# Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

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Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?
or to put it a different way:
Are electrons from outside used to store data on an USB stick?

Since I'm quite new to electronics I cannot give a logical explanation.
I searched a lot on the web and I found the folowing data:

• Flash memory uses the Fowler–Nordheim tunneling principle to charge a
thin oxide layer
• Excited electrons are pushed through and trapped on other side of a
thin oxide layer, giving it a negative charge
• The negative charge give the floating-gate transistor a value of '1'
or '0'

Although I can imagine how the principle works, I do not fully
understand the exact technics.

USB sticks need power supply to read and alter the data on it. But when
information is added, has the amount of electrons increased?

Consider the stick is fully empty at the beginning (all transistors are
not negatively charged and thus have the status of '1')

Bert

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

**No.

**No.

**No.

**No.

--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

No?

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

Just find out how heavy an electron is then multiply it by the number
changed. Simple.

--
Regards .............. Rheilly P

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

It's not about the maths, it's about the principle *IF* electrons are

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

"Bert Harleman"

** You need to think about the basics first:

In an electric circuit - current flow is the flow of electrons.

In an electric circuit - the current flowing in any part of a loop is
exactly the same.

So, when current flows from a supply into a load, the exact same current
always flows back to the supply.

When you connect a capacitor to a DC supply, the exact same current flows in
one end and out the other until the cap is charged to the same voltage as
the supply.

So there is never any build up of *additional* electrons inside the
capacitor.

The ones that were there all along simply move from one plate to the other
via the supply.

.....  Phil

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

**Yes.

--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

Aaaah, yes.

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

**No.

--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

You need to get out more  ;-)

geoff

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?
It would be impossible to give a complete physics and electrical
engineering coarse in an email. I would suggest for you to take your
time and keep up the perseverance to keep learning.

On the sub-macro scale in theory electrons and protons do have weight
because they have mass. The answer is fairly complex depending on the
exact nature of the action that is taking place in the device.

In all practical applications the weights of the protons and electrons
are not even considered. And example is energy mass calculations are
used in advanced physics when dealing in theories that employ sub-
particle physics in dealing with nuclear devices, accelerators, space
research, and with extreme high energy devices.

Jerry G.

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

On the whole, I doubt that data storage will involve a net change in the
charge of the device, so the number of electrons will remain the same.

What I have wondered about is whether the zero and one states for each
bit have the same energy. If not, then there would be a corresponding
difference in mass.

One would have Buckley's chance of being able to measure it, of course,
it being that small.

Sylvia.

Re: Does an USB stick gain weight when you put files on it?

Even if it was gold, or tunsten (very dense) that was being deposited
when bits were set to 1

and all bits were changed to their "heaviest" state, I doubt it would
be measurable due to the tiny size of the die, and the tiny size of
the "cells" on the die.