He grew a willow tree and measured the amount of soil, the weight of the tree and the water he added. After five years the plant had gained about 164 pounds. Since the amount of soil was basically the same as it had been when he started his experiment, he deduced that the tree's weight gain had come from water. Since it had received nothing but water and the soil weighed practically the same as at the beginning, he argued that the increased weight of wood, bark and roots had been formed from water alone. However, this "deduction" is incomplete, as a large proportion of the mass of the tree comes from atmospheric carbon dioxide, which, in conjunction with water, is turned into carbohydrates via photosynthesis.
Even a flash EPROM does not end up with a net negative charge when loaded with information. It's all about electron position, not number.
What happens when you plug in your cell phone's charger is that some of the energy carried by electrons in the mains wiring is transferred inward across the cell phone's system boundary, causing a rearrangement of the way charge is distributed inside the system, manifested mostly as chemical changes within the battery; that rearrangement constitutes potential energy on which your cellphone can subsequently draw. There is no difference between the net charge on your cellphone before and after battery charging.
« Older Hacked! James Fallows writes in the Atlantic Month... | Salvador Dali's Dream of Venus... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt