Time crystals named as new form of matter, scientists say

Photo by: The Independent
Time crystals named as new form of matter, scientists say

In the past year, experts from different countries continues its effort for breakthough scientific discovery in the field.

With atomic structure, unique oscillation power- Time crystal named as the new addition to the state of matter.

The new discovery has drawn massive noise in Science following physicists had put together a blueprint for how to make and measure time crystals – a bizarre state of matter with an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, allowing them to maintain constant oscillation without energy.

In January, two separate research teams managed to create what looked an awful lot like time crystals, and now both experiments have successfully passed peer-review for the first time, putting the ‘impossible’ phenomenon squarely in the realm of reality.

According to Andrew Potter of Texas University, one of the researchers, they studied for a long time over the theoretical concepts.

“We’ve taken these theoretical ideas that we’ve been poking around for the last couple of years and actually built it in the laboratory,” says Potter.

“Hopefully, this is just the first example of these, with many more to come,” he added.

In recent months, time crystals are one of the coolest things physics has dished up, because they point to a whole new world of ‘non-equilibrium’ phases that are entirely different from anything scientists have studied in the past.

For decades, we’ve been studying matter, such as metals and insulators, that’s defined as being ‘in equilibrium’ – a state where all the atoms in a material have the same amount of heat.

Due to the proponents’ effort looks like time crystals are the first example of the hypothesised but unstudied ‘non-equilibrium’ state of matter, and they could revolutionise how we store and transfer information via quantum systems.

“It shows that the richness of the phases of matter is even broader [than we thought],” physicist Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley, who published the blueprint in January, told Gizmodo.

“One of the holy grails in physics is understanding what types of matter can exist in nature. [N]on-equilibrium phases represent a new avenue different from all the things we’ve studied in the past,” Yao noted.

The idea has been first proposed by Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek back in 2012, time crystals are hypothetical structures that appear to have movement even at their lowest energy state, known as a “ground state.”

As per science, when a material enters its ground state – also referred to as the zero-point energy of a system – movement should theoretically be impossible, because it would require it to expend energy.

However, Wilczek envisioned an object that could achieve everlasting movement while in its ground state by periodically switching the alignment of atoms inside the crystal over and over again – out of the ground state, back again, and repeat.

Amid the discovery it bring and hinted a system that breaks one of the mosst fundamental assumptions of our current understanding of physics – time-translation symmetry, which states that the laws of physics are the same everywhere and at all times.

As of posting, the academe and periodist are both waiting what research will lead next.

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