Fri
Jul 12 2013 12:30pm

One Step Closer to Krypton: Scientists Create Superman-esque Data Crystals

Superman Krypton crystals data science

This is no fantasy... no careless product of wild imagination. No, my good friends.

Scientists at the University of Southampton (together with the Eindhoven University of Technology) have developed a method of recording optical information in glass that allows for a massive amount of information to be stored, practically forever...by using lasers to record it in five dimensions

How cool is science? So cool that we can only compare it to superhero comics, because that is the nearest analogue. The group supervisor summed it up with this: “It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race.” It is thrilling!

They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be...

12 comments
Mordicai Knode
1. mordicai
Also, how rad is that picture? Brando's Jor-El rules.
EC Spurlock
2. EC Spurlock
Data crystals like this were also common in Babylon 5; many plots turned on them being smuggled in and out in bizarre ways. Cool to think that etchnology is already with us!
David Moran
3. DavidMoran
I really do love the feedback loop of science > science fiction > science
Mordicai Knode
4. mordicai
3. fordmadoxfraud

The lifecyle of a meme. Not in the lolcat sense but in the truer sense of the word.
Lee VanDyke
5. Cloric
5 dimensions? Length, Width, Height, (Time?), (??)... Maybe I'm lost in geekery, but..... 5 Dimensions?
Kal S. Davian
7. kalez238
Could possibly include diagonals as well.
Joseph Newton
8. crzydroid
@5,6: Read the article: It's not five physical dimensions, but five pieces of information: position in three physical dimensions, as well as size and orientation.
EC Spurlock
9. Alright Then
Marty, you're not thinking fifth-dimensionally!
Mordicai Knode
10. mordicai
Has Finn from Adventure Time ever shouted "ISOMORPHIC!" as an expression of joy? He should.
Steven Halter
11. stevenhalter
@8:The actual paper at:

orc.soton.ac.uk/fileadmin/downloads/
5D_Data_Storage_by_Ultrafast_Laser_Nanostructuring_in_Glass.pdf

does make it clear what is going on as:
the information encoding would be realized by means of two birefringence parameters, i.e. the slow axis orientation (4th dimension) and strength of retardance (5th dimension), in addition to three spatial coordinates
So, in this instance the device:
For the demonstration of this technology, the copy of this abstract was recorded into two different levels of retardance (1 bit) and four slow axis orientations (2 bits). As a result each laser imprinted spot stores 3 bits of information. The digital copy of the recoded text was divided into the matrix in three planes written at different depth with the distance of 5 µm between the planes
various other articles had confused the method of recording with this particular implementation. In any case, pretty cool and also wildly stable with thermal stability up to 1000 degrees C.

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