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### Author Topic: How much does a terrabyte weigh  (Read 10517 times)

#### Philip Hardcastle

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 326
##### How much does a terrabyte weigh
« on: April 08, 2009, 07:42:11 AM »
According to those that believe in the CoE as being absolute they were concerned about black holes and information. They were concerned about a potential violation of the laws of physics if information was lost in a black hole.

They settled the argument between themselves by saying information must be conserved and that accordingly there was no violation.

The above is a very short precis.

My point is if information is part of CoE then a Terrabyte equals energy and thus it must also equal mass if stored on a chip or disk, do you agree and if so how much would it weigh, and if so could we accurately weigh things to see how much information they contain?

Got to be honest, I weigh a few pounds too much so I am hoping I am full of information. LOL

Phil

#### pillager

• Newbie
• Posts: 28
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 08:15:59 AM »
A terabyte weighs exactly....ZERO.

Memory is essentially just switches on or off.  No mass difference when memory is full or empty, but it takes energy to make memory change state.

#### kmarinas86

• Full Member
• Posts: 156
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 08:42:53 PM »
According to those that believe in the CoE as being absolute they were concerned about black holes and information. They were concerned about a potential violation of the laws of physics if information was lost in a black hole.

They settled the argument between themselves by saying information must be conserved and that accordingly there was no violation.

The above is a very short precis.

My point is if information is part of CoE then a Terrabyte equals energy and thus it must also equal mass if stored on a chip or disk, do you agree and if so how much would it weigh, and if so could we accurately weigh things to see how much information they contain?

Got to be honest, I weigh a few pounds too much so I am hoping I am full of information. LOL

Phil

A bit can exist in the form of a photon. Having a photon can mean ON and having no photon can mean OFF. Also, the lower bound of a photon's energy is only limited by the lower limit of photon's frequency. Also, photons have no rest mass, and when converted into mass, their energy and mass are both very very small, especially at very long wavelengths.

In other words, there is no foreseeable lower limit on a terrabyte's energy content.

#### Yucca

• Hero Member
• Posts: 884
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 09:03:50 PM »
You should consult "Claude Shannon".

He looks like a skinny chap on his photo.

As you, I have more "information" than him lol.

#### Yucca

• Hero Member
• Posts: 884
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 09:06:49 PM »
A terabyte weighs exactly....ZERO.

Some mass MUST be employed to store some information.

I agree that the state weighs zero but to store that state then it must be contained in a substrate with mass.

If my computer memory is 1GB and I have half filled it then you are right, I have not increased its mass from zero filled. But remember even when the memory is empty it is still full of zeros, it is still 1GB of information, just all zero.

If compression were employed then the required mass would depend on the informational complexity.

#### Paul-R

• Hero Member
• Posts: 1992
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 04:39:01 PM »
A terrabyte weighs about 80% of the length of a dollar.

#### IotaYodi

• Hero Member
• Posts: 551
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 05:23:05 PM »
Quote
a Terrabyte equals energy and thus it must also equal mass if stored on a chip or disk, do you agree and if so how much would it weigh, and if so could we accurately weigh things to see how much information they contain?

Is it weighed on the earth,moon or other planet? If its in free space its no longer a weight but just a force. 2 masses of the same size doesnt mean they would weigh the same. Without a gravitational force there is no weight. If its weighed on earth you have the problem of a changing gravitational force due to the Sun and moon. You could only estimate its weight at any given time. So no you couldnt weigh things accurately to see how much information they contained.

#### Cloxxki

• Hero Member
• Posts: 825
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 06:22:05 PM »
Over the past decades, mass required to store X amount of data has obviously dropped. I still remember wasting a year's work on a computer, now outpaced by a free cell phone, on all parameters.
It's easy enough to bring the density of information down. Just put a micro SD card in a balloon, and then further fill the latter with helion. But then you increase the volume per byte, which can bug us in other ways.
I bet that a sensitive enough scale could detact weight anomilies on emptied and full harddisc, but I wonder whether the information itself would be causing it :-)

#### onthecuttingedge2005

• Hero Member
• Posts: 1336
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 06:24:14 PM »

#### onthecuttingedge2005

• Hero Member
• Posts: 1336
##### Re: How much does a terrabyte weigh
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2009, 06:27:51 PM »
Over the past decades, mass required to store X amount of data has obviously dropped. I still remember wasting a year's work on a computer, now outpaced by a free cell phone, on all parameters.
It's easy enough to bring the density of information down. Just put a micro SD card in a balloon, and then further fill the latter with helion. But then you increase the volume per byte, which can bug us in other ways.
I bet that a sensitive enough scale could detact weight anomilies on emptied and full harddisc, but I wonder whether the information itself would be causing it :-)

I think photons are measured in pressure rather than weight, because photons have pressure but have no mass.