TV demo with a pickle

8 10 2009

Do you understand how your TV works?   Even the older cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology may seem complicated to most of us, but scientists continue pushing the boundaries for future technologies.  You’ve probably heard of LED TVs, which are currently high-tech, but now there are OLED (Organic LED) TVs.

The video at this link explains how it works, using a pickle.   (No, that’s not a typo, and I’m not being silly.)  OLEDs are made of organic materials, and even a pickle is subject to the same properties used in an OLED TV.  Basically, electrons are sent to it, creating an electric current in it, and then when positive and negative charges hit the same molecule, it releases a proton, which makes it look like it’s glowing.  In the video, the pickle becomes a giant pixel.

Not only is the source organic, which would presumably be better for the environment, but it also uses 50 percent less power than LEDs.  And this technology allows TV screens to be very thin (as shown in the video).  It’s already being used in some new (high-dollar) cell phones, which is a great use for it.

Can you imagine how people figured this out?   Try to picture someone figuring out how electrical current affects organic materials and then realizing they could make TV screens with it…

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