An Indian-origin scientist has invented a revolutionary way to operate a computer. After a decade-long hard work, Manu Prakash an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, got success in operating the computer with help the of water droplets. His revolutionary work combines manipulating droplet fluid dynamics along with the elements of computer science–an operating clock.
Soon after Prakash became graduate, he constantly played with idea of using tiny little droplets for storing bits of information and later use these droplets to process information and physical material by precisely moving these tiny droplets. His major problem was how to move each water drop precisely and synchronously to meet his goal. For this to accomplish he created a magnetic field that acted as clock to synchronize all the droplets.
Later two other scientists Jim Cybulski and Georgios Katsikis joined Prakash and they collectively worked on manipulating droplet fluid dynamics with an operating clock. While explaining Prakash said that presence of water droplet means 1 while its absence depicts 0 in binary code and the clock synchronizes all the droplets. Like any other computer, the computer based on water droplet model can perform any task theoretically. However, it works at much slower speed than the conventional electronic computers.
“Our goal is to build a completely new class of computers… 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,” says Prakash.
Prakash along with his two other colleagues demonstrated a simple state machine model with storage of 1-bit of memory (also known as flip-flop) with some other building blocks. Prakash believes that his new computer would revolutionize the computers of future.
The study appeared in the journal Nature Physics.