Computer Scientist Determines Weight Of E-Books
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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