Atomic memory. Comparison of two data storage media including, at right, one that uses single atoms to represent data. At left is the surface of a CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) disc. The right image, from a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), is magnified 1000 times more than the one at left. It shows individual atoms (white), which hold data in the same way as the pits (white) on the CD-ROM. Such data can be written and read using an STM. This research was done at the Universities of Basel, Switzerland, and Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
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