Superman’s memory crystals allowed a lifetime of memories from his own planet to be stored on Earth. Researchers have now developed similar crystals that can store data for billions of years.
Researchers in the U.K. have developed a way of storing digital data inside tiny structures contained in glass.
The storage technology is so stable and safe that it can survive for billions of years, scientists at the University of Southampton revealed this week.
The crystals in this case take the tiny form of small glass discs. They are already being used to store historic documents, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Bible.
“This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilization: all we’ve learned will not be forgotten,” said Peter Kazansky, a professor at the university.
Not only are the discs built to last, they can also store 360 terabytes of data.
Scientists use a sophisticated laser to encode information into minuscule formations, known as nanostructures, inside fused quartz.
The structures alter the way light travels through the glass, which allows data to be read by special optical devices.
The new storage is called 5D, because information is translated into five different dimensions of the nanostructures — their height, length, width, orientation, and position.
Researchers from Southampton will present their research at an international conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.