Time crystals have been under our noses all these years

(ORDO NEWS) — According to scientists, “time crystals” have great potential, because they can be used, for example, to improve the performance of satellite navigation.

For the first time, “time crystals” were experimentally demonstrated in 2017, and already in 2021, researchers from Google announced that they would place a temporal crystal inside the Google Sycamore quantum computer.

Thanks to which, he will be able to solve problems in a matter of minutes. So what is this “innovation” anyway?

In 2012, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek proposed the existence of a new type of crystal. Although most crystals have a structure that repeats itself in two or three dimensions, Wilczek introduced the concept of a crystal whose structure is repeated four times: three of them correspond to the dimensions of space, and the fourth to the dimension of time.

He called this hypothetical structure a “time crystal,” and it wasn’t until 2018 that scientists figured out how to synthesize them in the lab.

Time crystals – what, why and why?

Time crystals are a completely new type of state of matter, in which its structure changes periodically without energy being released or absorbed. What’s amazing about them is that when they move back and forth between two different configurations, they don’t lose or use any energy.

This is not a time machine or an artifact, we are talking about a physical theory that is still being developed. Formally, this violates the second law of thermodynamics and the symmetry of time reversal.

time crystals have been under our noses all these years 2Atoms of the “Time Crystal”, which resembles the “Rubik’s Cube”

Any standard crystal that we know of, such as a diamond, an emerald, or even an ordinary ice cube, determines that the atoms of the crystal are somehow arranged in a strict repeating sequence, at the same distance from each other.

The theory of relativity states that there are three dimensions of space and a fourth dimension, time. Therefore, some physicists have wondered whether the atoms of a crystal can be arranged in time according to repeating patterns. The idea itself is fairly new. It was first put forward by Nobel laureate physicist Frank Wilczek in 2012.

Published studies have shown that the notorious time crystals exist not only as a product of laboratory activities of scientists. It turned out that such structures can also form in the natural environment, while the process itself is much simpler than experts imagined.

This is a great success for humanity: Wilczek crystals can be used for practical purposes, for example, to create ultra-precise atomic clocks, new generation gyroscopes and other devices.

Time crystals exhibit very strange activity when exposed to electromagnetic waves. In such a crystal, all molecules rotate in a certain direction, and with each new EM pulse it changes.

But even if the impulses are random, the direction of rotation still changes at regular intervals, so that time crystals can be used as a measure of time intervals, that is, as a universal clock.

Time Crystal Research

In 2016, physicists at the University of Maryland managed to assemble a “raw” time crystal. The researchers figured out how to create these crystals in the lab using a rather complex technique that involves pointing lasers at a set of ytterbium atoms.

time crystals have been under our noses all these years 3Yale University – where they proved that synthesizing a temporal crystal is easy

New work by physicists at Yale University has proven that it is easy to synthesize time crystals. Theoretically, in some structures of the “young chemist” Wilczek crystals can be hidden.

Sean Barrett, author of the study, notes that this is only to the advantage of physicists, since the cheaper and simpler the process, the easier it is to study it.

Now they have to understand in detail the mechanism of synthesis of “time crystals” and determine exactly how they can be used for the benefit of technological progress.

Google Time Crystal 2021

Yet in 2021, scientists managed to prove the possibility of the existence of physical structures previously predicted only theoretically, making a breakthrough in fundamental physics.

They were able to obtain a so-called “temporal crystal” based on the 20-qubit Sycamore Google quantum computer, which can serve as a more reliable use of quantum computers. But this is a preliminary study and has yet to undergo a full peer review.

What is so good about this study? Nearly all far-future technologies that can exist without burning fuel or using energy will require quantum computing systems.

By themselves, they are quite fragile, and just a “temporal crystal” can help in this. Google has potentially proven that humans can produce time crystals. Basically they think they’ve proven the concept, so now it’s time to see what can be done with it.

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