About media having mass alterations due to data content

Hi everyone, i'm creating this topic because i want to create a discussion about a matter that is frequently discussed in social networks, but it requires specific Knowledge, and there the discussions never gets to and conclusion, and always get trashed by arguments like "i know it is like that, but i can't explain" or "I know it is because i saw this on internet", turning impossible to use one of this discussions as a reference about the matter.

The question is if storage media may have its mass changed by the data written on it.

This matter requires specific knowledge about how each media storage technology works (not only the basic, but an extense knowledge), and about physics, once even physicists sometimes discuss if some operations do or do not change the mass of the body in question.

Of course, i'm talking about insignificant mass alterations, but in some media storage devices shouldn't have an alteration at all.

Please always reply using an well explained and well based argument, and do not say nothing like "google that", always put the argument inside your reply.

Even if you don't have specific knowledge about the matter, but you want to say something you think is logical, please be clear, and write formally.

To start the discussion, i'll add some arguments by myself:


There are some media storage devices that are known to have mass alterations due to data, like punched tape, which have peaces removed when punched, and optic discs, that have really small amounts of matter evaporated by the lasers when data is being burned on them, so both get lighter when there are more information on them.

Now about magnetic disks, there is no reason to the mass change. The data is written by realigning the magnetic domains of billions of individual spots along the disk surface, so no particle is added or removed in the operations. Some people say that the sum of magnetic energy on the surface could change, and that changing the energy of matter can change it's mass, but the magnetic field intensity on each one of those spots should never change (so, the sum should also not change), the intensity remains the same, what happens is that the magnetic lines on the field have their angle changed, causing a different value to be read. Also, even if the sum of magnetic energy change, there is no known proof of relation between magnetic fields and mass. We know that kinect energy, such as movement and vibration can change the mass, but magnetizing doesn't change the kinect energy on the magnetized domains.

And just to remember, about memories that have capacitors:

Capacitor doesn't accumulate electrons: The sum of electrons inside a capacitor is always the same, what happens is that you create a disequilibrium between its internal plates when you charge it, and when you discharge it, a chain reaction of electrons in movement undo the disequilibrium, but the sum of electrons remains the same, and once that no particle have been added or removed, the mass doesn't change.

Sorry by any grammar error, english is not my native language.
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More about about media mass alterations data content
  1. this look like a school work on physical property of a hard drive,the best way for you to find it use a scale put a new drive on scale it weight then write to full with data and weight again. post back the answer you find.
  2. No, this is not a school work, no teacher would ask an student or a group to make a work about something like this. I study IT at my university, and even the teachers are unsure about that. Some people have a extense knowledge about the technologies of media storage (as the IT teachers), but not about the physics issues, and other have an extense knowledge in physics, but not about technologies of media storage (as the physics teachers and physicists in my university).
    And even the most precise scale in the world would be useless in this matter, once the mass alteration would be insignificant, like the mass of a few atoms.
    There's no way to get a conclusion about this, unless by applying known physical properties to the presented scenarios.
  3. this is why it gone be hard to find a direct answer stay around maybe someone could give you more help on that .
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