You are free to look up the physical dimensions of the planet Earth, math formulas, physical constants etc using books, tables, Google etc.
You are precluded to ask (i.e. Google) a direct question:
What is the total weight of Earth's atmosphere?
prior to posting your answer.
Please submit your estimate in a format
N.PQ *10^{r} kg.
Provide your reasoning as well.
We shall jointly evaluate the accuracy later.
I hope I didn't cheat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_pressure
gives pressure at one atmosphere of 14.696 pounds/in^2
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=25&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj18bXkLDPAhVIJCYKHcgvDecQmhMIvAEwGA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FEarth&usg=AFQjCNHYVe8KqN_90wfUv8kboBKe55hSA
(wikipedia)
gives the surface area of the earth as 196.9 million square miles
Converting square miles to square inches and multiplying the two numbers gives
1.1616*10^19 pounds
which converts to 5.2689*10^18 kg.
I could probably improve this by subtracting the air that is displaced by land, but I doubt this matters much.
This also assumes a column of air has parallel sides, but they actually meet at the center of the earth. I think this is probably negligible.

Posted by Jer
on 20160927 13:30:12 