本文摘要:If you wear a diamond on your finger, it likely has flaws, even if you can’t see them. 如果你手上戴着了一颗钻石,那它很有可能不存在瑕疵,即便你用肉眼看到。

If you wear a diamond on your finger, it likely has flaws, even if you can’t see them. 如果你手上戴着了一颗钻石,那它很有可能不存在瑕疵,即便你用肉眼看到。Don’t blame your partners for your flawed engagement rings, thank them. 别因为订婚戒指有瑕疵而谴责你的伴侣,而是要表示感谢。

You could be flaunting the future of data storage on your digits.因为你也许可以向人夸耀,数据存储的未来就在你的手指上。A paper published Wednesday in Science Advances shows how diamonds can be harnessed to store data for the long term. 周三公开发表在《科学前沿》(Science Advances)上的一篇论文,展出了利用钻石长年存储数据的方法。

Right now, a tiny diamond — about half as long as a grain of rice and thinner than a sheet of paper — can hold a hundred times more information than a DVD. 现在,一丁点儿钻石——长度与半粒米相若,厚度还追不上一张纸——可以存储的信息量要比一张DVD多出百倍。That’s not much within the context of the world’s growing data hoard. 相比于世界上日益减小的数据存储量,这不算什么。But in the future physicists could access a diamond with storage capacity a million times greater than that of a DVD, maybe more.但在未来,物理学家可能会让一颗钻石具备比一张DVD大100万倍的信息存储容量,或许还不会更加多。Groups all over the world are scrambling to find a place to cram all the data we’re generating taking selfies, 当我们自拍电影、刷信用卡,乃至在今时今日处置一切事情的时候,都会分解数据。

swiping credit cards and doing just about everything we do today. 全世界的许多的组织都在争先恐后找寻一个可以把所有这些数据塞进去的地方。They’ve proposed DNA, holograms, old-fashioned magnetic tape and other ideas. 它们曾建议用于DNA、全息图、老式磁带以及其他一些载体。Diamonds aren’t new to the memory game, either. 在数据存储领域,钻石也不是新鲜事物。

They’ve been proposed for quantum data storage, which is kind of like teleportation. 仍然有人建议用它们展开量子数据存储——类似于隐形传输。But this isn’t that. 但这里说道的跟那种不是一其实。It’s basic storage 101 — 010101 (and so on).它是基本存储101—010101(以此类推)。

It starts with a tiny, atomic-sized imperfection known as a nitrogen vacancy center in your otherwise perfect diamond. 它首先必须你那看起来完美无缺的钻石内不存在原子大小的瑕疵,取名为氮原子遗缺中心。These flaws occur when a stray nitrogen atom — or a few of them — sneak in among its carbon structure. 当一个或者几个游离的氮原子在钻石的碳结构中狙击的时候,这些瑕疵就不会产生。Deleting a carbon atom near the nitrogen leaves an empty space perfect for stashing data.去除氮原子附近的一个碳原子,之后不会留给一个合适存储数据的极致空间。

The researchers, a team of physicists from City University of New York, 研究人员是来自纽约市而立大学(City University of New York)的一组物理学家。used lasers to encode and read data on these tiny spaces, which they treated like magnets that could repel or absorb an electron. 他们用激光在这些微小的空间中对数据展开编码和加载,并把这些空间当作是可以敌视或者吸取电子的磁铁。To encode simple grayscale images like a smiley face, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrdinger they added an electron by shining a green laser and took one away with a red laser. 为了对非常简单的灰度图像——比如笑脸,以及阿尔伯特爱因斯坦(Albert Einstein)和埃尔温薛定谔(Erwin Schrdinger)的形象——展开编码,他们通过升空绿色激光减少一个电子,并通过升空红色激光增加一个。

They read their data like a computer reads 0s and 1s, but instead of digits there was light, which indicated the presence or absence of electrons.读取数据时就像电脑加载0和1时一样,不过这里牵涉到的不是数字,而是光,它不会表明电子不存在或者不不存在。While both use light to read data, the concept is a little different from DVD storage, said Jacob Henshaw, a graduate student who worked on the study.一名参予了这项研究的研究生雅各布亨肖(Jacob Henshaw)说道,虽然都是用光来读取数据,但这一概念与DVD存储有所不同。A DVD is like a 2-D puzzle, and this diamond technique is like a 3-D model, he said. DVD就像2D积木,这种钻石技术则像3D模型,他说道。Unlike the DVD, which has only one surface, a diamond can store data in multiple layers, like a whole stack of DVDs.与只有一个表面的DVD有所不同,钻石可以对数据展开多层存储,相等于一大摞DVD。

This storage would also work differently than a magnetic hard drive, because diamonds, as they say, are forever. 这种存储方式与磁性硬盘驱动器的运营也不一样,因为正如人们所说,钻石恒久远。Every time you access or rewrite your hard drive, the material it’s made of degrades, and after five or 10 years, it’s dead. 每当你采访或者改写硬盘的时候,包含硬盘的材料都会再次发生水解,五年或者十年之后它就出厂了。

But the defects in the diamonds don’t change, and if you do nothing, your data could last as long as your diamond.但钻石内的瑕疵会再次发生转变,如果你什么都不做到,你的数据不会像钻石一样恒久远。There is a no way you can change it. 没任何办法能转变它。It will sit there forever, said Siddharth Dhomkar, the lead author on the study.它不会总有一天待在那里,论文的第一作者悉达多多姆卡(Siddharth Dhomkar)说道。

Veterans in the data storage industry, like Jon Toigo, are skeptical. 数据存储行业的一些资深人士,比如乔恩托伊戈(Jon Toigo),回应抱着有顾虑。He worries that the only people fluent in this data exchange might be men in lab coats, that there will be flaws in the data, and that cost will be high, even with imperfect diamonds. 他担忧能娴熟展开这种数据交换的也许只有实验室里的研究人员,以及数据不会经常出现瑕疵,还担忧成本过分高昂,尽管所用的钻石是有瑕疵的那种。It’s usually a 10-year interval before the tech is released for commercial use, he said.一般来说而言,这项技术再行过十年才能构建商用,他说道。The researchers say their industrial fabricated diamond, which cost about $150, was the cheapest thing in their experiment. 研究人员称之为,他们在实验中中用的最低廉的东西是以约150美元(约合人民币1000元)出售的工业用制备钻石。

Their concept works on any material with the same flaw and any flawed diamond — not just lab ones. 他们的概念限于于任何具备某种程度瑕疵的材料以及任何一颗有瑕疵的钻石——不只是实验室里的那些。The bigger the diamond, the more defects, the more places to put information, said Mr Henshaw.钻石越大,瑕疵就越多,存放在信息的空间就越少,亨肖说道。Whether or not your diamond engagement ring could one day also hold your wedding photos is something lab members have joked about. 实验室成员不会拿有朝一日否也能用你的钻石订婚戒指储存婚礼的照片来打趣。A ring on your finger has the same defects as a ring in the lab. 你手上的钻石和实验室的钻石具有某种程度的瑕疵。

But light exposure will scramble the diamond’s data: You can put something on top of the diamond, but if you were to walk around in sunlight, you would erase your wedding photos, most likely, he said.不过,光曝露不会让钻石内的数据遭毁坏:你可以在钻石上放点儿什么,但你如果回头在阳光下,婚礼的照片近于有可能被抹掉,他说道。