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physical digital weight

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Pyromaniac's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2008-09-30 19:18
physical digital weight

So I got to wondering the other day about something, if data has physical weight. I know it sounds funny but think of this scenario:

You by a brand new 2GB flash drive.

You take out the flash drive and weigh it on a scale precise to the 500th decimal place (it measures in grams).

You download some portable apps and fill up your flash drive to capacity.

You weigh it again on the same scale.

Assuming the conditions like temperature and amount of bacteria, etc are the same as when first weighed, does the physical weight of the flash drive increase or stay the same?

digitxp's picture
Last seen: 11 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2007-11-03 18:33
The same

Flash drives are self-contained. Therefore, the amount of data is irrelevant. Flash drives have electrons to measure 0 and 1, and it may be noticable (distance affects weight) on a sub-picogram level. I don't believe such a scale exists yet.

Insert original signature here with Greasemonkey Script.

J Neutron
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 2008-06-10 19:26

Sounds like a Dilbert cartoon.

The pointy-haired boss was complaining that his laptop weighed too much. Dilbert told him to delete some of the files off of it.

neutron1132 (at) usa (dot) com

Gizmokid2005's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 2007-01-17 19:24
Yeah, data doesn't have a

Yeah, data doesn't have a physical weight. It's just a set of electro-magentically set data bits, 0 or 1. Like was mentioned before, it might be a VERY small weight difference, but so much, that current weighing methods probably wouldn't even pick up the difference.

Darkbee's picture
Last seen: 2 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2008-04-14 09:41

Print out hard copies... instant weight gain. Smile

Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2007-12-17 05:43
Actually it is a valid question (in a way)

Flash works by storing electrons in key places to remember the values of each bit of data.

The question becomes, in its simplest form.

Does flash move electrons around within the semiconductor substrate, or does it store new ones from the attached power supply?

If the latter case, does logic 1 weigh more or less than logic 0, and, therfore is a flashdrive full of 0xFFFF heavier or lighter than a drive full of 0x0000?

Pyromaniac's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2008-09-30 19:18

I already knew how a flash drive works and stuff but that was the reason I wanted to know if it weighed more. If someone with a really accurate scale could check that out than maybe I would have an answer.

Last seen: 11 years 1 week ago
Joined: 2010-04-09 14:48
I'm sorry sir the problem

I'm sorry sir the problem with your flash drive is that it's clinically obese.

Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan's picture
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2007-04-15 21:08
Off Topic

I think that you should move this to the off-topic forum...

But digitxp and Gizmokid2005 are correct.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Pyromaniac's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 2008-09-30 19:18
I will

I just don't like that the off-topic posts don't go on recent posts but general disscusion does. I wanted to snag a few answers before its moved.

NathanJ79's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2007-07-31 15:07
Custom tracker

The site has a custom tracker and the off-topic forum isn't indexed. Would be cool to get a Greasemonkey script to let you pick and choose the forums the tracker indexes.

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