Scientists have linked two time crystals in an experiment that defies the laws of physics

Scientists have linked two time crystals in an experiment that defies the laws of physics

Physics has made an amazing feat in the field of quantum computing. For the first time, two-time crystals were connected in the same infinite loop system, where the laws of thermodynamics do not apply. Studies on this topic are very recent, as this condition was only discovered in 2016 and since then its applications are still being researched.

First, it is important to understand what the “time crystals” will be. In physics, crystals are defined as a series of atoms that are arranged sequentially and repeatedly, forming equal patterns. The difference from other materials is precisely in their organization. In nature there are ice crystals, salt and others. Water, for example, is symmetric in the liquid state, but when it is frozen, this symmetry breaks and the liquid turns into a crystal.

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A Time Crystal will have a pattern that repeats itself after a certain period of time and not after a physical distance. These particles can, rather than act as a buffer of space, act using time.

Applications for this cannot be fully quantified. The most obvious use would be to create more accurate time and clock patterns than current atomic clocks. Computing can also be completely revolutionized with this state of matter.

connected time crystals

“The time crystal continues to move and periodically repeats itself in time in the absence of an external stimulus,” Samuli Autti, senior project scientist at Lancaster University in the UK, explained to Live Science.

What breaks the rules of quantum mechanics is precisely infinite motion. Since it is at its lowest in terms of energy, a time crystal cannot remain completely stationary, so it gets stuck in a cycle and creates endless motion. “This means that they are perpetually moving machines and therefore impossible,” Otti continues.

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“In quantum physics, a perpetual motion machine is fine as long as we close our eyes, and should only start to slow down if we notice motion.” In this case, the study leader says, perpetual motion is broken if interference from the environment or if the cycle is simply observed.

How does the search work?

Scientists used a group of time crystals that consist of quasiparticles called magnons. Magons appear when helium 3 is cooled to one ten thousandth of a degree from absolute zero.

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Thus, the crystals form Bose-Einstein condensates causing their mobility to drop to a very slow state. Upon touch, the time crystals can exchange magnets, creating a unique and permanent system of motion.

The study is still a long way from creating a working quantum computer, but if a system of two time crystals can be manipulated without destroying motion, researchers can build larger systems, such as a computer.

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