Smartphone interred in ‘techno’ time capsule

January 04, 2019 09:14 pm | Updated 09:14 pm IST - JALANDHAR

A laptop, smartphone, voltage resistor and a portable stereo were among an assortment of objects placed in a ‘time capsule,’ that was “interred” by Nobel Laureates Duncan Haldane and Avram Hershko in the Lovely Professional University (LPU) campus here on Friday. The university is hosting the 106th Indian Science Congress.

“Maybe a 100 years hence, these will be exhumed and people will ponder these objects as curiosities,” said CH Venkatappala Naidu, a mechanical engineering student at LPU who was part of a group of students who compiled the objects for the time capsule. “The objective is to capture today’s technological essence for the future generations,” he added.

An aluminium cupboard-like container, about 6 feet wide and 5 feet tall, served as the time capsule bearing the various objects. The objects sported labels featuring their names and a brief description of function. At the press of a button, the capsule was hydraulically lowered into the ground and sealed with a slab of concrete.

Time capsules have historically been a popular way for people to preserve their legacy. A time capsule was buried at IIT Kanpur, in 2010.

While time capsules are typically buried without any date set for their recovery, the LPU project’s organisers have set a one century goal. “This capsule is to be unearthed and opened on the 3rd of January, 2119. This time capsule is a historic cache of goods or information, intended as a method of communication with future people and help archaeologists, anthropologists and historians,” says a lithograph accompanying the capsule.

The LPU capsule was lowered 10 feet into the ground by the scientists. “We may not be there but we’ll leave instructions through the university to ensure that this spot is taken care of,” said Akash Purohit, a student of computer science. “Who knows future students of this campus may unearth it?”

The time capsule largely contains lab equipment — rheostats (used to control electric current by varying resistance), a compound microscope, a solar cell and a hard disk with some preloaded movies. All told there were about 60 objects buried in the capsule.

About 25 students representing different departments including Computer Science, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Fashion Design and Agriculture contributed to the project.

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