Beth Buczynski

Revolutionary "Superman" Memory Crystals Can Store Data Virtually Forever

by , 04/18/14
filed under: green technology, News

superman, memory, crystals, data, data storage, quartz, lasers, fifth dimension, 5D, glass, civilization, nanotechnologyQuartz Crystal photo from Shutterstock

While most of us are just getting used to the idea of 3D printing, scientists are already working on technological marvels that operate two dimensions deeper. Researchers at the University of Southampton have succeeded in recording and retrieving five dimensional digital data using a quartz crystal. The ‘Superman’ memory crystal is a futuristic storage technique with unprecedented features – including a 360 terabyte per disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000°C and a practically unlimited lifetime.

superman, memory, crystals, data, data storage, quartz, lasers, fifth dimension, 5D, glass, civilization, nanotechnology,

We’ve all seen those sci-fi movies where a gorgeous alien shoves a pointy crystal into some mega computer and the world is saved. Well, it appears that sci-fi has now become sci-reality. Although it probably won’t save the human world, the researchers working on the ‘Superman’ memory crystal say it will most definitely stick around to share a record of our race with whatever beings excavate the remains of our civilization.

So how does it work? “…the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, which is able to store vast quantities of data for over a million years,” explains a press release. “The information encoding is realised in five dimensions: the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures.” That sounds complicated, but what it basically means is that, using ultrafast lasers, we can now encode a piece of quartz with 5D information in the form of nanostructured dots separated by only one millionth of a meter.

“The self-assembled nanostructures change the way light travels through glass, modifying polarization of light that can then be read by combination of optical microscope and a polarizer, similar to that found in Polaroid sunglasses,” states the release.

So leave a note for your great-great-grandkids to throw on some 5D glasses, and upload that file containing your life story to their cyborg brain by scanning it with their polarizing eyeballs – easy-peasy.

“It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race,” said Professor Peter Kazansky a supervising researcher on the project. “This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.” The team is now looking for industry partners to commercialize this ground-breaking new technology.

Via Eureakalert and DVice

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18 Comments

  1. cyncoleman April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

    At a computer store in 1991, we were told this would happen one day. We thought sooner, but, finally, we don’t have to wait anymore! The crystals are HERE!

  2. Kade At Intueri Farm April 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    we’ve got thousands of books that tell of our history yet we still make the same mistakes or blatantly ignore lessons of the past. Why would capturing a thousand times more info on a crystal help future generations? There is nothing 5D about it …. you may want to explain your understanding of 5D.

  3. James _ _ January 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Bodhisatva, if you DON’T think cybernetic enhancement of the human race is A) the next step in human evolution and B) a really good idea, then you’ve already gone in a horribly wrong direction…

  4. Bodhisatva January 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    If our future children develop cyborg brains then I believe we have gone in a horribly wrong direction.

  5. ali-n ali-n January 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    @ Robert Orth and Drrriesje: Latest DNA storage is about 5.5 petabits of data (~700 terabytes) in one gram of DNA (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/134672-harvard-cracks-dna-storage-crams-700-terabytes-of-data-into-a-single-gram).

  6. Drrriesje January 6, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Reading the comments below, I feel the need to explain some things.

    To Colleen Maranda:
    The 5 dimensions mentioned here is just another way of explaining that 5 factors play a role in how a datapoint can be written. The three dimensions op space, the angle in which the point is inscribed, and its size. Those two extra dimensions are just two more variables. This creates a lot more capacity on a very small scale, but it doesn’t mean in any way that they use two more time-space dimensions. It’s written in the article by the way, it’ not necessary to read you read your own truth in between the lines.
    Secondly, stop using a double standard towards science, accepting one revolution but denying another, the whole of science works only if it works as a whole (perhaps maybe with the exception of fields like quantum-phisics, because it’s young, and still needs a lot of exploring). Please stop using this double standard. Accept it as a whole, or deny is completely, but be consistent.
    It’s not the place of an ethical scientist to make science ethical, he is just following the rules. The philosophy of science creates the rules within which science works, this includes the scientific method, the concept of causal relations, induction, statistic validity And ethical scientific approach. Science in itself is amoral, it’s practice might be unethical, but there are very specific guidelines preventing this, even for animal testing (which unfortunately has almost no impact on how the industry uses animals for testing their products).

