Data in the Fifth DimensionConversation
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Voyager Golden Records being sent into space aboard the Voyager spacecraft. The records contain sounds and images of the diversity of life on earth and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them.
The last forty years have seen major developments in information technology and data storage. One of the latest is the ‘5D memory crystal’, developed by scientists at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). Using nanostructured glass, scientists have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing. The ‘memory crystal’ has unprecedented properties: 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C ) opening up a new era of eternal data archiving.
In this conversation between scientist Peter G. Kazansky, of the ORC, and artist Martijn van Boven, they will explore the current intentions, possibilities, and questions around sending data into space—whether it be music, a library, or the archived knowledge of humankind.