There are some important documents or even pictures one would never want to lose and in a bid to ensure longevity in preservation, new technological products like the dick and memory cards have been introduced. But these devices have proven have limitations especially as they undergo disc or data rots. Today, your data can stay longer than you ever thought it would thanks to researchers.
Researchers from the University of Southampton in UK produced a five-dimensional (5D) digital data disc that uses laser light to store 360 terabytes of data for 13.8 billion years (approximately 14 billion years) at temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
To create this disc, the researchers used a process called femtosecond laser writing, which creates small discs of glass using an ultrafast laser that generates short and intense pulses of light. Interestingly, the pulses can write data in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by 5 micrometres (that’s 0.005 mm).
The researchers call it five dimensional (5D) digital data because in addition to the position of the data, the size and orientation plays a role too and the changes in the structure can be read by interrogating the sample with another pulse of light and recording its polarization.
With this new discovery, a new era of “eternal” data archiving could has been opened looking at its unlimited lifespan.
“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.” Peter Kazansky- one of the researchers said.
Upon successfully creating this, the scientists preserved important documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Magna Carta, and Kings James Bible on individual discs that will likely survive the human race.
They also said that the data is extremely stable and that institutions like universities, museums, national archives and libraries who deal with large archives could benefit from having this eternal storage.
The group prepares to present the disc at the International Society for Optical Engineering Conference in San Francisco this week, after which they hope industry specialists would partner with them to develop the technology further reaching the final stage where commercial products can use it.
The storage medium has been dubbed the ‘Superman memory crystal’ in honor of the memory crystals from the Superman films.