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Physicists Have Confirmed a Brand New Phase of Matter: Time Crystals

For past few months, there's been rumor that physicistsmight have finally produced time crystals. These weird crystals that have an atomic arrangement that echoes not just in space, but in time, keeping them in continuous oscillation without energy. Now the recent news is that it's official - physicists have just published in detail how to produce and measure these strange crystals. And two independent groups of researchers claim they've in fact, made time crystals in the lab based off this blueprint, proving the presence of a completely new phase of matter.

Artist's illustration of time crystals

You can read the previous study published about time crystals here. Lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, said “This is a new phase of matter, period, but it is also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter. For the last half-century, we have been exploring equilibrium matter, like metals and insulators. We are just now starting to explore a whole new landscape of non-equilibrium matter.”

You may have heard the term ‘time crystals’ for the first time but the idea of time crystals has been moving around for a few years now. Time crystals were first predicted by Nobel-Prize holder theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek back in 2012. Research issued in Physical Review Letters, Norman Yao calls the paper "the bridge between the theoretical idea and the experimental implementation".

Yao's study has been issued in Physical Review Letters, and you can see the Harvard time crystal paper here, and the University of Maryland paper here. You can learn more about Time Crystals here.

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