Research carried out in California suggests that the weight of the Internet approximates that of a large strawberry or small egg.
The results were carried out in the US – by Professor John D. Kubiatowicz, of Berkeley University, California, using Albert Einstein’s E=mc² formula – and have been uploaded to the YouTube channel Vsauce.
In the video (above), Kubiatowicz claims that the electrons that make the Internet work weigh around 50 grams (approx 2 ounces).
According to the Daily Telegraph, Kubiatowicz’s research came about following suggestions that “each book loaded onto an Amazon Kindle e-reader makes the device very slightly heavier”.
Kubiatowicz had responded to the question “When an e-reader is loaded with thousands of books, does it gain any weight?” in the New York Times late last month. “In principle, the answer is yes,” he said, “[but] the amount is very small, on the order of an atogram [10-18 grams]. This amount is effectively unmeasurable.”
Einstein’s E=mc² formula states that energy and mass are directly related. Using this formula, Kubiatowicz calculates 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”.
According to the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, Professor Kubiatowicz joined the “EECS [Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences faculty] at UC Berkeley in 1998. [His current] research includes exploring the design of extremely-wide area storage utilities and developing secure protocols and routing infrastructures that provide privacy, security, and resistance to denial of service, while still allowing the caching of data anywhere, anytime. Also, exploring the space of Introspective Computing, namely systems which perform continuous, on-line adaptation.”
During his career, he has received a number of honours and awards – including for “Best Paper, International Conference on Supercomputing, 1993” and the George M. Sprowls Award for “Best PhD Thesis in EECS at MIT, 1998”. He regularly gives talks in his field of expertise: recent ones being on the subjects of “Tessellation Operating System”, “Quantum Computing”, “Introspective Computing” and “The OceanStore Project”.