We need a new long-term information storage strategy, and if we do not find one we will not be able to enjoy the future promises before us. If we are to store everyone’s DNA, every world transaction, and all the data from all the objects connected to the Internet of things, and all the NASA data, particle physics experiments, and all the information that’s created by 7 billion plus people on the planet each and every day we are going to need a better way. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?
What if we could store data using a quantum physics strategy, encoding magnetic tape, but tape unlike the old mainframe IBM tape, a new type of nearly invincible tape that could last a 1,000 years at room temperature? Yes, I am serious.
What if we borrowed an idea by that Russian Scientist using tape to capture carbon atoms one-atom thick to get graphene? Then encode the grapheme and store it on your tape, or something like this. If we coated it with sulfur atoms on the other side of a very thin porous tap, we’d store the data even if the tape dissolved in the future, because it could hold the imperfections of the graphene, or inadvertent folds of the grapheme in place.
What about if we could store information in DNA strands?
DNA might be a better option still, as we can work with four components, Letters. How about small slivers of DNA encoded and then encapsulated in carbon nanotubes. You can store a boat load of information in DNA, even dual codes on the same, as biotech scientists have recently discovered, codes within codes.
How about adding dimensions?
How about storing and computing with information through time? How about taking a Rydberg Atom and playing with the spins of electrons and chase information through the vortex of the spin. Reading through time, on another trajectory on the walls of the vortex or inside the walls for multidimensional computing? All you have to do is be able to manipulate it precisely, and read it, as you go.
Back to the DNA concept, consider this:
You could take the DNA from a Dinosaur egg which grows 50-times faster than a chicken egg, and use a benign virus which would replicate incredibly fast and calculate on its RNA, once the calculations are complete freeze it. We can read the DNA from Dinosaur eggs now, what 450 million years of storage? See that point. I just think we need to think outside the box.
It is not that I am not against IBM tape storage – many corporation have data on tape sitting in Salt Mines, Iron Mountain facilities. But we can store better now, and once in a salt mine, you don’t have to worry about EMP for instance. Dig down, bury it, then it is only a matter of how much data you can store on the smallest known device.
If we wanted to store all the data of life on Earth, we could even send that data on light waves and someday duplicate life on Earth by sending the instructions elsewhere – like a seed, zip-file, or program (algorithmic style). Find a host planet with the proper needs for life, send the plan, a little at a time as it evolves. Terraforming + life + species level DNA + information about everything. A slower process than Star Trek transporter but within our current technology plus or minus 10-15 years of research from right now today? Think about it.