LCD - Liquid Crystal: An Oxymoron?

 


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Liquid crystal is not an oxymoron. Do you know what it is? Have you ever wondered how it works? There are Liquid Crystal Displays or LCDs in nearly every electronic device requiring a display: watches, computers, clocks, you name it.

So, what they do is put liquid crystal between two sheets of polarizing metal, then pass an electric current through it so that the crystals line up and light can’t get through. Each crystal is either open or closed. That is, light gets through or it doesn’t. They say it works like a shutter to open and close. Electricity is what causes it to open up or close down.

There is a great web site called How Stuff Works . I use it when I have questions about how things like LCDs work. The link to the information on LCDs is http://www.howstuffworks.com/lcd.htm . There are several articles there, but I’ll give you some basics that I learned here and you can research it some more if you’re interested.

If you read all the information on www.howstuffworks.com, you’ll find out how to make your own LCD. That’s a little more than I want to do, but it is interesting. Maybe reading it will give you new ideas on how to improve the technology if that’s your thing. Or maybe you just want to have a general idea and that’s about it.

Science is always finding new ways of playing with light and matter to give us displays that we want, whether it’s the time, the words in your word processor or something we haven’t even thought of yet! Studying the current technology usually leads someone to improve it. That’s how we progress. You take what you’ve got, usually combining things in new ways, and you put them together differently to come up with something that works even better than the last idea.

I’m really glad there are people out there doing that. It sure makes my life easier!

About the author - George Mettaroy is one of those guys who always wants to know how things work. He works in computer design. You can read more articles about LCD at Perfect LCD

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