Can a Piece of Glass Save Data?


Fiction becomes reality!! 

What seemed impossible in real life and as shown only in Superman movies has become a reality. A team of researchers hailing from Southampton have made it possible. They have developed working models of 5D  glass technology that will allow people to store huge amount of data in a tiny piece of glass.

Watch the video of Peter Kazansky : Nanostructures in glass will store data for billions of years

Professor Peter Kazansky, from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), says: “It is thrilling to think that we have created the technology to preserve documents and information and store it in space for future generations. This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilization: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

The amazing technology uses 5-dimensional encoding including the size and layout (slow axis orientation and strength of retardance) of the nanostructures, with its inbuilt three-dimensional position. The storage is claimed to be able to survive intense environmental conditions. The device has the capacity to cope with 1,000 degrees C at room temperature, is even able to cope up with 190 degrees C.

The innovation is one of it’s kind as it can compress data to a piece of small glass discs. This technology is extremely helpful to preserve a huge amount of data up to 360tb.

Stored data is expected to be safe for up to 14 billion years (if calculated as per the big bang theory which is believed to have started for around 13.8 billion years ago).

5D Technology – The Future Data Storage!!

It may not be perfect as if yet, but data storage experts are foreseeing future with this research. Tech lovers have already started spreading the word. No doubt, this will be a great help for big organizations who need to save data in unlimited amounts. The team of researchers in Southampton presented the technology by saving many of the key evidence of human histories such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR, theories and laws of Newton and a copy of the Bible and many more theories humans had in the past. “Preserving history for future generations is like saving the future.”

The data is recorded to the hardware using a super fast laser that produces extremely short and intense pulses of light. The file is written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometers (one millionth of a meter). It works on laser technology which releases extreme dot particles of light. The information is written in three layers.

Researchers said, “They recorded a digital copy of the abstract of their paper using three layers of Nanostructured dots, with each plane separated by 5 μm; one μm (micrometer) being one millionth of a meter”.

It is termed as the ‘Superman memory crystal’ due to its glass-like structure, it has been often seen in memory crystals used in the superman films. The light emitting technology travels through glass which passes the information in digital format. The Team of ORC believes, it’s an innovation that makes anyone amaze about how such technology can preserve documents and information in a laser technology glass piece.


Credits : University of Southampton

It will provide a digital solution to big organizations. The team is looking forward to formulate new marketing strategies to bring this technology to the forefront. As the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, the researchers explained that it will be interesting to see how this research can be implemented in our existing work culture.

5D technology is a great consideration for the future: right now this new technology is slow in recording, expensive to produce, and still have to surpass the testing phases. It can take years before the format can be considered as a potential “replacement” for the current contemporary media. Flash drives and hard discs are our fortresses until then.

To read more about this exciting new data storage technology, refer these sources;

5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring in Glass

Eternal 5D Data Storage Could Record the History of Humankind 

Can a Piece of Glass Save Data? was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by John Harris

Customer Evangelist @remosoftware. Trying to perfect the art of writing while running a business. Fan of exceptional customer service.

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