It’s a harder question than it sounds. Does the present refer to right this second?
Today? This year? The past few years? Fortunately, science has the answer.
Different scientific disciplines, cultures, and religions base their calendars on different “zero” moments. In geology, as well as other scientific disciplines, the epoch of time referred to as “the present” began on January 1, 1950. It’s a somewhat arbitrary, compromise of a date, but a fixed moment in the study of things that takes a really, really long time to change or move.
If you thought the lines were bad at your local Apple Store every time they roll out a new iPhone, just wait until they start selling lightsabers. Scientists recently declared that they have developed technology that could one day lead to the construction of the iconic weapon from the Stars Wars films.
Modern science has given us a substance that makes robots harder to kill. Way to go, science for giving us self-healing robots.
In the Terminator films, robots sent from the future to kill humans are constructed of a core of liquid metal, allowing damaged or melted robots to easily reform themselves. A group of scientists at the Cidetec Centre for Electrochemical Technologies in Spain thought that this terrifying possibility should be a reality—they’ve developed what they call a “self-healing polymer.”
The Cidetec Centre actually named their creation the Terminator Polymer, but claim their invention wasn’t made for time-travelling, human-killing robots. Instead, the goal is to improve the lifespan and durability of common plastic-and-metal consumer goods that, while expensive, frequently break, such as video game controllers, stereo speakers, and laptop computers. The Terminator polymer is reportedly the first automatically regenerating material ever designed and it’s capable of repairing imperfections in itself up to 97% in as little as
Scientists at the Cidetec Centre say that the regeneration is caused by a “metathesis reaction of aromatic disulphides, which naturally exchange at room temperature.” Or, in layman’s terms, the polymer works sort of like a combination of Velcro and a standard household sealant. In just a few years, this polymer could start popping up in everything…so watch out.