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String alpha = new String("Red Rose") ;

alpha = null;

. . .
  1. Where is an object constructed?
    • In the first statement.
  2. What becomes of that object?
    • It became garbage in the second statement.



The first statement does two things: (1) a String object is created, containing the characters "Red Rose". Then, (2) a reference to that object is saved in the reference variable alpha.

The second statement assigns the value null to alpha. When this happens, the reference to the object is lost. Since there is no reference to the object elsewhere, it is now garbage.

The line through the box in the second statement symbolizes the null value. The object still exists in memory. The memory it consists of will eventually be recycled by the garbage collector and will be made available for new objects.


Examine this (slightly altered) snippet of code:

String alpha = new String("Red Rose");
String beta  = alpha;
alpha = null;

. . .
  1. Where is an object created?
  2. What happens in the second statement?
  3. What becomes of that object?