Your Body Heat Is Sufficient to Cook Pan of Potatoes (Feb, 1930)

Your Body Heat Is Sufficient to Cook Pan of Potatoes
SCIENTISTS have learned that our bodies are living machines of the combustion type in which the burning of fuel (food) is accompanied by the consumption of oxygen, liberation of heat energy and production of carbon dioxide as is the case in all combustion engines. Scientists find that the heat from a single person, if properly focussed, would be sufficient to cook potatoes.

8 comments
  1. John Savard says: December 6, 201110:36 am

    I guess these scientists hadn’t heard of the laws of thermodynamics, which explain that it is impossible to “focus” heat.

    Perhaps that’s unfair. Given the temperature difference between the human body and room temperature, no doubt it could be used to run a heat engine which could then run a heat pump or other device to produce heat at a high enough temperature to cook potatoes. But that involves an inherent inefficiency due to the Carnot cycle limit, and so you will end up with a much smaller quantity of heat at that temperature.

    So the phrasing, at least, encourages doubt.

  2. GaryM says: December 6, 20111:04 pm

    Assuming you could transfer all the heat in some way, you’d end up with a cooked pan of potatoes and a room-temperature (i.e.,dead) human.

  3. Toronto says: December 6, 20111:30 pm

    GaryM: Seems like a fair trade for some people I know.

  4. Darren says: December 6, 201110:00 pm

    E=mc^2
    For a 70 kilogram adult, you’re talking 6.3 × 1018 joules by E=mc2.

    That’s 6×1015 btu, or 1.7×1012 kilowatt-hours.

    That’s enough energy to keep the United States going for 16 years.

    Mind you, there’s no conceivable way of getting at any of that energy. I’m just crunching the numbers.

  5. whoozle whaazle says: December 7, 20111:45 pm

    @GaryM – I’ll pass on the cooked pan of potatoes from ‘room-temperature’ humans thank you very much.

  6. hwertz says: December 8, 20118:57 pm

    @John Savard, I don’t think they were suggesting it was possible to focus that much. Just that, if it were focused, it’d be enough to heat some potatoes.

    @Darren, I don’t think they had a fusion reaction in mind, but interesting nevertheless.

  7. ilikepotatoes says: December 9, 20116:35 pm

    The 1930′s Vegetarian MATRIX…

    No one can describe the matrix,you have to see it for yourself
    Rows and rows of humans all boiling potatoes..
    Oh,those Vegetarians..So cruel.

  8. Mojojojo says: December 30, 201110:31 am

    1. Acquire potatoes
    2. Acquire human
    3. ???
    4. Profit

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