It’s estimated that humans are producing the equivalent of 10 million Blu-ray discs’ worth of data every single day – and all of those ones and zeroes have to be stored somewhere. Now researchers in the UK just might have the solution: a five-dimensional (5D) digital data disc that can store 360 terabytes of data for some 13.8 billion years.
Scientists in the UK have created five-dimensional glass discs that can store 360 TB of data for up to 13.8 billion years. The glass used to make the disc will be safe to use for up to 1,000°C. Unlike CDs, which reflects light encoded in two dimensions, the glass disc encodes five dimensions, making it feasible to store large data.
The storage medium has been dubbed the ‘Superman memory crystal’ in honour of the memory crystals from the Superman films. Not only can it store crazy amounts of data, but it can withstand temperatures up to 1,000°C (1,832°F).
The technology was first demonstrated back in 2013, but the scientists have since perfected the ‘Superman memory crystal,’ and have even began to preserve several major documents. This includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Isaac Newton’s Opticks, the Magna Carta and the Kings James Bible.
The data itself is recorded onto the glass using an ultrafast laser, which writes the information in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometers (or one millionth of a meter).
“It is thrilling to think that we have created the technology to preserve documents and information and store it in space for future generations,” said Professor Peter Kazansky, the team’s lead researcher. “This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilization: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”