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Chemical Computer Can Be Programmed to Solve Hard Problems

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This computer uses chemical reactions rather than electronics to perform computations.

Credit: Cronin et al.

Researchers at the U.K.'s University of Glasgow have programmed a chemical computer to solve specific problems, following earlier research on encoding data into the system.

The computer consists of a plastic grid of interconnected chambers filled with a liquid acid-salt solution, which triggers a chemical reaction when mechanically agitated.

The researchers adjust the speed of each stirrer to control the reaction rate in each cell, to program a specific problem.

The cells alternately flash red or blue lights during the reaction, with each flash equivalent to the 1s and 0s used in electronic computers; a video camera records the reds and blues, and uses that data to adjust the stirrers.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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