30 October 2011

E-readers get heavier with each book

E-readers are meant to let bookworms carry their entire libraries with them without any additional weight. But according to the Telegraph the devices actually get heavier every time a new text is downloaded.

Prof John Kubiatowicz a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, explained that storing new data involves holding electrons in a fixed place in the device's memory.

Although the electrons were already present, keeping them still rather than allowing them to float around takes up extra energy – about a billionth of a microjoule per bit of data.

Using Einstein's E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related, 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 roughly equivalent to the weight of a small virus, while the equivalent number of books – about 3,500 – would weigh approximately two tons.

Well at least nobody will get a rupture carrying a full ebook as opposed to an empty one!

4 comments:

CherryPie said...

Fascinating stuff.

jams o donnell said...

THanks Cherie!

Liz said...

I'll bear that in mind when/if I get around to getting one!

jams o donnell said...

Ha but not that you'd notice, weight wise, Liz!