Tuesday 30 May 2017

Internet 'weighs the same as a strawberry'

USING some very rough maths, it's been estimated that the internet weighs about the same as a medium-sized egg.

The weight of all the electrons in motion that make up the internet at any one moment is equivalent to 50 grams, according to Vsauce, a YouTube channel.

It seems to be inspired by recent reports noting that each book loaded onto and Amazon Kindle e-reader makes the device very slightly heavier.

Using Einstein's E=mc² formula, which states that energy and mass are directly related, Professor John Kubiatowicz, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that filling a 4GB Kindle to its storage limit would increase its weight by a billionth of a billionth of a gram, or 0.000000000000000001g.

Here's the full explanation of the 50 gram weight estimate for the internet, which Vsauce says is the same as a strawberry. it would have to be a very large strawberry though.

The maths relies on a dated figures, however. The estimate that there are between 75 and 100 million servers online back was around back in 2006, for example. In the five years since then many more vast data centres have been constructed by the likes of Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Similarly, server processors now run at higher clockspeeds.

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