Comments

  1. Olav says

    Less because the gas has non-zero mass and you just got rid of it. But your total density will have increased slightly!

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Clearly less, working from first principles. Gravity is a property of mass, and attracts bodies to one another. A fusillade of giant farts tends to repel bodies (those with a sense of smell, at any rate) from your general vicinity. Ergo, your gravity has diminished, ergo so has your mass.

    To little kids, though, your levity has certainly increased.

  3. unbound says

    In most cases, I think there is methane involved which is lighter than air…so you probably weigh slightly more or possibly no change (not sure about full composition of the gas). Regardless, feeling better makes it all worthwhile…

  4. =8)-DX says

    Ye gads.. the explanations!

    The answer is of course less. First off – weight and mass are separate (though related) quantities. A body with more methane inside it will definitely be of higher mass. Next, weight is measured as the force on an object due to gravity and this force will decrease after release of flatulence – less mass weighs less. The fact that the methane coming out is a light gass is irellevant – even hot air baloons have quite a large mass and weight and a zeppelin becomes a heavier composite object after filling it up with hydrogen. The reason a ballon rises however, is because the average density of the baloon and basket become lower than the density of the surrounding cold air.

    If the question was meant as “Do you feel as if you weigh more or less after..” then I’d still say less. Gasses inside the human body do reduce its general density, but compressed methane bubbles in the gut are likely at higher pressure than the outside air, althought that pressure will probably reduce as the bubble of gass reaches the colon. Carrying this pressurised methane inside you is an extra weight to carry, which I don’t think any extended volume of the gut or colon counteracts.

    Considering a human being immersed in water – compressed intenstinal methane will definitely have a much lower density than water, so expelling it will make the body more dense compared to the water. In other words, in water you feel as if you weigh more after the bubbles (despite still actually weighing less). This shows that passing wind under water is not a good idea (similarly to pooping – since poop usually initially floats – its density will be lower than water.) Conversely gas will become increasingly more difficult to hold in when swimming at greater depths.

  5. =8)-DX says

    Darn!

    Conversely gas will become increasingly more difficult to hold in get out when swimming at greater depths.

    (Having to push against the hydrostatic pressure).

  6. Trebuchet says

    The weight change is pretty minimal in any case. You are, however, denser. If that’s possible.

  7. says

    The answer depends on how long after farting. Immediately after, you weigh less. However, eliminating trapped gas under pressure allows the … uh … other stuff to move down to fill the gaps. The top end of the tube becomes empty which makes you hungry which causes you to eat which causes you to weigh more.

    QED

  8. bob says

    If you’re weighing yourself in air, it will depend on how much your volume changes (affects buoyant force of surrounding air) and how compressed the flatus is. At STP, flatus is less dense than air, but in your body it’s at a higher temperature (would tend to decrease density) and pressure (would tend to increase density). If the pressure was high enough, you could weigh less afterwards, but I’m actually betting you weigh more. Do you know the answer?

    It’s obviously a small effect, but it’s a nice physiology question. What does your body regulate to maintain homeostasis in this case, pressure or volume? (presumably a bit of both, but I don’t know)

  9. Trebuchet says

    This is what you’ve been thinking about? How about a Moby Dick chapter, please.

    Or better yet, how about an actual blog post? You know, one that CPP writes himself?

  10. loquaxe says

    “You know, one that CPP writes himself?”

    Right. Because virtually all actual blog posts, with the exception of the farting ones, are written by physiowife.

  11. Trebuchet says

    Right. Because virtually all actual blog posts, with the exception of the farting ones, are written by physiowife.

    Other than the recipes (which are getting a bit repetitious), pretty much everything here is copied/pasted from someone else. That includes Melville.

    CPP — Copy, Paste, & Pasta

  12. loquaxe says

    @ Trebuchet

    much better than coming back every other day to whine about the content. Get your own blog and let us know. We’ll check on your creativity and quality writing trebuchet whine.

  13. Trebuchet says

    I don’t have a blog because I wouldn’t be any good at it. At least I recognize that.

    Sadly, I think CPP could be good at it. He just doesn’t try. It may be he’s too busy, or something, I don’t know. But here’s a challenge for you: Go back in the archives see how long it’s been since he’s provided an original well thought out post on his own, other than recipes.

  14. Kate from Iowa says

    I’ve actually come back to Freethought Blogs because I miss CPP’s recipes.

    Fart posts are just the icing on the cake.

  15. loquaxe says

    Hahahahaha!.

    Trebuchet, you could be very good at blogging on your own. Certainly, much better than at controlling CPP and his blogging activity. By the way, how do you know that this is the only blog that he owns?. It may well be that he is running 10-12 more blogs on different subjects and he has just this one for recipes, his rambling ramdon thoughts over a hangover or after a disastrous yankees score?. Think about it!.

  16. Trebuchet says

    Trebuchet, you could be very good at blogging on your own. Certainly, much better than at controlling CPP and his blogging activity.

    Hah! Disagree on the first, I’m afraid, unless you are obsessively interested in the mechanics of inducing pumpkins to fly; but I expect you’re correct on the second. I’ll bow out of this thread now, having already trolled it way too much.

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