# Weight vs space

Margheim
Science 20 Dec '13 01:48
1. 20 Dec '13 01:48
Ok, this may be completely off the wall but I am curious of others input. Let's say you have a simple memory card which is empty of any data....not a byte to be found on it. Let's say it weighs in at about one ounce for sake of conversation. This card has a capacity of 16 gigs...again for conversation sake... If you were to take this empty card at one ounce and fill it to capacity, 16 gigs, does the card now weigh, even minutely more than an ounce as it's maxed out........ Or is it all just data and this question is ridiculous....?
2. 20 Dec '13 02:00
Originally posted by Margheim
Or is it all just data and this question is ridiculous....?
What he said.
3. joe shmo
Strange Egg
20 Dec '13 04:03
Originally posted by Margheim
Ok, this may be completely off the wall but I am curious of others input. Let's say you have a simple memory card which is empty of any data....not a byte to be found on it. Let's say it weighs in at about one ounce for sake of conversation. This card has a capacity of 16 gigs...again for conversation sake... If you were to take this empty card at one ounce ...[text shortened]... n an ounce as it's maxed out........ Or is it all just data and this question is ridiculous....?
I think its a pretty cool question. Pretty deep if you are trying to relate the fundamental units of information and mass. I guess its like asking if a thought has a mass, and what is fundamentally different from a thought and a physical object. I say that all physical objects are just a thought, so yes, it has a mass of sorts.
4. wolfgang59
invigorated
20 Dec '13 04:12
Originally posted by Margheim
Ok, this may be completely off the wall ...
The obvious answer is that there is absolutely no gain in mass.
However some Quantum Theory guy will pop their neck up and tell us otherwise!
5. 20 Dec '13 08:171 edit
I believe there will be not even a minute gain in mass. But, if ever a quantum dot memory card is developed where the bits are represented by the present or absence of single electrons in a quantum dot so that single electrons are stored, there may be a minute change in mass due to changes in the number of electrons stored because electrons have a tiny mass.
6. Soothfast
0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
20 Dec '13 09:22
Ideally there is no change in mass, since data is stored by rearranging matter, not by adding or subtracting matter.
7. 20 Dec '13 10:25
In a HDD the data is stored by magnetising sections of the disk upwards or downwards.

If different arrangements of magnetic field have differing energy levels then changing
the data would change the mass.

However there is no guarantee that it would increase the mass.
If the state when full was lower energy than the state when empty.
8. 22 Dec '13 01:39
Thank you all for the input, it all makes sense however I'm still skeptical ðŸ™‚......
9. 22 Dec '13 08:01
It depends what kind of mass you mean, rest mass or relativistic mass. The latter will change with energy, which probably does have a weak dependence on what data you store on the disk, although certainly not necessarily a monotonously increasing one.