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Time crystals: new form of matter ticks with time

Mar 09, 2017, 7:00 AM EST
(Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr)
(Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr)

According to a study published in the journal, Science, the researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed an exotic class of matter called time crystals in which atoms show a recurrent motion in time rather than in space. In common terms, this new form of matter comprises of atoms with relatively very high inter-atomic spaces but a certain degree of interaction, which imparts them a regular rhythm in time.

The “bizarre” form of matter shows no coherence with the existing laws of thermodynamics and keeps “ticking” indefinitely at a certain frequency, writes Live Science. Study co-author Soonwon Choi, a theoretical physics graduate student at Harvard University, describes this phenomenon as “something moving in time while still stable.”

The development opens new possibilities in the world of non-equilibrium phases, which scientists intend to use for data storage and transfer in next-generation quantum computers, notes Science Daily.

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