Crystals In Gel For Computer Memory
Crystals in gel are being touted as computer memory storage devices by scientists at University of Edinburgh. Dr. Andy Alexander and his team have developed the technique, which could lead to memory storage at densities one hundred times greater than today's technology.
(Crystal nucleation using a supersaturated solution of KCl, formed in an agarose gel)
The development could allow users to store a terabyte of data in a space the size of a sugar cube within a decade.
This would be enough to hold the equivalent of 250,000 photographs or a million books.
The researchers overcame this difficulty by focusing two overlapping low-energy laser beams on a salt solution, providing exactly the right amount of energy to form a temporary crystal. Dr Andy Alexander, of the university's school of chemistry, who developed the technique, said it could be used to improve on traditional methods of optical data storage, such as CDs.
Compared with the flat two-dimensional surface of a CD, three-dimensional optical data storage uses many more layers, in which tiny crystals could act as storage points. Information would be recorded in a similar way as on CDs - by making marks in a pattern, which are read using light.
Such devices, which could be available within 10 years, would enable users to store, access and move around massive amounts of information easily.
Science fiction writers have been thinking about storing vast amounts of data in crystals for a long time. For example, in his 1961 book Return from the Stars, Stanislaw Lem wrote about crystal corn data storage crystals:
I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century...
The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents...
From BBC; thanks to Fortigurn for the story and reference suggestions. Read more about the basic technique at Chemical and Engineering News and Alexander Group website.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' - Barbara Humbly, 1982.
Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.
DataTraveler Ultimate Generation 2 Terabyte Flashdrive
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary data spheres...' - Dan Simmons, 1989.
Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...' - Robert Heinlein, 1973.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'
LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'
Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.
Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.
Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.
Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.
When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'
Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'
Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories