Did you hear about computer running on water droplets..?? Well, that can be a reality soon as Indian origin bio-engineering scientist, Manu Prakash has developed a computer that works by moving water droplets.
Prakash, along with his two students, at Stanford University, devised a system in which tiny water droplets are trapped in a magnetic field. The droplets start to move in precise direction and distance once the magnetic field is rotated. It became the basis of the computer clock, which is an essential component of any computer. The most immediate application of this invention would be turning the computer into a high-throughput chemistry and biology laboratory. The droplets will work as test tubes and will carry the chemicals.
Video Explaining The Technology :
“We already have digital computers to process information. Our goal is not to compete with electronic computers or to operate word processors on this,” Prakash said.
“Our goal is to build a completely new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate physical matter.
“Imagine if when you run a set of computations that not only information is processed but physical matter is algorithmically manipulated as well. We have just made this possible at the mesoscale,” Prakash said.
Next, they turned on the magnetic field. Every time the field flips, the polarity of the bars reverses, drawing the magnetised droplets in a new, predetermined direction. A camera records the interactions between individual droplets, allowing observation of computation as it occurs in real time.
The presence or absence of a droplet represents the 1s and 0s of binary code, and the clock ensures that all the droplets move in perfect synchrony, and thus the system can run virtually forever without any errors.
Prakash wondered if he could use little droplets as bits of information and utilize the precise movement of those drops to process both information and physical materials simultaneously.
Prakash decided to build a rotating magnetic field that could act as clock to synchronize all the droplets.
Prakash and his team built arrays of tiny iron bars on glass slides that look something like a Pac-Man maze. They laid a blank glass slide on top and sandwiched a layer of oil in between.
Then they carefully injected into the mix individual water droplets that had been infused with tiny magnetic nano-particles.
Prakash said the most immediate application might involve turning the computer into a high-throughput chemistry and biology laboratory. Instead of running reactions in bulk test tubes, each droplet can carry some chemicals and become its own test tube, and the droplet computer offers unprecedented control over these interactions.
Hope the day comes soon…All the best to the team.