October 6, 2022

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A liquid crystal computer? This technology is well known to TV owners

Just as liquid crystals are used in the production of LCD televisions, they can be used to perform calculations via computers.

How will it go? Using the orientation of particles to store data. Thus waves and defects in crystals will form the basis of a new type of computer. The fact that the idea is as real as possible is proven by describing it in the pages science progress.

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Behind the project are Eja Kos of the University of Ljubljana and Jorn Dunkel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was this duo who proposed alternative solutions to the basic components of computers. According to their idea, liquid crystals will be used as an alternative to electronic components.

These crystals consist of rod-shaped particles that move like liquids. The kind that researchers like to use consists of molecules arranged parallel to each other. While defects in the form of mismatched particles are largely undesirable in televisions, for example, they are an advantage in the context of liquid crystal computer design.

A liquid crystal computer will do some computing just like quantum computers

Just as everyday computers store information in the form of bits that take the values ​​0 or 1, the situation will be different in the case of a liquid crystal device. There, the key is translating information into false molecular orientations. This defect can then be used to encode a different value for each degree of misalignment with other particles.

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Using electric fields, scientists will be able to manipulate molecules to perform basic calculations. These will be in the form of ripples that spread through the liquid. As Dunkel explains, a liquid crystal computer can perform some calculations in a similar way to quantum computers.

Read also: The first quantum entanglement in history. Quantum Internet approaching?

Because liquid crystal technology is so advanced, its practical application should emerge faster than quantum computers. Until now, it has been possible to arrange liquid crystal defects into patterns using electric fields. This means that the basic technology needed to create a liquid crystal computer is now within reach.