1. As metals are good conductors of electricity and they can be charged by the electrical activity of thoughts, why can't human thoughts be stored in metals?
  2. Why thoughts cannot be stored in the form of charges in the metal?
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. What makes you think thoughts cannot be stored in metals? $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Feb 25, 2019 at 4:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ when I first read it I thought that OP means why our neurons aren't made from metals $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Feb 25, 2019 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


First off, you mention 'metals'. What is a metal?

  • In common speech, a metal is a shiny material that conducts electricity and heat well.
  • In physics, a metal is regarded as a substance capable of conducting electricity at zero Kelvin. Many elements and compounds become metallic under high pressures, for instance iodine. Reversely, the metal sodium becomes a nonmetal at a pressure of just under two million times atmospheric pressure.
  • In chemistry, nearly all elements (around 95 of the 118 elements in the periodic table, dependent on the definition used) are metals.
  • In astrophysics the term metal is even more broad, referring to all elements in a star that are heavier than hydrogen and helium.

Assuming you refer to the colloquial term of metals, then well-conducting materials are in fact useless to store information. In electronical memory semiconductors are used, because memory elements, like nerve cells, need an 'on' and 'off' state at room temperature. Well-conducting metals conduct electricity always, so it's hard to switch them off. Reversely, insulators don't conduct currents, as you can't switch them on. Semiconductors are therefore used, which are inermediate conductors (source: UCSB).

Silicon (Si) is a prime example of a semiconductor. According to the Chemistry definition, Silicon isn't a metal at all, it's a metalloid, i.e., an element somehwere in-between metals and non-metal (source: Chemistry LibreTexts).

  • $\begingroup$ this invokes a question: why can't our brains made from silicon? $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Feb 26, 2019 at 13:31
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Ooker - It can be, in fact, as it has some quite interesting resemblances to carbon. However, carbon has been chosen, for whatever reason. Evolution doesn't work goal-directed; it operates without meaning, without purpose. The only thing it operates with is what it has now, passed on by previous generations. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Feb 26, 2019 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Ooker Your brain could be made from the Z80 processor in a TI graphing calculator, if you hooked it up to enough memory. Of course, we don't have a good enough understanding of the human brain to do this, and we'd have to wait a very long time for any useful calculations to be performed, but it's possible. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Jun 16, 2019 at 3:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.