Usually we try to water and computers separate, but some Finnish researchers decided to try and utilize the physics of water in a superhydrophobic environment (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
It's a well-shared fear that getting any of your electronics devices we could result in a short. So while most of us might be trying to keep our iPhones and computers dry, there are a couple scientists looking at ways to getting electronics wet.
Researchers from the Aalto University in Finland are developing a radical new computing system that uses water droplets like digital bits of information.
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"I was surprised that such rebounding collisions between two droplets were never reported before, as it indeed is an easily accessible phenomenon: I conducted some of the early experiments on water-repellent plant leaves from my mother's garden," said Henrikki Mertaniemi, an applied physics researcher at Aalto University.
The concept was spurred on by the observation that two water droplets bounce like billiard balls off a highly water-repellant surface.
By figuring out how to manipulate the droplets on a superhydrophobic, the scientists were able to perform basic functions.
"We present elementary Boolean logic operations and a flip-flop memory based on these rebounding water droplet collisions," reads the abstract from the published study.
Don't think that everything will be running on water droplets in the near future. This kind of computing system could instead be used in specialized systems that might not have access to electrical power."We also demonstrate an elementary operation for programmable chemistry," reads the same abstract.
The researchers also explored the possibility of turning water droplets into timed chemical reactions. By loading the water with chemicals, the scientists were able to trigger certain chemical reactions at a desired time.