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November 20, 2015
November 13, 2015
October 1, 2015
What You'll Get
Choose From Four Options
- $40 for an iPhone 4 or 4S screen replacement ($100 value)
- $75 for an iPhone 5 screen replacement ($199 value)
- $85 for an iPhone 5S or 5C screen replacement ($250 value)
- $80 for an iPad 2, 3, or 4 screen repair ($160 value)
Liquid Crystals and LCDs: How Cell Phones Resemble Carrots
A smartphone’s tiny screen relies on the strange properties of liquid crystals. Check out Groupon’s study of LCDs to learn how they create the vivid pictures in your pocket.
The term liquid crystal seems a contradiction, but a liquid crystal is actually neither a liquid nor a solid—it’s both, stuck in a sort of chemical limbo with its molecules somewhere between the liquid and solid phases. When an electrical current passes through a liquid crystal, its molecular orientation changes, and so does the direction of light that passes through it. By sandwiching these crystals between polarized glass and manipulating the current passing through them, your phone is able to control the light they channel, resulting in the high-contrast images that appear on screen. Although our brains only see each pixel as a single dot, each consists of red, blue, and green subpixels that, when lit at various intensities, can emit more than 16 million colors.
Despite their advanced applications, liquid crystals are not a recent discovery. They were first identified in the late 19th century by a scientist studying cholesterol extracted from carrots—a natural source of liquid crystals, as are human beings and most other living things, which tend to have them in their cell membranes. Liquid crystals and LCDs were the subject of research and patent applications throughout the early 20th century—including one filed by Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company in 1936—and finally hit consumer electronics in the early 1970s, when they were introduced in wristwatches.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires 180 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. May be repurchased every 90 days. Appointment required. Limit 1 per person. Valid only for option purchased. All goods or services must be used by the same person. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.