VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Electronic ink. Male researcher adding blue dye to a glass vessel as he mixes electronic ink. Paper coated in this ink can have text downloaded onto it electronically. The digital nature of the ink allows the text to be changed so a book, for example, can hold thousands of titles. The ink consists of tiny transparent spheres (microcapsules) containing microscopic white balls and a blue dye. When an electric current is applied, the balls rise up through the blue dye and become visible, or sink. By controlling where they rise and where they sink, a message can be formed. The ink was developed by Joseph Jacobson at MIT, USA, where this photograph was taken.
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