Thursday, April 2, 2009

Research: Saving data in Water

I had this idea for a long time. What if I can save data in water?

I would have my hard disc sealed and filled with water. 

Add more water to get more space.

Storage costs will be down the drain.

Imagine the cool thumb drive with water.

How to do it? Well I thought of that.

The Water molecule is H2O, Two hydrogen atoms (two electrons) and 1 Oxygen atom.

If we can (by any means) save one digital bit (0 or 1) in each electron of the Hydrogen atom. In 1 liter of water I would be able to save
7606104190927 Tera Byte (TB), (1 Tera = 1024 GB)

Here is the math:

In 1 liter of water

= 334.52*1023
Water molecules.= 334.52*1023 * 2 = 669.04**1023 Hydrogen electrons = 669.04*1023 Bits (We said we'll save 1 bit in each electron )= 669.04*1023 /8 = 8363000000000000000000000 Bytes

= 8166992187500000000000 KiloByte

= 7975578308105468750 MegaByte

= 7788650691509247 GigaByte

= 7606104190927 TeraByte
= 7606104190 PetaByte= 7606104 ExaByte= 7606 ZettaByte= 7.6 YottaByte

That's in 1 liter of water.

In a water drop (about 1 micro liter) I can save 7 ExaBytes. That is approximately equal to all words ever spoken by the human beings. And I didn't touch the oxygen atom yet.

The limitations are many I guess, but the world after that idea is prosperous isn't it?


  1. This sounds like science fiction.

    While it might be possible to store a bit in each water molecule, you don't have a stable memory locations, if I shake your water powered hard disk the whole data will get scrambled.

    Although maybe if the water container is sealed really well so that each water molecule is pressured 100% to stay in it's exact location, and if the hard disk gets damaged there's no way to retrieve the data.

  2. @Yaseen

    We can place an electronic memory location that will act like a protection and remembers "somehow" how the data was organized. This ROM will be small of size relatively.

    Saving a bit in an electron is the key. If we can't for some reason, then we should find some stable matter to save it in.

    hmmm now, Shaking should not do much problems, if we save each bit and its location in the same molecule.

    Nice analysis titi
    Thanks for dropping by

  3. If we could give each molecule some sort of an ID
    we will do some mapping

    bit 0 -> Molecule ID 12245d
    bit 1 -> Molecule ID 12a45d
    bit 2 -> Molecule ID 1hh45d

    But if the mapping get corrupted we are done lol

    If we placed the mapping into a fixed storage..
    we would be saved but the mapping might be very large ..

  4. *lol*

    I wrote an exposé a few years ago:
    Investigations upon Water as Medium for Information Storage and Transfer in
    Selforganizing Systems

    It was part of a funding proposal that, sad but true, did not work out :(
    Originally I wanted to write my PhD-thesis on that topic.

    That's also why I got that paper on similarity in information theory.

    Download both here

  5. @Chris,
    WOW, what a great coincidence
    so you did investigate that,

    If I didn't post that, I would'nt be reading this excellent paper

    Nice piece of work

    thanks for sharing that...

  6. Hey, this is great! I specially like this part: "Storage costs will be down the drain." Talk about water!

    Your numbers are correct. We just have a few problems but I think they can be remedied. I'm not sure though, but who knows?

    First, a Hydrogen atom has only one electron that is already bonded to an Oxygen atom; therefore, it has no other free electron that we can manipulate to represent a zero or a one.

    However, since the bond between each H and O atoms in a water molecule is mostly ionic, (a small percentage is actually covalent) maybe we can separate them through partial electrolysis or something.

    But if we do that, we would end up with two molecules (H2 and O2) in the gaseous state instead of a liquid. To aggravate the situation, these gases are a bit flammable and, depending on circumstances such as temperature and pressure, a bit explosive.

    Now, if we convert it to Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)instead, we might avoid the blowing up thingy but were back to the same problem of lack of available electrons.

    There is also this relatively weaker attraction between the H of one molecule and the O of an adjacent molecule. Because of that, unique structures of H2O can be formed but if you use that, you must go beyond binary. Base-6 or base-8 (Octal) perhaps?

    But all hope is not lost. Instead of utilizing the molecules or atoms of water itself, why not just use it as a vehicle. I mean, you can make a saline solution and the Na(+) and Cl(-) ions floating around all those H2Os are free which you might be able to utilize. But then, Yaseen's comment regarding lack of stability would still be an issue. Perhaps we can use the location mapping thing you mentioned above.

    One thing I'm sure is that to pull this off, we have to go into quantum theory which basically governs bonding and energy in those molecular and atomic levels. Quantum computing, anyone?

    But talking about quantum theory (or quantum physics or quantum mechanics), I always remember Niels Bohr and Richard Feynman. Can't get them out of my mind. The first, said: "If you are not confused by quantum physics then you haven't really understood it". The other, said: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics".

    Nice exploratory post, Hussein. I'm really sorry that I can't put more in this comment; otherwise, it will be longer than your post. ;) Keep it up and let's play with them atoms! (or should I say strings?)

  7. @Cody!
    I enjoyed reading each paragraph of your wonderful comment!

    This blog is a space of free thinking,

    I Agree with you that its not easy at all, but
    I liked all the way you explained things in a scientfic manner,

    Its seems that you are into chemistry too!

    Water was just an idea, we can think of a replacement,

    you are free to add more comments even it is longer than my post

    about quantum physics that science really confuses me, my friend Kamal loves this stuff he might help us in it..

    I didn't thought of that free electron Cody you are right how can we save a bit in a used electron we should have some ionic property..

    if we have a repository memory that organizes our saved bits it would be nice,

    thanks for dropping by Cody!

  8. @ Hussein:
    That is actually a really interesting idea. Just imagine.. Great thoughts Hussein!

    Amassing comment there! Good work!

  9. @Andres
    Imagination is the biggest and most important part..

    We can even approach the problem differently

    using Quantum computing, a bit can be 1 and 0 at the same time.. we should look into this..

    If someone will do this , then we should go to the next step.. Water File System (WFS)

  10. Or maybe WTF System for WaTer File System. :D lol

  11. @Cody
    I loved WTF better, WTF is WFS

    that's gonna be crazy man if it is executed.

  12. you know what would be crazy, being able to use Matter & Anti-Matter as storage material. Hell we won't even need space for that 1 litre of water! All we need is that microscopic amount of space that is occupied by the most basic element of matter and anti-matter itself.

    Quantum Physics!

  13. @Anonymous
    I loved the concept of antimatter, it seems we need to go through Quantum Physics..

    Exactly we don't even need a space, the idea of anti-matter,

    That would be really crazy ..

    lets change the world..

  14. good luck changing the world bro, I'm more then interested in unlocking the unseen with my mental abilities. The brain is a powerful tool. It's like giving a computer in the hands of humans from the stone age!!! It's me anonymous btw!

  15. @Monkey D Acez
    Thanks man,
    We can work together and merge our ideas to change the world..


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