Science Questions

How high is a pile of a trillion dollars?

Sun, 8th Mar 2009

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Alan Scarhill asked:

How high would a pile containing a trillion dollar bills be?


Dave - We were looking it up they were about 1/10th of a millimetre high. That would come to 100,000km high or a third of the way to the moon.


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Allan Scahill asked the Naked Scientists: You hear a lot about the U.S. stimulus package and that it's a HUGE amount (nearly a trillion US$). What I want to know is: If you have piles of either $1.00, $100.00 or $1000.00 dollar bills, what would this amount look like? Would it fill a football field or several of them? Thanks Allan Scahill What do you think? Allan Scahill, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

If you would be so kind as to supply me with 1 trillion dollar bills, I will be happy to find an answer for you.

Any demonination used $ bills will be fine. Don_1, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

So, in short-scale countries (most English speaking ones) a trillion is a million million. Say that a bill is one millimetre thick (give or take), that means 1 million per kilometre. Therefore your stack of dollar bills would be 1 million km high, or about 3 times the distance to the moon from earth. dentstudent, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Oh BTW, please make it US $, and no notes of a dubious nature. I don't want the filth breathing down my neck when I do a runner with arms full of dosh! Don_1, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

A US dollar bill is 15.5956cm x 6.6294cm x 0.010922cm

Don_1, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Mate, you have one accurate ruler.

I was including a gap between the bills, but fair enough, the total can be reduced a bit. Even using 0.5mm, it's still a damn long way! dentstudent, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Given that there would be some air between each bill, I would think a stack of 1000 $ bills would be around 30cms high.

A footy pitch (US Soccer) measures approx 100 x 75 m. = 7500 M2

A US $ bill has an area of 0.0103385 M2

Stone the crows, my calculator just ran off!

Come back ........ Don_1, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Wouldn't gravity, weight, and compression of the dollar bills eliminate  the air in between the bills?

Karen W., Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Good point Karen, lend me a grand and I'll put this to the test!

Wow! at this rate I'll be in the news as the next Made-Off (with the loot) or Stanford (also appears to have Made-Off with the dosh). Might even get a Knighthood.

Arise Sir Don_1 (Psst Here's a niffty wad for your good self) Don_1, Thu, 19th Feb 2009

Lol....Lol....sorry Charlie...but I think I will wait for you....LolWhen you get it... tell me where we are going to spend it! Karen W., Thu, 19th Feb 2009

ummmmmm just wondering where you got this information? i am doing a project in chemistry about a mole of dollar bills, and this seems to be the only place on the internet with the dimensions of a U.S. dollar bill...
purplemoosejuice, Mon, 9th Nov 2009

I'm offering the same empirical study as Don1 but please remit a cheque instead. neilep, Mon, 9th Nov 2009

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