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lcd monitor Do you ever wonder how those images show up on your computer screen?  Well, there are several ways of displaying output from a computer; one of the most common ways is via a color liquid crystal display, otherwise known as an LCD monitor or flat panel display.

How does the color show up on an LCD monitor?  Well, it starts with a fluorescent panel that is located behind the monitor's screen.  This panel emits light that vibrates in waves in all directions.  The light goes through a polarizing filter, which allows only those light waves that are vibrating horizontally to go through.

There is a layer of liquid-crystal cells for each of the three colors that comprise a pixel.  The PC's graphics adapter will send electrical charges of varying intensities to some of the cells, while other cells will receive no charge at all.  The liquid crystals in the cells that do receive a charge will react by forming spirals.  The more intense the charge, the more the liquid crystal molecules will twist.  When the maximum charge is applied, the molecules at one end of the cell will be at a 90-degree angle to the molecules at the other end of the cell.

When polarized light enters the cell, it winds along the spiral.  In those cells that received the most charge, the polarized light vibrates at a 90-degree angle to where it was originally aligned, while light that passes through uncharged molecules remains the same.  Other cells that receive a partial charge will vibrate at angles that range from 0 to 90 degrees, depending upon the intensity of the charge.

The light that comes out of each liquid crystal cell then passes through the red, blue, or green filter.  These colored beams then pass through a second filter, one which this time allows vertically vibrating waves to pass through.  But because the filter isn't perfectly precise, some partially twisted waves will also pass through.  Any light that wasn't twisted when it passed through the liquid crystal will be blocked completely by the second filter.  The resulting images and colors depend upon the percentage of red, blue, and green light that eventually passes through the second filter.

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