Greeings from Denmark Leaguers! Just stopping by to post a bit of research that’s generating a buzz today. A team at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia have developed a technique for squeezing a potential 10 terabytes (!) of storage out of a DVD without compromising the size of the disc. This involves adding two additional “dimensions” to the format, namely colour and polarisation. These aren’t spatial or time-like dimensions – there is thus far no concrete evidence that our universe has any more than 4 dimensions – but rather two properties that can be exploited using nanomaterials. Firstly, these next generation discs would be able to respond to multiple wavelengths of light, as opposed to current discs which are monochromatic. This adds a range of colour values that can be manipulated within the same physical space on the disc, thus adding another dimension. Polarisation of the materials on the disc allows another possible range of information in the same space by altering the angle of the surface materials. By using materials that can adopt a range of angles, it is possible to influence them by polarising the light in the laser (setting the orientation of the electric field). I for one completely support this fresh way of thinking (as opposed to more stale attempts to increase data density, such as Blu-Ray) and I’m pleased to see that Samsung are now on board with this project. Apparently, we’ll see them being made commercially available in 5-10 years. I haven’t had a chance to read the paper yet, published in this month’s edition of Nature, but if you have access to the Journal, you can read it here. If not, you can always read the abstract!
I also would just like to say welcome to our newest bloggers, JRChadwick and SchrodingersFinch!