A Kindle loaded with ebooks is heavier than an empty one

first_imgOne of the major selling points of the Kindle e-reader Best Price at Amazon is its ability to store thousands of books without getting any bigger or heavier. Try and do the same with physical books and you soon wouldn’t be able to move under the weight, or even carry more than a dozen or so.Well it turns out the Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, does in fact get heavier the more you fill up its memory with e-books. That may sound surprising until you hear just how much heavier it becomes.I was under the impression that data doesn’t weigh anything beyond the device weight it is stored on, but University of California, Berkeley professor of computer science John D. Kubiatowicz cares to differ. He decided to answer the question of whether an e-reader gets heavier with thousands of e-books loaded on to it for The New York Times.The additional weight is actually unmeasurable, but there is an additional weight on the order of 10-18 grams. This is because the transistors in the flash memory the Kindle uses distinguishes between a 1 and a 0 by trapping electrons. More data means more trapped electrons, which means ever so slightly more weight.So the extra weight actually comes just from the device storing more energy. Kubiatowicz worked out that the additional energy 4GB of flash memory holds when full is 1.7 times 10-5 joules, which translates into the 10-18 grams weight difference stated above.You will never notice this difference in weight when holding a Kindle, but it’s a good fact to remember in case you want to impress a fellow Kindle owner with your knowledge of the device.Read more at The New York Times, via The Guardianlast_img read more

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