Current advice at the computer store is to outfit your new computer system with a terabyte hard drive. We all store lots of movies, songs and data. But even those acquiescing to this advice begin running out of space fast. Now, an old technology may be coming to the rescue: traditional CD Rom and DVD disks.
Typical CD-ROM disks that replaced your cassette tapes and floppy hard drive disks were capable of storing about 700 MB of data, much less if you were storing movies.
Now a researcher at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, with a name fit for the deed, Dr. Zongsong Gan, has developed a new method to store 1,000 TB of data, or 50,000 high definition movies, onto a run-of-the-mill CD ROM disc or DVD disk.
Gan was recently awarded the 2014 Victoria Fellowship, which will help him bring his breakthrough to the mainstream.
The new process creates “bits” from light and breaks the “diffraction limit of light”, which is about 500 nm, by using two 500 nm light beams, one red and straight, one purple and doughnut shaped. The red beam is shone through the purple (doughnut) beam so that the resulting beam is much narrower and capable of writing bits to disk just 9 nm wide or 1/10,000 the width of a human hair.
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