Ten or twenty years from now the information stored on one million CD-ROMs should be able to be stored on just one, according to news out of Copenhagen.
This should be possible because of the work of Danish scientists, who revealed on October 26, 1998 that they had created a computer chip in which a single atom jumping back and forth--at room temperature--produced binary code.
This type of code is the foundation of digital information as processed by computers.
Team leader FranÇois Grey, by phone, informed the Reuters news agency that while previous scientists had made individual atoms leap back and forth, they had only done so with material at a temperature near absolute zero.
In the present case, a four-person team at the Danish University of Technology's microelectronics center utilized a scanning-tunnelling microscope to help them take--off a silicon chip's hydrogen layer surface--one of two hydrogen atoms attached to an individual silicon atom, so the lone hydrogen atom remaining would leap as needed.
With their warmish work, practical applications are closer to fruition.
Source: ABCNEWS.com, 10/26/98; CNN.com, 10/27/98; Smart
Computing, February 1999 (all from Reuters 10/26/98);
"UGeek: This Just In!" (www.ugeek.com), 1/28/99