Does data have physical properties?

Read into Quantum teleportation and data transfer, had a brain hemorrhage, this was the out come.

I have just been unable to find a simple enough source; i think such a question should be subjected to the rudimentary dichotomy of either Yes or No.

i suppose data is just a collection of electrons, when it's getting moved through wires, not sure what it is when it is on hard drives and other mediums though. 

well we currently store data by seting the polarity of little bits of metal on harddrives and i believe ssds work on the same principle, so yes? not exactly the most consice question

Is raw unprocessed data processed into binary data? and do the known 'physical' properties become virtual? 

Data is a bunch of 1s and 0s. 

You know, Binary?

Hard drives dont write data, it writes magnetic "Signals" Which represent 1s and 0s. That data is read and recompiled as what you have stored.

As for transfers through a cable, its sent as pulses of electricity. 0v is a 0, and +5v is a 1. (Just an example)

Data isn't really stored. Just the representation of the data as 0s and 1s. 

TECHNICALLY. If I knew the binary string for your most sensitive files, I could recreate them, not knowing what they originally were.

This question makes no sense. How answering it will affect anything?

Data itself is an abstract thing, it's the same data no matter how you store it. But. For data to exist there should always be a physical medium, be it your brain, a piece of paper or a hard drive. So if a storage medium is a property of data, then answer to your question is yes.

But I can as well ask you to define what are properties of data.

The question in itselt makes perfect sense, what are you talking about?

Since posted on a tech forum, one could assume he was referring to data more related to Technology, and not that related to, say, memory, or "Learning"

If anything, your reply is what is lacking sense.

Just because you don't know the answer, doesn't mean there isn't one.


This has helped me understand data significantly more than I did before, thanks.

Just to clarify, I didn't think there was a microscopic picture of my dog on my hard drive(I wouldn't want to negate that though, it would be awesome) and then when I wanted to view it, it was just projected on my monitor.

I just have a hard time understanding how something that is so complex can just be created, and then in Minutes, Be copied and then the exact same thing can be on the other side of the world in seconds. I guess such extant things should not be questioned by a weetabix eating bedroom dweller.

Thank you for your input.

Without going into huge amounts of detail.

Does Data have physical properties?  Answer= Yes

weight being one, if all the data on the internet was all held in a single place, it would weigh about the same as a strawberry.


An unshielded copper conductor can transfer electricity at 95 to 97% that of the speed of light. Thats how data travels so fast. Its just like Morse code, but at a much faster rate, and with electricity.

With fiber Optics, its actually done with pulses of light. Light off is a 0, light on is a 1.

Each Bit of data (1/8 Byte) is made of 8 1s or 0s.

A lot of the time, these 1s and 0s are converted into Hexidecimal before being read by your PC, where as things like Keyboard or mouse input is read directly as Binary. (1s and 0s.)


my apologies then, i was looking at older/different information, the point does still stand tho, data has physical properties.

Data isn't really stored. Just the representation of the data as 0s and 1s. 

semantics much?

Literal, because of the conversion from visual data to binary.

Well it was more of a physical representation than actual data, I believe.

I apologize, and you may be correct, I'm not entirely sure. 

I think if you really push the issue, you might be able to claim electricity has some "weight". But it is so hard to measure because it is so small, and we are using terms in such imprecise ways that it is easy to get confused. It is on the order of a few electrons. 

Electrical force comes from the repulsion of one electron by another. It might be labeled "electric force" or "magnetic force", but regardless, that is the source of the force. The electrons have weight. The force between them is "carried" by a photon, like light. A photon has a tiny amount of weight, or mass-- it is bent by a very strong nearby mass, say a star. But it is not bent a lot by the star's gravity, so the "weight" is very little.

And since data, in its transference, and storage, is a form of this (And astigmatism) Then yeah, it WILL have weight.