Science & Technology
'Superman' crystal can store data for eons
By T.K. Randall
October 3, 2015 · 14 comments
Crystal storage would be ideal for long-term archiving. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Alexander Van Driessche
A crystal-based storage mechanism has been developed that can store data for millions of years.
Created by researchers at Southampton University, the futuristic memory crystal is able to store data in five dimensions - the three standard spatial dimensions plus two that exist in the crystal lattice.
Data is written to the crystal, which is comprised of fused quartz, using a special high-speed laser.
Any information written to it is expected to have a lifespan of over one million years due to how incredibly resilient the crystal is. It can store up to 360 terrabytes - the equivalent of half a million conventional compact discs - while withstanding temperatures of up to 832 degrees Fahrenheit.
The scientists who developed the technology have likened it to the same type of crystal storage system used by comic book hero Superman to store his parents' data archives.
"It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race," said Professor Peter Kazanksy. "This technology can secure the last evidence of civilization."
"All we’ve learnt will not be forgotten."
Source: Discovery News
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