Network has weight

How many networks do you have? This question may seem a bit difficult to understand at first glance. Do we have weights in emails, documents, videos and web pages that we use every day? If there is weight, then what kind of unit of measurement should it use? Is it as heavy as Taishan or lighter than Hong Mao? For such a problem, perhaps we can only describe it with weirdness.

But in a school in the UK, a middle school student named Walker has this weird problem in his head.

Walker is not a big age, but he is a veteran computer fan. He often sends emails to students who share the same hobbies, and quietly explores the world in the online world. In their mails, they often give the other party some computer knowledge problems to improve their computer level. Walker is one of the most liked among them, and he is therefore regarded as NO.1 in this circle.

However, a classmate who is usually not convinced by him said in the mail, Walker, can you name the Internet as multiple? If you can, I will serve you.

This was originally a joke, but for Walker, who always likes to explore, this sentence is deeply engraved into his mind. He began to ponder: What method can he use to weigh the weight of the network?

At this time, he remembered the famous experiment of weighing the soul. At the beginning of the 20th century, someone let a dying person lie on a scale and then measured the change in their weight after death. It was found that the weight of the person immediately decreased by 21 grams after death. This experiment gave Walker some inspiration, but the problem also followed. What should he put on the network?

Soon, this idea of ​​borrowing from the soul to achieve the goal was rejected by Walker, and Walker’s plan to weigh the network was once stranded. However, things soon turned around, and a whole new idea was presented to Walker.

This is the case, when Walker used Google search to find information, he accidentally saw a word from Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Eric Schmidt said that the entire Internet has about 5 million terabytes of information, while Google only accounts for 0.04%. This was originally used by Schmidt to motivate his employees to work hard, but it was this sentence that opened the door to Walker’s thinking.

Walker thinks that computers use a string of binary “1”s and “0”s to represent information. Each “1” or “0” is the smallest unit of data in a computer – bits, and each bit of data is objectively present. There are quality, 1 byte has 8 bits. When he was unable to do anything, his physics teacher also gave him a idea: an electronic weight of 2 × 10-30 pounds, if he can test the weight of an email, then weigh the weight of the entire network not a problem.

With the guidance of the teacher, Walker began the calculation work with confidence. He thought that the size of an e-mail is 50K bytes, which is equivalent to containing 409,600 bits. About half of the bits are “1” and the other half is “0”, so there are 204,800 “1” messages. Capacitors are needed for storage, so a total of about 8 billion electrons are needed, from which it can be inferred that a 50K email weighs about 1.6 x 10-20 pounds.

Calculate the weight of an email and the weight of the entire network is clear. In the end, Walker successfully calculated the weight of the entire Internet through the number of servers in the world and the total amount of power required. This hard-won data is only 50 grams. What kind of concept is this? In other words, the weight of the entire Internet is about the same as a strawberry, and the actual information contained in the network is only as light as a grain of sand.

Walker’s discovery made the classmate who was initially unconvinced stunned and stunned. Soon after, a letter from the most authoritative scientific journal in the UK proved that Walker’s discovery was not a whimsical, but a great contribution to the Internet and the scientific community.