    To Misty Romines Sorensen:
    The idea that this would have been used by previous civilizations is highly doubtful to say the least, the road we had to follow before realizing this kind of technology is a long one, with a lot of necessary knowledge, understanding and mathematical background. I’m not saying that we didn’t loose a lot of informations about old civilizations. But to assume this kind of technology is statistically farfetched to say the least. The probability is practically zero, which makes it a refutable theory. Ockham’s Razor: The simplest and most elegant theory is most likely to be the best.

    To Robert Orth:
    On the question about how much information DNA stores, I’ve looked up some values, assuming DNA has two pairs, if you translate them into ones and zeros, human DNA stores less than half a MB. Doesn’t look like all that much? Well it is, taking into account that this is an enormous amount because the atomic scale of DNA. I’m not sure what these crystals would be able to hold on which volume, it mights come very close.

    There, I truly hope that I cleared some things out and answered some questions.

  7. Ruaan Van Rooyen January 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    That’s amazing, I can remember an article about this a couple of years ago where they stated that scientists are working on this discovery.. Great to know that they made the breakthrough.. I’d love to see the cameras they gonna build with this new technology..

  8. Bryce St Louis January 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    so how do i use my quartz crystal to store data from my laptop?

  9. Joe Eigo January 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Ancient knowledge from Lemuria and Atlantis. Part of my crystal super hero story book for empowering the crystal children of the golden age.

  10. Colleen Maranda August 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Science (that is a realm of the human brain) slowly opens to ancient wisdom (that is a realm of the human heart). I agree with our tribal cultures that planet Earth, including everything in and on her, is a living library. Many of us accept what the Masters, saints and gurus have taught – that the brain is designed to serve the heart, not subvert it.

    Yes, this memory crystal technology is “futuristic” from the more limited, linear 3D perspective. But all the relatively pure, uncorrupted earthly bodies are more likely resonant with the 5D “bandwidth”, I think. And therefore, not energetically confined within time/space. Including birds, animals and human infants.

    Medical and other branches of science have done grievous harm by exploiting and defiling nature’s purity, in all its forms. As part of this, they still terrorise, traffic, confine, restrain and torture animals – usually on behalf of corporate entities.

    Ethical scientists could be far more vocal in demanding ethical practice from all scientists. In other words, they could actively facilitate the expanded heart-centred awareness that I suggest is 5th Dimensional.

  11. Misty Romines Sorensen August 10, 2013 at 3:37 am

    What if this has already been done by a previous civilization via the crystal skulls found some years back.

  12. Robert Orth August 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

    How many terrabytes does human DNA hold?

  13. Clare Puskarczyk July 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I was reminded of Marcel Vogel’s work:
    http://www.vogelcrystals.net/legacy_of_marcel_vogel.htm

  14. zhanna sab July 15, 2013 at 2:30 am

    wow, the beauty of a human mind!

  15. Maria Ferreira July 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Referent to “Memory Crystals Can Store Data Virtually Forever”, have they even though, that Those same Crystals may have been already most probably encoded, many… many moons ago???

  16. Winged Heron July 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Very interesting and very Babylon 5.
    What the iPhone is to Star Trek (tricorder) so is the Data Crystal to B5 – sci-fi is a precursor to the future it seems, from the times of Jules Verne, if not before

  17. Rainer Proskch July 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Interesting.. Let us hope that the technology to read the data stored in this device will be preserved. Otherwise it makes no sense.
    - Rainer Proksch, Mconception (mconception.com)

  18. Shannon Slanina July 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Yeah… but where is superman??:D

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