A new study published in the journal Nature exposes a new form of matter called Time Crystal. A Harvard scientific team created this new element.
Before talking about time crystals, we need to know what is crystal. Crystal is a group of matter with an atomic structure that has 3D patterns and repeats in space. The time crystals are those with atomic and molecular structure repeats in time and in space.
The existence of time crystals represents the possibility of their movement to remain constant even without external factors like energy. According to the study, the atoms of this new kind of crystals never share the same amount of heat, this is called “thermal equilibrium.”
This new discovery, in simple words, shows atoms that get together in time like other solids can do it in space.
This is not the first appearance of time crystal
The first one talking about these “time crystals” was Frank Wilzczek, in 2012. Then, some scientists from the United States said that they could create this type of element. Five years after they first appearance, time crystals seem to be a reality and a significant contribution to the scientific community.
In this opportunity, the Harvard scientific loaded the carbon lattice of a diamond with many nitrogen atoms. They observed the nitrogen atoms flip back and forth when they put them on a microwave field for an extended period. After all this process, the diamond turned from black to fluorescent.
According to Jiehang Zhang from the University of Maryland, time crystals can’t exist “without the repeating pulse of energy to coax the atoms to organize in time.”
The incredible thing about those crystals is that even if they move, they don’t lose their stability because they “act” in the time field and not in the space as all other crystals.
Why is this discovery so important?
According to this study, time crystals can help in quantum computer design, and maybe they can replace the technology of equipment we’ve ever known. Quantum computers need special protection from interference, and this time crystals could contribute with that in the future.
“This opens the door to a whole new world of nonequilibrium phases,” said Andrew Potter, an assistant professor of physics ar the University of Texas, according to Techtimes.
Maybe we don’t understand right now what all this new form of matter represents for us, but in the future, we could benefit of this time crystals in so many technologic areas.