Yes! They decided to erase a CD with a tremendous amount of voltage and put it on video. Is this a good idea? Maybe yes maybe not but it is in the name of science right! If nothing else it is cool to see. Here are some notes from the experimenter:
Photonicinduction Erase CD and DVD with 240,000 volts.
Be aware of Ozone being generated, doing this in a well ventilated area is advised. X-rays can also be produced under certain curcumstances with voltages over 50KV. Never stuff silly volts into a vacuum tube ! Current was 10mA, 20mA and 60mA
NOTE: DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A PROFESSIONAL
Aside from the cool factor, one commenter on the thread is skeptical that this actually erased the data:
This isn’t as secure of an erase as most of you think I’m afraid… All this did was de-plate the metal from the back of the disk. To securely erase it, you’d need to try and slow the process down a bit, give it an opportunity to develop enough sustained heat to also deform the disk, as depending on the method of writing data to the disk, it may still be there. As it stands, there’s a good chance you could simply re-plate the back of the disk and recover some (if not all) of the data. The aluminium layer often only serves as a reflective surface for the reading laser to reflect back off to be read after passing through the plastic layer where the data is actually stored.
What do you think? Of course we would not recommend using this technique if you wanted to keep data secure. Although we’re quite pleased to watch awesome sciencey stuff like this on video!