– By Syeda Qudsia, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences
Computers are taking on fast. One day they may become very much like humans. So much so that jelly becomes their favorite food for thought.
The progress to make just that happen is on. North Carolina State University researchers have prepared a material with the physical properties of jelly, which is able to store memory, though not much at its current initial state. It’s made up of a liquid alloy consisting of gallium and indium metals, set into a water-based gel; works extremely well in wet environments, and are ideally suited for biocompatible electronic devices.
They term this sort a “memristor”, or a memory resistor, which may prove very helpful in memory research. It exists in one of two states at a giventime: conductive or resistive, representing the 1s and 0s of binary code. The metal alloy functions as electrodes and stands on either sides of conducting gel in each of the circuits. When the incoming charge is positive, it forms an oxidized skin around itself and becomes a resistor. On treatment with the opposite charge, it sheds the skin and becomes a conductor.
So, next time, when you have had too much, and are thinking of having a memory chip implanted inside your brain, remember memristors: the rigid circuits of the past could not have helped you there…