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Feb 27, 2022

Developing Time Crystals for Use in Real-World Applications

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Time crystals that persist indefinitely at room temperature could have applications in precision timekeeping.

We have all seen crystals, whether a simple grain of salt or sugar, or an elaborate and beautiful amethyst. These crystals are made of atoms or molecules repeating in a symmetrical three-dimensional pattern called a lattice, in which atoms occupy specific points in space. By forming a periodic lattice, carbon atoms in a diamond, for example, break the symmetry of the space they sit in. Physicists call this “breaking symmetry.”

Scientists have recently discovered that a similar effect can be witnessed in time. Symmetry breaking, as the name suggests, can arise only where some sort of symmetry exists. In the time domain, a cyclically changing force or energy source naturally produces a temporal pattern.

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