Official: Kindles get heavier as you add e-books
Don't worry, you won't notice
Download an e-book and your reader gets (microscopically) heavier.
So says University of California at Berkeley boffin John Kubiatowicz in the pages of the New York Times.
His argument: that energy is bound in the process of storing the book's bits in the reader's Flash memory and, according to Einstein's most famous equation - that's E=MC², humanities graduates - this means that the gadget gains an equivalent amount of mass.
iPad lovers know this already: a loaded Apple fondleslab's ability to distort space-time, ie. reality.
It's all to do with binding electrons which is, of course, why so little mass is added: 10-18g.
Since that amount is, as Kubiatowicz admits, "effectively unmeasurable", you have to wonder what the fuss is about, but that's physicists for you - an erstwhile physicist* writes.
The best thing to do, then, is not read your Kindle on the train, as the conveyance's velocity will only make it even heavier. And thicker.
The quid pro quo, of course, is that everything will take less time to read. ®
*just shit at the maths, alas
I am not a physicist
But SURELY, as you're in the same reference frame as your ebook, then it only seems thicker and heavier to the chap watching you from the platform.
Taking this too seriously, you say? This is not the Daily Mail, Tony, this is the Register - a veritable hive of pedants, scientists and SF afficianados. You asked for it, my dear chap....
I think you're taking this story far too seriously.
I thought flash memory was erased by setting it all to '1' bits, and you could store stuff on it by selectively setting bits to zero. So adding books should, if anything, reduce the weight of all those '1's.
Re: I am not a physicist
We like to chuck the odd metaphorical hand grenade into the commentard pit now and then.
Does this article hold water?
It's beren a long time since my degree, but it seems to me that the kindle maintains the memory state irrespective of whether there are books stored within it. Although one could imagine a computer memory using a scheme such as run-length encoding, or at least switching off entire chips when they are all zero, this is not how it works. The entropy of empty memory is the same as that of full memory under most designs.
Furthermore, flash does not use energy to maintain state, so there is no energy difference between a zero and and one. Is there?