Does the weight of a storage device increase after storing data?

Does the weight of a storage device increase after storing data?“YES”, unveils study!!

If someone ever asked you whether or not the weight of a storage device increase after mounting data on it, what would your reply? YES or NO? In my particular case, I have always argued that howsoever small it be, the mass will increase and I had put some logic based on entropic arrangement of bits which others used to make fun of!! I can finally breathe a sigh of relief now as my logic has gained mathematical validity and plausible argument from one of the world’s top computer scientist at UC Berkeley!!

As my findings suggest, Prof John Kubiatowicz,a renowned computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, elucidated in the New York Times that storing new data involves holding electrons in a fixed place in the device’s memory, or we say the proper arrangement of electrons!!Of course the electrons were already present. Then what’s the catch?As a matter of fact, keeping them still rather than allowing them to float around takes up extra energy – about a billionth of a micro joule per bit of data. Now using Einstein’s mass energy equivalence i.e. E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related as an inter convertible forms of a matter, Prof Kubiatowicz calculated that filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram, or 0.000000000000000001g!!This is almost equals to the weight of a virus, while the equal number of books – about 3,500 – would weigh approx two tons. Further to one’s amusement, study also shows that E-readers could also become slightly heavier in the summer, because they would take on more energy from their exposure to sunlight!!

So, that’s the answer! And to relate the aforementioned finding with my assumption, I can now relate that since electrons are previously in random order or state, or in highly disordered state (i.e. higher entropic state), in order to transform them into ordered state or the state with lower entropy, energy needs to be supplied and this will change the mass as per the Einstein’s mass energy equivalence principle!!

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5 thought on “Does the weight of a storage device increase after storing data?”
  1. But if that storage device is an optical media, then it will involve a loss of weight as optical media writers burn pits into the media.

  2. That would assume as you wrote that bits are in “random” state (better to write here in undefined or unreadable state), but they are not! All bits are in already known state: either 1 or 0. Writing data just changes the state of some bits it is not making bits more ordered. However manufacturing (flash) memory adds that extra weight (there you put those bits in order). However by same logic powered-up RAM would weight slightly more than RAM turned off (as transition to defined state happens at initaluzation of RAM during power-up).

  3. Wasn’t they’re already old data stored in all the memory that took just as many electrons to keep in place. Is the claim that a bit turned on, a one, weighs more than a bit turned off, a zero?

  4. But, any state including information containing states are not special states just one of many possible states than they wouldn’t weigh more from “entropic energy” ; although energy would be needed ,and disipated as heat, to arrange them


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