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pallen123's avatar

What's the saying about "each breath you take contains an atom of Ceasar's last breath"?

Asked by pallen123 (1511 points ) March 31st, 2010

I remember hearing something like this in physics in college—that every tablespoon of water and every breath you take has atoms from Caesar’s last breath, drink of water, etc.—something to do with diffusion. Is this really true?

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12 Answers

ShiningToast's avatar

Could be, but I doubt it is actually provable.

iam2smart99037's avatar

Not necessarily every single breath you take MUST contain some of the same atoms from Caesar’s last breath. It’s just implying that the possibility exists that you theoretically could, from the process of diffusion and the fact that the same atoms are used over and over in different chemical processes and lifeforms.

filmfann's avatar

My friend Mike has laid some pretty heinous gas bombs. Does that mean that everyone is breathing that in every time?
I’m pretty sure that would explain why people don’t live as healthy as they should.

LostInParadise's avatar

The statement is based on the fact that in single breath there are a lot of atoms. I haven’t done the math but the idea is to divide the volume of our atmosphere by the volume of a single breath and compare that to the number of atoms in a breath. If the number of atoms is greater then, given that diffusion can spread them all over the globe in a relatively short time, the chances are that at least one of the atoms in Caesar’s last breath is in the breath you take.

AstroChuck's avatar

According to John Allen Paulos’s excellent book Innumeracy. there is a 98.2% chance that at least one of the molecules in your lungs came from Caesar’s last breath.
Check this out.

janbb's avatar

I thought the lettuce was from Caeser’s salad.

davidbetterman's avatar

Not so…‘twas the dressing from Caesar’s salad..

arnbev959's avatar

Holy hell. That’s so cool.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It’s based upon the size of the atmosphere, the volume of a single breathe, and Avogadro’s number 6.022×10^23. This is a classic AP Physics problem in estimation.
Hey! I just sucked in one of your air molecules I think.
Next time skip the onions please.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

And every bad haircut that accompanies it is called a “Caesar’s Cut”!? Lol.

UScitizen's avatar

Which Ceasar? I pray it’s not Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (aka Diocletian).

filmfann's avatar

Would you feel better if it was Caesar Romero?

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