My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: University of Southampton and Eindhoven's University write and read Data to Quartz Crystal - Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel

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Monday, September 16, 2013

University of Southampton and Eindhoven's University write and read Data to Quartz Crystal - Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel



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

Professor Peter Kazansky of the Optoelectronics Research Center commenting on the developement of Technology to write Data to Quartz Crystal using a FemtoSecond Laser

Yet another breakthrough in the field of Data Storage makes us realize we haven’t really progressed too far from the days of stone Tablets.

If you remember my article on Hard-drive maker Hitachi and the University of Kyoto development of Quartz Glass as an eternal albeit breakable means of storing Data in binary form as described in my blog article entitled “Hitachi develops Eternal Storage using Bits embedded in Quartz Glass for 2015 Debut – Diamonds are Forever until WRECK-IT Ralph Breaks the Ice”, then you’ll love this next story!

A team from the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Center and Eindhoven's University of Technology led by Dr. Jingyu Zhang developed a FemtoSecond Laser that can write 300Kb of Data into a self-assembled naturally occuring Quartz Crystal as reported in July 2013 in the article “A 360TB Disc that holds Data for more than 1 million years?”, published July 10, 2013 1:53 PM PDT by Christopher MacManus, CNET News. Their research paper can be downloaded at “5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring in Glass”.

The development is a breakthrough in Data Storage, especially for the purposes of Backing up Data.  This as the storage medium, basically naturally occurring Quartz Crystal, is eternal and is a little more durable than Quartz Glass storage method developed by Hard-drive maker Hitachi and the University of Kyoto.

Looks like the researchers at University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Center and Eindhoven's University of Technology led by Dr. Jingyu Zhang read my blog article entitled “Hitachi develops Eternal Storage using Bits embedded in Quartz Glass for 2015 Debut – Diamonds are Forever until WRECK-IT Ralph Breaks the Ice”, and took my advice and used a much smaller, more powerful and much faster FemtoSecond Laser as the read/write element.

This storage method used in the original method developed by Hitachi and University of Kyoto creates pits and grooves in the Glass surface to create 1’s and 0’s to store Data using a Laser. The researchers at University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Center and Eindhoven's University of Technology instead used a Femto Laser.

This is a very small Laser similar to the Nano-Lasers developed from the research by Dr. Mercedeh Khajavikhan and her team at the University of California as described in my blog article entitled “University of California Researchers develop 1 micron nanoscale Laser - Optical SCoC Revival of the Apple G4 Cube”.

This Femto Laser, however, was designed to pulses on and off very rapidly, thus resulting in it having rapid read-write cycles, hence its name FemtoSecond Laser. Its rapid pulse rate is a feature essential for effective Data storage and rapid reading and writing of Data to the Quartz Crystal nanostructures by altering their Quantum state.

The wavelength of the pulse of Photons is then set to a specific wavelength and energy level that’s peculiar to the Quartz Crystal and can effect rotate the atoms in the Quartz Crystal in the nanostructure of the Quartz. Thus Storing Data (writing) is really storing Quantum Mechanical states in five dimensions (5), location of each qibit represented by:

1.      Axial orientation of the Crystalline nanostructure of Quartz
2.      Size of the Crystalline nanostructure of Quartz
3.      Physical three dimensional location within the Crystalline Quartz Matrix relative to a frame of reference

That Data can be read back by using the same FemtoSecond Laser set at a lower intensity (reading) by detecting backscatter and diffraction created when the Laser light passes through altered Crystalline Structure. Based on the Research paper, Writing and Reading is possible not only to naturally occurring Quartz Crystal, but to any Crystal once the wavelength needed to rotate the Crystal at the nanoscopic level is known.

Further research, however, needs to be done to enable re-writing to the Crystal effectively EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), as it can only be written and read, making this a ROM (Read Only Memory). The properties of the Quartz Storage media developed by can be listed as thus:

1.      Chemical Resistant
2.      Waterproof
3.      Fire proof
4.      Heat resistant for about 2 hours at temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit)
5.      Unbreakable, if made from naturally occurring Quartz Crystal
6.      Unaffected by EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) Radio waves
7.      Easily readable and copyable by current and future technologies, as Data is stored in binary
8.      Multi-layered storage, making Data Storage five dimensional
9.      Storage capacity of up to 360TB in a square inch
10.  Faster Read times, as the Data can be read at once in one pulse of Laser passed through the Quartz Glass instead of sequentially accessing the Data typical of CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray

In effect, it works the same way as the original Hitachi and the University of Kyoto research except it has closer spacing of the nanostructures, as close as 5 micrometers. Also, they used naturally occurring fused Quartz Crystal and not man-made Glass, the material which is naturally occurring and unbreakable, hence making parallel reference to old Superman movies and his Memory Crystals seem reasonable.

Thus the ability to store Data in basically any crystalline structure means that not only can we store a large amount of our Human History for Posterity that’ll last forever. This property is suitable for the following industries that the original Hitachi and the University of Kyoto Quartz Glass Storage idea was geared:

1.      Governments
2.      Universities and Schools
3.      The Justice System
4.      Medical Archives
5.      Insurance Data Storage
6.      Cloud Storage Networks
7.      Media i.e. Newspapers, Radio and Television Stations

The real breakthrough here is that Data can be store in any naturally occuring crystalline structure, provided the following are true:

1.      Crystal is cuts to a specific size
2.      Crystal is set with strength member in order to ensure it doesn’t get damaged
3.      The Wavelength required to alter the Crystalline structure at the nanoscopic level is known

Crystals Memory Standards – Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel

I would recommend the following to the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Center and Eindhoven's University of Technology that they develope a portable Device Standard to read/write using FemtoSecond Laser to allow for Data to be encrypted Data rapidly for storage using any stable crystalline structure.

This would make the storage of secret Data possible an allow for Journalists and especially covert operatives aka spies to smuggle news and even video in and out of a country literally dangling around the neck as a Swarovski Crystal or any Crystal they could find handy.

I would suggest, also for archival storage purposes, the development of a crystal standard using Sapphire (Al2O3) Crystals. Not only are Sapphire (Al2O3) Crystals the hardest naturally occurring Crystals with a rating of 9 on the Hardness Charts (No. 10 is Diamond), but it’s a crystal we can manufacture and cut to specifications using diamond-impregnated saws as stated in my blog article entitled “Sapphire Screens for smartphones by Q1 2014 - Unscratchable Sign of Virgo is the Man of Steel to revive Jamaican Alumina Industry”.

This technology has the potential to make SSD (Solid State Drive) Hard-Drives and even Internal RAM (Random Access Memory) obsolete, once further research is done to read, write and rewrite Data to any Crystal, making the Crystals more EEPROM than ROM with accurate faster and more accurate read/write rates.


The technology already show promise in terms of the Data Density, as assumably the 360TB is in a space possibly smaller than a inch square, the previous size of the Quartz Glass Storage Media used by the Hitachi and the University of Kyoto Researchers. If this lives up to its billing, we humans would have basically borrowed Eternal Storage from Superman Man of Steel (2013) as we develop Optical Computers.
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