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Ever wondered what happens to the weight of a USB drive when you store files on it?

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Here is the answer

USB drives get lighter when they are full of data.

USB drives are based on the technology of flash memory. Flash memory technology is based on transistors and you might have heard when we talk of transistors its 1’s and 0’s which means either the transistor is charged or not or more specifically it’s based on the switching property of a transistor which in working means whether it’s on or off and hence, this concept of ones and zeros is the basic principle of saving data.

Since all data is in binary form i.e. either ones or zeros they are stored on the USB like this or we can say on the transistors.

AS explained earlier when we save data, a binary zero is set by charging the float gate of the transistor, and a binary one is set by removing the charge.

NOW to charge it we add electrons and with the mass of an electron is 0.000000000000000000000000000091 grams.

SEE ALSO: The Phone That Works Without a Battery.

So this means that an empty drive holding mostly zeros weights more than a full drive which has ones and zeros.

However, this is all based on the scientific knowledge that we possess and to actually start to measure this difference physically we will need to weight more USB drive than existing in the whole world to attain a physically measurable and achievable result.

(All the views and opinions above are authors own if you have any complaint  please contact us)


  • Images used above produced by yasasmedia works team.

One thought on “Ever wondered what happens to the weight of a USB drive when you store files on it?”

  1. Empty flash memory usually consists of ones.

    Due to the technology used, writing to flash is done by pulling ones to zeros on wanted bits.
    To change the value from 0 to 1, a sector erase must be performed, setting the entire sector to 1.

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