A new breakthrough: storage of information in individual atoms to volumes that are difficult to describe • HWzone
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A new breakthrough: storing information in individual atoms into volumes that are difficult to describe

In laboratories Delft Technology was developed in Holland Revolutionary solution that enables the storage of information through atoms: a special interview with the Chief Scientist of the project

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According to research authors from the Kavli Center for Nanoscience at the University You delft In the Netherlands, modern society produces more than a billion gigabytes of new information every day. For example, YouTube has released more than 300 hours of video every minute. In order to physically store the enormous amounts of information produced at a dizzying pace, there is a need for huge server farms and of course, backups that only multiply or even triple the required storage capacity. The accumulation of information requires finding more and more minimized solutions. Storage technology is shrinking all the time, and while before 10 years ago, a breakthrough hard disk could contain terabyte data, we recently reported here that Seagate has launched disks for the home market In a volume of ten times that.

Hard drive from 1956
של From 1956 in volume of 3.75 MB and cost of 50 thousand dollars. Source: ArnoldReinhold

The scientists at Tu Delft University have achieved a scientific breakthrough by minimizing physical storage to the smallest possible size we know today. They created a memory of one kilobyte in which each bit represents the location of a single chlorine atom. According to the project's lead scientist, Sander Ota - theoretically can store all the books ever written inside a unit The size of a single postage stamp. It's about ability Of 500 terabytes per square inch, according to 500 of the existing commercial capabilities.

The possibility of storing information in atoms was predicted in 1959 by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Richard Feynman in his lecture "There's a lot of room at the bottom." In recognition of Feynman's vision, the developer team wrote some of his lecture by atoms in an area about 100 nanometers wide. To illustrate - human hair width is 100,000 nanometers. The size of a bacterium is about 1000 nanometers. Storage technology works by arranging chlorine atoms similar to the barcode configuration we scan using smartphones (QR Codes) - and this is a small order of millions.

Scanning atoms. 1kB volume information with part of Pyman's coded request.
Scanning of atoms arranged in a barcode format. 1kB volume information with part of Feynman's coded request.

According to lead investigator, Dr. Sander Ota (Dr. Sander Otte)At this stage, the technology operates only under controlled laboratory conditions. Memory can operate only in a clean environment of vacuum and at very low temperatures Using liquid nitrogen - so we still seem far from seeing Atomic on our hard drives in the near future. Nevertheless, this is a huge technological advance that may in the future allow the storage of vast amounts of information, almost without place restrictions in today's terms.

In an interview with research head Dr. Sander Ute, I asked him about the rate of reading and writing of the data at atomic level. Ute replied that this is a very slow process at this point, for the simple reason that no optimization has been done in the field, but it does not see a technical barrier Writing rates up to 1 MB / s As for writing - assuming the writing head moves fast enough (access time) - the writing itself (atomic level change) will be done immediately.The researcher noted a time of 20 ptos, which are actually in numbers 20 / 1,000,000,000,000,000 seconds.

The researcher also noted that the head of the reading passes through atomic markers that indicate to the head himself where the other data are located. These markers also indicate that a particular area is contaminated and therefore can not be written or read. In this case the head of the call will move to another location.

I asked Uta about the physical feasibility of working with atomic-level materials. Does this level, already in quantum physics, not create unexpected problems? As we know - in quantum mechanics, phenomena that are not known in classical physics occur, for example - a particle that changes its position in an instant and even appears in two different places.

This is an excellent question, uta answers, an atom particle can operate in both classical and quantum configurations. Quantum activity occurs when the particle is isolated from the outside world, whereas in a situation where the particle is not isolated and is in the vicinity of other particles it is forced to remain in a state more in accord with classical physics, as in our case.

Utah added that in his opinion, the important implications of technological breakthroughs are not just in storage. Storage has gained publicity, because more people can understand it practically. In his opinion, the greater importance of technology is precisely in our ability to build complex structures atom after atom. If until now the materials available to us were based on nature, creating complex structures at the atomic level will enable us to design and create materials in the exact structure and configuration that will be required for future technological needs.


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5 תגובות

  1. A serious breakthrough…
    And now to the next level - a photonic board in an electric place.

  2. Once posted an article here about a fan with no moving parts, wonder why it has not yet come out

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