Every day we create more than 2,500,000,000 GB of data. With the ever-increasing scares of end of the world scenarios, humans have been looking to find a way to preserve all the knowledge and data we have ever accumulated. Know we have the answer.
They call it the 5D disc.
According to researchers at the University of Southampton’s Optical Research Center, the 5D disk can hold a whopping 360 TB. That’s enough space to store all data that has ever been generated by humanity on one single disc! Best of all, there’s not need to worry about data damage on these discs. They’ve been predicted to last 13.8 billion years at room temperature without degrading and can stay stable up to temperatures of 1000 degrees Celsius!
The big questions is, how does this work?
A laser shoots pulses that are a femtosecond (one quadrillionth of a second) long at a slice of quartz glass, altering the 3D structure of the glass and creating nanodots. The data is stored in theses dots which are arranged in 3 layers thus recording the data in 5 dimensions.
The researchers are taking advantage of the properties of light to develop this innovating new storage method. The nanodots modifies the polarisation of light. With an optical microscope and a polariser this data can be read.
This technology is still in its experimental stages and far from commercial use. However, this new 5 dimensional concept of storing data is a stepping stone for new breakthroughs in data storage technology.
Check out this video of the 5D disc’s fabrication process: