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# Physics/Energy required for this

Question
Hi! In HALO game series a Covenant plasma weapon is stated to be able to melt an acre of ground to glass or glass like substance in fifteen seconds. Could you try to estimate the energy required for this? Some people say that it would take the energy of the Fatman bomb to do the previously mentioned deed. So how much energy would be needed to turn an acre of ground to glass in fifteen seconds? And let's assume that the depth of the ground to be melted to glass like substance would be two meters.

Wow, two meters and not just a surface glassing?  I mean, that would totally depend on the type of radiation and/or frequency of plasma used to do the melting.  But you can just assume a heat capacity and calculate that yourself with basic assumptions (if this is a homework problem, I'm not helping you past there).  I would guesstimate that it's far less than the fatman, I'd go more with about a 1 ton type bomb.  Even google can convert that to joules for you.

Physics

Volunteer

#### Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

##### Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

##### Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.