Video of the Day: With 12 Atoms, the World's Smallest Storage Bit

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Researchers at IBM have been able to store magnetic information with only 12 atoms, dramatically increasing the potential storage capacity of devices down the road. Using a scanning tunneling microscope, they can magnetically align the atoms in one direction or the other to indicate 0 or 1. With eight of these 12-atom bits, they have a byte, which can store alphabetical and numerical characters. The new technology is 100 times more information dense that current hard disk technology. The video above explains how it works.

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Image: IBM.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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