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Chemical Computers Solve Shapely Puzzles

Voronoi diagram

Andrew Adamatzky,

Chemical computers can solve certain problems in computational geometry, according to University of West England professor Andrew Adamatzky and colleagues.

Chemical computers are collections of small chemical pouches called vesicles that can produce and combine Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction waves, which can be used to build logic gates and perform rudimentary computation.

"When waves collide they can either die or change direction, and we can interpret this as computation," Adamatzky says.

A vesicle computer can calculate the Voronoi diagram of a set of two-dimensional shapes, which involves determining which points on a flat sheet are closest to a particular shape. Voronoi diagrams have a wide range of applications, including mapping the coverage of a network of mobile phone masts. The team also used a vesicle computer to find the topological skeleton of a shape.

From New Scientist
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