjective, if you will, that describes “amount of money” in this case. Put another way, a stupid-crazy amount of money means having a rather large amount of cash at your disposal that is ridiculous, almost impossible, and utterly nonsensical… all at the same time.
Okay, so while not exactly a scientific term, I’ve just made it an official Financial Highway term, so just go with it.
Anyway, this is simply a fun, creative series that explores what could be done with unlimited cash. Ever wanted to buy Russia? How about the moon? Maybe you just want to buy every single dog in the world a pink stuffed chew-toy? Whatever you want to do, you can do it in the Stupid-Crazy Amount of Money series. Below is the first entry.
Building the Death Star laser
Might as well start off this series with a bang. A rather violent, planet-exploding bang. Exactly how would one go about building the Death Star laser? That’s what we’re about to examine.
Fire the “laser”
The main draw of the Death Star is that really big powerful laser thingy. Ya know, the one that blows up Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan (even though she CLEARLY wasn’t lying about the location of the secret rebel base being on Dantooine… what’s up with that????)
Unfortunately, there’s no laser that powerful that currently exists… yet. There is a facility being built in Eastern Europe however, called the Extreme Light Infrastructure Project, that plans on housing a laser that operates in the exawatt scale, which is equivalent to 1 quintillion watts. Is this laser powerful enough to blow up a planet? Let’s find out.
According to this random website I found on the internet that must be accurate simply because everything on the internet is true, the power required to blow up a planet would need to be in the range of at least 2.2 x 10 to the 32nd joules (that’s 220,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, which is said to be 220 nonillion in America). Now we need to convert that to watts using some nifty online conversion calculators.
I discovered through my research online that one joule being applied per second is equal to 1 watt. Since my random website didn’t specify any kind of time duration, let’s assume it takes 220 nonillion joules of energy per second to blow up a planet. That means that it would require 220 nonillion watts to blow up a planet.
Now, how many exawatts (the amount that the Extreme Light Infrastructure Project will produce) are there in 220 nonillion watts?
Well, 1 exawatt is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion watts. By taking 220 nonillion watts and dividing it by 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion watts (which is 1 exawatt… stay with me), we find that there are 220,000,000,000,000 trillion exawatts in 220 nonillion watts.
According to Engadet, the ELI Project will cost around $1 billion to build. That means for $1 billion dollars, we can construct a laser that is 1 exawatt strong… but don’t we need about 219 trillion more exawatts to blow up Leia’s little corner of the galaxy?
Okay, I’ve got the answer.
I know how much the Death Star laser would cost.
Really, I do.
You wanna know?
For real? You really, really wanna know?
Okay, enough stalling…
Scroll a little more…
Okay, okay, sorry. Here it is.
$220 Sextillion Freakin’ dollars
That’s right. That’s 220 followed by 21 zeros. There’s only 9 zeroes in a billion… 12 zeros in a trillion… that’s a stupid-crazy number.
But we’re not done yet boys and girls, that’s just the cost of the laser. I don’t even want to think about how much it would cost to build any kind of structure that's the size of a small moon. Because remember, “That’s no moon! That’s a space station.”