Researchers at Southampton University have created a new technique that can store a mind-blowing amount of data on a quartz the size of a nickel.
Ever wish you could store everything you ever downloaded without needing to buy multiple bulky hard drives, while ensuring that you will never lose it all? Well, good news, obsessed fiends of future tech! A new technique of storing digital data uses laser light to store a mind-blowing 360 terabytes of information on nanostructured quartz that can survive up to 14 billion years.
Engineered by researchers at Southampton University in the UK, this incredible new technique uses femtosecond laser pulses to write data in a 3D structure quartz on a nanoscale. The way it works is that the pulses create three layers of nanostructured dots, each a mere five microns in size.
The change created within the structure can be read by interrogating the sample with another pulse of light and recording the polarisation after it has passed through it.
To test the new tech, the researchers have managed to write a series of large works on it, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Newton’s Opticks, the Magna Carta and the Kings James Bible. The preliminary results indicate that it would be possible to squeeze as much as 360 terabytes on a single piece of quartz with the data remaining extremely stable, while putting compact disks and hard drives to shame.
Pushing the quartz to its absolute limits, the researchers believe that it could endure an unimaginable 13.8 billion years at a temperature of up to 350 degrees, meaning that the quartz need not fear global climate change, or even the return of dinosaurs billions of years from now.