Re: cramming megabytes into a hydrogen atom

Hara Ra (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 04:01:32 -0800

Lyle Burkhead wrote:

> Anders Sandberg wrote,
> > This is the
> > Bekenstein Bound, which says that the amount of information that can be
> > stored is proportional to the radius and the energy inside the volume
> > (it is a very loose bound,
> > *you can cram several megabytes into a hydrogen atom* (!!!)
> How?
The Hydrogen Atom will accept energy in a series of finite steps. The
first step is at the frequency of the Lyman Alpha line (I probably have
the name wrong, but I am referring to the energy between the ground and
first excited states of H here). Each succesesive step takes less energy
with the atom becoming more excited. The upper limit to the total energy
is the ionization potential of hydrogen. However there are an infinite
number of states here, so all we have to do is select an integer whose
binary value is several megabytes long in binary and suitably energize
the hydrogen atom....

I recently read of highly isolated and energized atoms in space; with
physical sizes of baseballs. I suspect a megabyte hydrogen atom would be
huge (anyone care to calculate it?) and verrrrrry fragile....

| Hara Ra <> |
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