Leon Abelmann (KIST Europe, Germany and University Twente, the Netherlands)

Hard disc drives and USB sticks will keep your data safe for about ten years, paper will last a few hundred years, stone engravings a few thousand years. What if we want to store data for a million, or a billion years? When we store information, we bring the system out of equilibrium. When time passes, the equilibrium is restored and data is lost. The decay of information is proportional to the time intervals at which nature attempts to erase the information, and exponentially dependent on the ratio between the energy required for erasure and the available energy. To prevent information loss, we should maximize the attempt time for high energy events (catastrophes), and maximimize the energy barrier agains erasure for high frequency attempts such as caused by thermal energy.  In my presenation I will focus on the latter, and present a DVD like disk which can prevent data loss due to thermal effects for at least one million years.