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    Time Crystals Technology

    Monday, October 14, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-24T12:23:42Z
    When Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist, suggested time crystals, the idea sounded crazy—especially the part that they could produce movement at ground state, the lowest level of energy in matter.

    Movement is theoretically impossible because energy is needed where there is little to none. Wilczek believed perpetual movement could be achieved by flipping a crystal’s atom alignment in and out of ground state.

    Such an object’s atomic structure would repeat in time, producing constant switching without needing energy.

    This went against the laws of physics, but in 2017, five years after Wilczek envisioned the bizarre matter, physicists figured out how to make some.

    One team manipulated ten interconnected ytterbium ions with two lasers.

    One formed a magnetic field, while the second adjusted the atoms’ spinning until Wilczek’s flipping occurred.

    At Harvard, a time crystal was born when nitrogen impurities were flipped in diamonds. Even though time crystals are now accepted and not just an insane theory, they need to be periodically zapped to keep flipping.

    They may not be Wilczek’s perpetual devices, but time crystals remain unlike anything researchers have ever studied.


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