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Digital Revolution: Born in Russia
July 15, 2011 18:26

Russian physicists know how to make world wide web develop faster by means of remarkably extending capacity of hard drives. 

A paper, which recently appeared in Physical Review Letters, a reputable scientific journal of American Physical Soiety, describes how close Russian researchers from Ural State University in fruitful cooperation with a Japanese scientist from Kyushu Technological Institute are to creating a technology for almost infinite extension of capacity of computer hard drives. 

The work on hard drive capacity extension has started several years ago, the head of the project explains. Researchers discovered anomalies in electric current flowing through some magnetic materials, when resistance suddently increased abruptly. Scientists found an explanation for these anomalies and showed that there was an infinite number of them. Since the majority of storage devices, memory sticks, hard drives and etc, works on changes of magnetic material resistance, the discovery gives a good career boost for traditional hard drives.

Almost all existing devices are based upon locking electric current with magnetic field, like when electrons travel along some material, we can use magnetic field to allow them move or to stop them. The principle is quite general and provides two possible states - presence or absense of some signal. Russian researchers predicted a much more elegant effect - electric current flows along a screw-shaped magnetic material, magnetic field has a tricky effect on the current, scientists can fullfill a chain of electric state, thus allowing storage of exponentially (very rapidly and acceleratingly) growing amount of information.  

Experts in information technologies expect that the new technology will find first application in server hard drives for data processing centres, since cloud technologies, allowing users store their data on remote servers, become more and more popular. Estimates state the amount of data on servers, connected to internet, to be around 500 million gigabytes, which is equivalent to 19 billion of Blu-ray discs., and predictions double this amount in 1.5 years. All this information needs to be stored somewhere, and new techniques in this field are in a very high demand..  

Of course, the technology needs to be adapted for tablet computers, laptops, mobile phones and other portable devices in order to cut and optimize energy expenditure. Do not expect the technology to enter every house very soon, since many problems and barriers are still waiting for solutions. One of the problems, needed to be solved, is that facilities, based upon nanotechnologies, for cost-effectively producing such storage systems do not exist yet. Another problem is putting the idea into life - making it real. Cooperation between science and industry may give very nice and useful fruits in this case. Businessmen from Japan already express interest in these studies, and researchers are especially open to cooperation with Russian business.

Source: Science News

Anna Kizilova

Author: Anna Kizilova

Tags: nanotechnologies physics    

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