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It could prove worthwhile to rewrite history and pretend
continuous current (direct, or alternating) never existed.
Some civilisations have long known for a long time of static
electricity, and some even made use of the phenomenon.
What is a computer? In effect, it is a controllable switch,
between a state and another state. Well, it is more than
it is a complex system that can be controlled by conditions
and give rise to complex states of switched-ness. But
basically, involves controlled switches, or conditional
This could have been achieved if somehow effort were put
into harnessing static electricity such that it could
predictably switch states, under the influence of some
condition, including the result of some other prior static
electricity switching event.
I think we should do it. Make a static electric computer.
HINTS AND OBSCURE FACTS USEFUL FOR ELECTROSTATIC SCIENCE PROJECTS
[scad mientist, Jun 29 2016]
||That would be interesting to try and construct the basic
building blocks, but it's not likely that anything close to
the current level of computer technology would be
possible. It's really hard to make insulating materials
that can block those high voltage levels, so large spacing
between wires is usually required, preventing
||Here's an interesting article by a [wbeaty] on how to
build static electric devices. He's got a nice selection of
articles on static electricity.
||This is the best idea with this title that I've ever
||MaxwellBuchanan, thats nothing, wait till
you get to the subtitle!
||This could be done, but not really. If it were run
directly from static electricity, it would only operate
for very small fractions of a second at a time.
Effectively, the clock rate would be on the order of a
||Of course, it could dump the static charge into a
capacitor to use gradually, but then it wouldn't really
be a static electricity computer.
||Static electricity can be generated by stapling numerous cats to the circumference of a large wooden wheel, then rotating the wheel at high RPM so that the cat fur rubs against an array of ebony rods.
||My hair switches states predictably depending on if I rub a
balloon on it or not. We could take a video of my hair's
state of Einteinishness, thereby having a time-sequence
string of 1's and 0's each representing whether or not my
hair is sticking up at the time or not. The gubbins that
decide whether or not to rub the balloon or move it into
proximity or not I leave as an exercise to the reader.
||Note this won't work for Dr. Curry. He needs an upgrade.
||Dynamic and static RAM already work on "static
electricity". All that's needed to operate the innards
of a PC from external s.e. is an appropriate charge
pump to transform the external high voltage/low
current source to a regulated low voltage/high
||Beyond that, it would be a simple matter of
balancing the power in to power out equation.
||I am imagining static charge would be affected by physical shape of it's enviroment.
If a bit is a cube and the static charge can be identified at one of the six faces. The computer would be a sum of the dynamic electrostatic field pattern placed on around the device.