Saturday, January 28, 2017

"time crystals" what are they good for?

For months now, there's been speculation that researchers might have finally created time crystals - strange crystals that have an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, putting them in perpetual motion without energy.

Now it's official - researchers have just reported in detail how to make and measure these bizarre crystals. And two independent teams of scientists claim they've actually created time crystals in the lab based off this blueprint, confirming the existence of an entirely new form of matter.

The discovery might sound pretty abstract, but it heralds in a whole new era in physics - for decades we've been studying matter that's defined as being 'in equilibrium', such as metals and insulators.

But it's been predicted that there are many more strange types of matter out there in the Universe that aren't in equilibrium that we haven't even begun to look into, including time crystals. And now we know they're real.

The fact that we now have the first example of non-equilibrium matter could lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of the world around us, as well as new technology such as quantum computing.

"This is a new phase of matter, period, but it is also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter," said lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley.

Via Reddit: Link


XRay said...

This might take me awhile to wrap my head around...

chickelit said...

I puzzled over the name "time crystal" until I realized that they were talking about nuclear spins which had been tweaked during crystal formation. nuclear spin is something unfamiliar to most people. Yet the most common element in the universe has spin -- the lowly hydrogen atom. Each one is sort of like an up or a down, randomly. There is really no difference between the two until you put the atoms in a magnetic field. only then can you inter convert the two forms using radio waves.

The story about metallic hydrogen got me to wondering two or three things. One, did they use deuterium instead of protium? Second, is metallic hydrogen magnetic, paramagnetic, diamagnetic? What could be the NMR signal of metallic hydrogen be like?

rhhardin said...

They be useful in mood rings.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

they are the pixie dust that make Chip's sourdough starter!

Oh wait, that is wild yeasties.