Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Given the dimensions of the book: "two feet broad by three feet in height, and over four inches thick", and being its pages made of "polished plates of electrum" (data from Forgotten Realms Campaign Set - DM's Sourcebook of the Realms, p. 92; TSR, 1987), what would be the weight of the book?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The density of electrum depends on the exact proportions of gold and silver, but ranges from around 12.5 g/cm³ to about 16.5 g/cm³ †.

Assuming the book is effectively a solid cube of electrum 24 × 36 × 4 inches, its volume would be 3,456 cubic inches. This is equal to 56,634 cm³.

Given the density range above, this means it could weigh anything from 707 to 934 kg (1559 to 2059 lbs.). Based on our earlier assumption that the book is a solid cube, the actual weight would probably be a little less than that.

† The densities in the second source appears to have a minor magnitude error, in that 1,500 kg/m³ is impossibly light when electrum is composed of silver (~10,000 kg/m³) and gold (~20,000 kg/m³). If the digits are assumed to be correct, adjusting the magnitude to match that of silver and gold yields the sensible values of 15,000 kg/m³ and 16,500 kg/m³, which is 15g/cm³ and 16.5g/cm³.

share|improve this answer
1  
There is a massive miscalculation here, as the density of Electrum varies between 12.5g/cm³ to 15g/cm³, which is 1250kg/m³ to 1500kg/m³. "," in the site you quoted is not a decimal point. –  MrLemon May 8 at 17:02
    
Doh, my mistake. Thank you very much for the edit - I really should wear my glasses more often –  Phil May 8 at 17:13
2  
@MrLemon One of those sources is wrong by an order of magnitude: 15g/cm³ is 15,000 kg/m³, not 1,500, so they can't both be right. I just don't know which one. –  SevenSidedDie May 8 at 17:26
1  
Given that the densities of gold and silver are ~20g/cm³ and ~10g/cm³ respectively, I think ~15g/cm³ for electrum is the sane number. Which alters the calculation above considerably. –  SevenSidedDie May 8 at 17:30
    
Wow, tough day for the math, I guess. 3,456 cubic inches is actually 56633 cubic cm, putting the weight more in the 680 kg to 900 kg range. –  Zimul8r May 8 at 17:46

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.