It never fails. My husband hears about a new device -- most recently the iPod -- and how much storage it offers -- his is 4 GB -- and he tells me, with complete sincerity and a straight face, "Wow! 4 gigs! I'll never use that much space."
Not six months ever goes by without him complaining, "I need more space."
And so it goes with technology. What seems like plenty of storage today runs out by tomorrow. New releases of Windows alone seem to exhaust many of my memory upgrades.
Well, guess what? In 2010, we're all going to hit a major wall. That's when engineers predict we'll max out the conventional magnetic storage techniques, according to a recent article published on Physorg.com.
And that's where we hope nanotechnology will step in.
But if the predictions are right, researchers only have three years to work out a host of problems with nanorods, nanowires and the manufacturing thereof.
Which brings me to today's announcement. Chemists at Brown University have worked out how "to synthesize iron-platinum nanorods and nanowires while controlling their size and composition," reports Physorg.com. This is important because nanorods must have a uniform shape and magnetic alignment if we're going to manufacture high-density information storage with them.
The article explains how they managed to overcome this huge hurdle of controlling the shape, which plays a huge role in controlling nanorod alignment. Experts say this breakthrough has ramifications in other areas, including magnetic motors and generators.