Storing Data on a Single Atom

A single user stores a MASSIVE amount of data.

Currently, we have things like the built-in hard drive on your laptop, or maybe you have an external hard drive you store in that box in the top of your closet. We also have its smaller brother, the flash drive AKA thumb drive, jump drive, or memory stick.

Back when I was a small child in the mid-90’s (that is so weird to say, by the way!) people stored most stuff on CD’s and the good ole Floppy Disk. I remember my father having boxes and boxes of those around. Those are definitely a thing of the past. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve seen a computer with a Floppy Disk drive!

Nowadays, we also have what is known as “The Cloud”. Basically your information is on a server of whichever provider you have chosen. The files can be accessed anywhere there is internet connection. This would be like DropBox, Google Drive, Apple’s ICloud, and similar products. The downside is “cloud-based” storage is arguably less secure (although security is pretty good most of the time) than having the information in your hands physically like it would be on CDs or even a flash drive.

So as Information Security becomes more of a concern every single day, scientists are looking for ways to put more storage on one device. According to an Ars Technica article: ” scientists demonstrated the ability to magnetically store data in a single atom.”.

If you recall from your elementary science class, an atom is the basic building block of all the universe’s matter! Its SO tiny! Imagine how much storage capacity we’d have if we could attach information magnetically to a single atom. No longer would we require many many different storage devices! This will be something to watch going forward!

Links Cited:

You can read the ARS Technica article here: Magnetic Storage Reaches Atomic Level


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