Scientists at the University of Southampton have taken a major leap forward in the creation of a digital data storage device that can potentially outlast the human race.
Using nanostructured glass and a powerful laser, the scientists developed a 5D writing process which allows them to store the data within the glass itself.
The glass, which has rather understandably been classified as a 'Superman crystal', has some pretty incredible properties including the ability to withstand temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees. At room temperature the scientists say the data has an infinite lifespan.
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The glass can also hold huge quantities of information, up to 360TB in capacity, making it a perfect backup solution for museums, companies and entire nations.
The data itself is written within the glass using a tiny, precise laser. The laser then creates a three layered pattern of dots which in turn change the way the light passes through the disc.
A specially developed optical reader can then identify the light passing through and turn it back into digital information.
Professor Peter Kazansky, from the 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 civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”