How Many Atoms Are There in a Human Cell?

The number of atoms in a human being is mind-boggling.
The number of atoms in a human being is mind-boggling. Estimates range from 10 trillion to 100 trillion atoms. Richard Newstead, Getty Images

Have you ever wondered how many atoms are in a human cell? It's a huge number, so there is no exact figure, plus cells are different sizes and are growing and dividing all the time. Here's a look at the answer.

Calculating the Number of Atoms in a Cell

According to an estimate made by engineers at Washington University, there are around 1014 atoms in a typical human cell. Another way of looking at it is that this is 100,000,000,000,000 or 100 trillion atoms. Interestingly, the number of cells in the human body is estimated to be about the same as the number of atoms in a human cell.

Key Takeaways

  • The number of atoms per human cell is only a rough estimate because cells come in different sizes.
  • Scientists estimate the average cell contains 100 trillion atoms.
  • The number of atoms per cell is about the same as the number of cells in the body!