What if you wanted to record and present information on a data storage disk for someone who may stumble across it 200 years from now, or how about 10,000 years or a million years from now? Recently Patrick Charton from ANDRA (the French nuclear waste management agency) presented one way to accomplish this task. Meet the Sapphire Data Storage Disk…
This data storage disk, which is a sapphire disk, is actually two thin disks that span about 20 centimeters across industrial sapphire. On one side of the disk, text or images are etched in platinum. Charton claims that a single disk can store 40,000+ miniaturized images. Then the disks are molecularly fused together for a future archaeologist to read them with a microscope. One application or purpose would be to provide messages, warnings or information as to why nuclear waste may be stored underground for people thousands of years in the future who may dig and come across it.
Scientists believe this sapphire disk, which very well could be the world’s most expensive data storage disk, could last one million years or longer without decay or the stored information being degraded. Scientists have immersed the disks in acid in an effort to simulate aging to test the durability of the disks, and they are hoping to demonstrate a lifespan of 10 million years. This lifespan is so long that nobody even knows what language to use for the information on the disk, or if the technology or human societies of the future will even be able to read that information and understand it.
At about $30,000 U.S. dollars per disk, this is being presented as the most expensive data storage disk. It’s kind of a cool concept to have information etched in platinum, no? I can see billionaires wanting to record their legacies and histories so they may be discovered and remembered hundreds of thousands of years in the future. What type of information do you think would be important enough to store on a data storage disk that in one million years the human race would find important enough to read about?
The $30,000 Data Storage Disk Made From Industrial Sapphire