IBM Discovers a Way of Saving Data on an Atom
This landmark achievement, at last demonstrates magnetic stability in a single atom.
The researchers said they used a sharp and accurately designed pin that passes electrical current through the sets of atoms that react to the currents altering their poles (ones and zeros). This occurs exactly as if the information was stored on a hard drive with magnetic properties. Once the process of passing the current through is complete, they hold their new positions, which allowed the scientists to measure the atoms changed state. This process is similar to mirroring the way a traditional computer reads information to form a hard disk.
The team used a special microscope called the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope. This allowed them to control and view the activity of the atoms.
Furthermore, the researchers then tried to place the two atoms closer to each other, to see if their magnetic interference would alter the information stored on them; surprising them when it didn’t.
One member of the research group stated that according to the principles of quantum physics, the mechanical effects do not come into play. He further said they have discovered new possibilities for the science of quantum physics by altering and handling every atom in exactly the manner they want.
According to the magazine, using a number of single atoms is going to increase the amount of data storage possible; and the team is working on making large sets of single atom magnets. However, the new system is still a long way away from everyday use.
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