Coin-sized, clear and able to remaining intact at room temperature for longer than it’ll take the sun to shrink to a white dwarf star, these glass disks are tipped to revolutionize the way in which we store data eternally.
Researchers at the University of Southampton’s Optolectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed a brand new “5-dimensional” data recording and retrieving process that allows them to compress as much as 360 terabytes – roughly 360 times the size of an average pc hard drive – onto a glass disc the size of a coin.
The “Superman memory crystal” – a playful reference to the “memory crystals” featured within the Superman feature movies – are in actual reality fused quartz with an expected lifetime of 13.8 billion years at room temperature.
To offer some perspective, the sun is anticipated to deplete its supply of hydrogen and helium within the next 4.5 to 5.5 billion years, before starting its transformation into a white dwarf.
The brand new technology makes use of an ultrafast laser to encode nanostructured glass with three layers of dots separated by 5 micrometres – one millionth of a metre. Every file is comprised of three layers of nanoscale dots. The dots’ side and orientations, as well as their position inside the three standard dimensions, constitute its 5 dimensions. These dots change the polarization of light travelling via the disc which is read utilizing a microscope and polarizer.
ORC spokesman Professor Peter Kazansky stated the Superman memory crystal has “thrilling” implications.
“This technology can save the last evidence of our civilization,” he mentioned.
“All we’ve learnt won’t be forgotten.”
5-dimensional data storage was debuted as a part of an experiment in 2013 – though with a considerably decreased data quantity of 300 kilobytes. One terabyte comprises 1,288,490,188 kilobytes.
The Superman memory crystal’s storage capability is 1.5 billion times that of the 2013 experiment.
The crew behind the Superman memory crystal has since encoded a variety of major historical documents utilizing 5D data storage for posterity’s sake.
They’re now looking for business partners to assist them further develop and commercialize their expertise.
Watch the video below to see it in action