building a RAID system - yup

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Thu Oct 9 10:39:48 EDT 2003

On Thu, 9 Oct 2003, Joseph Landman wrote:

> On Thu, 2003-10-09 at 07:26, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> > users tapes of special areas or data on request.  The tape system is
> > expensive, but a tiny fraction of the cost of the loss of data due to
> > (say) a server room fire, or a monopole storm, or a lightning strike on
> > the primary room feed that fries all the servers to toast.
> Monopole storm... (smile) I seem to remember (old bad and likely wrong
> memory) that Max Dresden had predicted one monopole per universe as a
> consequence of the standard model.  Not my area of (former) expertise,
> so reality may vary from my memory ...

Hell, there are more than that in California alone.  So far monopoles
have been discovered there at least twice; once on superconducting
niobium balls in a Milliken experiement (but they went away when the
balls were washed and never returned, go figure) and once in a
superconduction flux trap although the events MIGHT have been caused by
somebody flicking a light switch down the hall...:-)

Seriously, this is theory vs experiment, and as a theorist I firmly
defer to experiment.  Until we find an (isolated) monopole, they are
just a very attractive, compelling even, extension of Maxwell's
equations and related field theories that (as a "defect") help us
understand why certain quanties are quantized, or add a certain symmetry
to the theory that is otherwise broken.

However, it does amuse me to think of hard disks as being "experiments"
like the flux loop experiment to measure the existence of monopoles.  It
would be interesting to determine a "signature" of disk penetration by a
cosmic ray monopole and scan a small mountain of crashed disks for the
signature, if such a signature is in any way unique.  Such a mountain
represents a lot more event phase space than a single loop or set of
loops in a California laboratory.


Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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