Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Attention ESVA patrons:

The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives’ site is moving soon and adopting an open access approach to digital image sharing. Once we have transitioned to the new site in 2021, we will no longer charge for our high-resolution digital images or usage fees (note that we do not hold copyright to all the images in our collections and you will still need to obtain permission for those which we do not own).

If you are working on a long-term project, we advise you to wait until the migration is complete so that you may obtain our copies for free. If you cannot wait, email us at nbl [at] aip.org and we will do what we can to assist you. We will not be offering refunds for past purchases.

For more information, please visit our FAQ page on the Ex Libris Universum blog. 

Macfarlane Roger F1

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Macfarlane Roger F1

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We charge a usage fee per photo if the photo is published, reproduced in a product or publicly exhibited. This is not a license in the legal sense. As a non-profit institution, we do not make any money providing these photographs. It is only by assessing usage fees that we are able to cover the cost of providing publication quality copies of our photos, preserving the photograph collection according to archival standards, and providing access to the collection by maintaining an online image database. The copyright holder may charge a fee in addition to our service fee.

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Image title: 
Roger Macfarlane pours liquid nitrogen into outer shielding chamber
Credit line: 
IBM, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Scientists at the IBM Almaden Research Center have identified a new group of materials that provides an important step toward developing an experimental, high-density data storage technique called "frequency domain optical storage."

The technique uses thousands of laser colors to record computer data and has the potential to store up to 100 billion characters of information per square inch -- which would be the highest data density ever achieved -- in a medium that could be recoreded, read and erased.

The two laser beams shown in the photo above are focused onto a small sample of the new materials, which is submerged in liquid helium. The beams, each a different color, "bleach" certain groups of molecules dispersed throughout the material. The presence and absence of such bleached molecules can represent the binary ones and zeros used to encode data.

"From left, Roger M. Macfarlane pours liquid nitrogen into an outer shielding chamber while Robert M. Shelby and W. E. Moerner adjust optics. The three IBM scientists were the first to identify the new materials."  

Original format: 
1 photographic print (black and white; 9.5 x 7.5 inches)
Macfarlane, R. M. (Roger M.)