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Mar 13, 2020

Searching for discrete time crystals in classical many-body systems

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Our current, well-established understanding of phases of matter primarily relates to systems that are at or near thermal equilibrium. However, there is a rich world of systems that are not in a state of equilibrium, which could host new and fascinating phases of matter.

Recently, studies focusing on systems outside of have led to the discovery of new phases in periodically driven quantum systems, the most well-known of which is the discrete time crystal (DTC) phase. This unique phase is characterized by collective subharmonic oscillations arising from the interplay between many-body interactions and non-equilibrium driving, which leads to a loss of ergodicity.

Interestingly, subharmonic oscillations are also known to be a characteristic of dynamical systems, such as predator-prey models and parametric resonances. Some researchers have thus been exploring the possibility that these may exhibit similar features to those observed in the DTC phase.

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