Preserve Your Data for Millions of Years in a Sapphire Disk

Many of us are disappointed in the limited life spans of today’s media. Paper and film fade with time. Floppy disks, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM disks, flash drives, and other media also all have limited lifespans. Even microfilm is expected to last only about 300 years and that is only when stored in rigidly controlled temperatures and humidity and then ONLY if it is never used! (Microfilm scratches and wears quickly when used.)

Now a new storage media has been created that should last long enough for most of our needs: a million years or more. Even better, reading data from the disk can be read by the human eye when using a powerful magnifying glass or a microscope. I suspect those items will still be available in a few million years. The information is recorded at 1/30,000th of the original size and is preserved for all time. Water, acid, age, scratches or fire will not deteriorate the information.

The text is actually written as readable text or as images. Every character recorded on the sapphire disk has a height of 10 microns, smaller than the thickness of a human hair! The information is readable by the human eye if any one of the following is used:

  • A powerful magnifying glass.
  • A camera with a macro-lens: a simple picture will make the content readable!
  • A digital microscope, which will display the images and texts directly on your computer for around $100.
  • A high-resolution scanner.
  • And more…

The sapphire hard disk uses two 20cm (8-inch) sapphire disks, molecularly fused together, with a thin layer of inscribed platinum in between. A single disk can store 40,000 miniaturized pages The disk is expected to have a lifetime of more than one million years, even if used over and over.

Sapphire is extremely hard, second only to diamonds. The sapphire disk is durable and resistant to fire, acid, water, scratches, and more. Despite the difficulty of leaving a mark on a sapphire disk,, it is possible to etch the surface of a sapphire with a laser. The new sapphire hard disk is etched by laser engraving, storing millions of bytes in a very tiny space. That removes the problems of today’s magnetic media where the magnetism dwindles over time.

The inventors of the sapphire hard disk have launched a KickStarter campaign to go into production. Early contributors to the campaign have been promised sapphire disks containing whatever information each contributor supplies.

Suggested uses of today’s sapphire disks include:

  • A wedding gift for two newlyweds: a jewel containing all their common memories to accompany them through life.
  • A gift for a loved one, with pictures of you two engraved inside. The 1” Medallion can even be worn as a necklace or earring!
  • A unique family tree engraved in a small piece of art, with the complete genealogical tree of the family and associated document facsimiles.
  • A memorial for a loved one, with an eternal tribute to his or her life, history, and accomplishments.
  • A lifetime catalog of a writer, composer’s, model’s, photographer’s, collector’s… work.
  • Engraving all of his or her work into an eternal and tiny sapphire disk is a unique opportunity.
  • A personal photo album on sapphire.

You can leave your family tree information for your descendants as well as for future archaeologists!

You can learn more about the sapphire disks at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/862339253/fahrenheit-2451-preserve-your-data-for-eternity and at http://www.fahrenheit2451.com.

6 Comments

It is all theoretical as to how long these things will last. What evidence is there on the effects of laser on sapphire and how it may degenerate over 10, 50, 100 years? After all, Parish paper records have survived almost 500 years, with some in almost perfect condition. And yet paper is now pooh-poohed. Of course, no-one is going to make a load of money out of selling “Paper – the wonder material for storing your records for 500 years!!”

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    Hi Margaret!
    Our laser is used to dig tiny holes in sapphire; these holes are then filled with a liquid titanium alloy. Our Nanoforms were tested until F2451° and reminded unscathed, and the whole process was specifically created for it to last forever!
    Don’t hesitate if you have any question, or find more infos on our Kickstarter page!

    Like

    The paper from 500 years ago is much different than the paper produced today. The same goes for ink.

    Like

I absolutely love technology! But….. I do not see anywhere, even an approximation of cost for this sort of thing. I am guessing it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of the same price as storing your head for eternity in case someone invents a way to attach it to a newer body in the future. On the practical side, I tend to agree with Margaret. Paper & ink (of 500 years ago) was state of the art and I’m pretty sure before it’s all over, we will need to get back to that basic technology as our civilization as we know it, begins to deteriorate.

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David Paul Davenport June 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm

Am I the only person who is astonished at how many things used in Star Trek have become reality in the past ten years? We are living is an age in which science fiction has become reality !

Liked by 1 person

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