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Water droplet computing invented by scientists


Computer using water droplets as digital bits may be the way of the future.


Henrikki Mertaniemi/Aalto University

Mixing water and your electronic devices sounds like a bad idea.

Not so, say scientists who are banking on water droplets to act as tiny digital bits in the future.

Researchers at Aalto University in Finland found that water could be used as the most basic units of digital information, possibly eschewing the need for electric power for devices.

Live Science said the idea came from observations of tiny water drops, which bounce off each other like billiard balls instead of forming into a bigger droplet.

The scientists found they were able to guide the water down water-repellent tracks.

Product Design and Development reported that the experiment was also applicable to improving electronics with the ability to do simple Boolean logic operations (good luck trying to understand that but if you feel inclined read this or watch the video below).

Researchers said they were surprised by their results.

"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, reported Live Science.

The findings were published in the journal of Advanced Materials.