An idea might seem outlandish at first, but as you begin to understand more things about the world, the more feasible it might seem. That’s what Manu Prakash did: he took the idea he got when he was still a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. About ten years into the future, Prakash is now a bioengineering assistant professor at Stanford University and is bringing his idea into the world.
Prakash, along with graduate student assistants Jim Cybulski and Georgios Katsikis, used drops of water that could be manipulated with a magnetic field to make a clock—the system that keeps a computer in synch.
According to Prakash in a news report from Stanford News “The reason computers work so precisely is that every operation happens synchronously; it’s what made digital logic so powerful in the first place.”
“We already have digital computers to process information. Our goal is not to compete with electronic computers or to operate word processors on this,” Prakash said in the Stanford report. “Our goal is to build a completely new class of computers that can precisely control and manipulate physical matter. 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.”