Meet the hard drive that will outlast our race

Scientists at University of Southampton in England have demonstrated a way of storing masses of data for so long, that it could be used to save some sort of hello for aliens visiting the planet after our race has moved on in one way or another.

By using nanostructured glas, the scientists have experimentally stored data, that, once the process is perfected, allows 360 TB/disk data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000°C and practically unlimited lifetime.

“We are developing a very stable and safe form of portable memory using glass, which could be highly useful for organisations with big archives. At the moment companies have to back up their archives every five to ten years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short lifespan,” Jingyu Zhang from the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), and head of the project, said.

The group’s supervisor, Professor Peter Kazansky, said it a little more gusto:

“It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race. This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

No points for guessing which of the two is more used to talking to the media…


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