October 31, 2011
Computer Scientist Determines Weight Of E-Books
A computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley has found that e-readers can pack on more weight as more books are downloaded.
Professor John Kubiatowicz told the New York Times that storing new data involves holding electrons in a fixed place in the device's memory.
E-readers use flash memory, which is composed of special transistors that trap electrons to distinguish between a digital 1 and a 0.
By using Einstein's E=mc² formula, Kubiatowicz calculated that filling a 4 gigabyte Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram.
This is equivalent to the weight of a small virus, and the equivalent number of hard-copy books would weigh about two tons.
Kubiatowicz also said e-readers could also become slightly heavier in the summer because they would take on more energy from their exposure to sunlight.
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