Usually electronic circuits and liquids not get the length of very well, but the engineers at Stanford University were able to design a synchronous computer that can perform calculations, using the computer synchronized water, instead of electrons. The ” water droplet computer “of bioengineering professor Manu Prakash was developed after ten years of research combining fluid dynamics with the basic element of computing the clock.
The computers, smartphones and the Internet itself cannot function without an interior clock that marks the beginning and the end of the operations ensuring the synchronization of in order. To synchronize the water drops, the team led by Prakash has developed a clock based on a rotating magnetic field. This magnetic field was then applied to a glass substrate on which is made of small iron rods. Engineers have lastly added water droplets composed of magnetic nanoparticles.
When the polarity of the bars is reversed, the water droplets are moved along a predetermined direction. The drops are moved forward one-step for each clock cycle, corresponding to a rotation of the attractive field. A video camera records the communication of the drops, allowing the observation of the calculations in real time. The presence or absence of the drop is 0 and 1 of the binary code. By changing the layout of the iron bars, you can get all the logic gates used in electronics.
Although the computer water can perform the same operations of a traditional computer at much, lower the real goal of the researchers is the control and treatment of physical matter. One possible application would be the study of the interaction between chemicals carried by the drops. The research results were published in Nature Physics.