Dancing Forever – Time Crystals!

Dancing Forever - Time Crystals!

Can you dance to your favourite beats forever? No, you would sooner or later lose your energy to dance. 

Can you dance forever if you never lose your energy?

Yes, if you have the energy which you would never lose, you could dance forever.

But nothing in the universe can dance, vibrate, or move forever without losing energy and finally coming to rest. 

Wait! Someone is ready to dance to the rhythm forever. They never lose their energy. They are time crystals.

What is the time crystal?

It is a crystal made up of atoms that move repetitively without losing energy. Normal crystals have structures which repeat in space. Whereas these time crystals have structures in both space and time. 

The structure oscillates continually with time, just like a pendulum, but never loses energy and never comes to a halt.

It never loses energy! Never stops dancing to the rhythm of time!

But how long does it not lose energy? 

Based on how the environment is, its movements can last from milliseconds to several minutes. But, of course, it might last longer too.

How was the time crystal created?

Time crystals were first theoretically proposed in 2012 by Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek.

The first evidence of the existence of the time crystal was reported in 2016 by a team of researchers led by physicist Chris Monroe at the University of Maryland. They created it using a chain of ytterbium ions.

To create the time crystal, the researchers used a small crystal of the element ytterbium, which has a complex electronic structure. They placed the crystal in a resonant cavity and applied a series of laser pulses.

That created time crystals.

Wait! What? How can a laser create a time crystal?

I know you have this question now, so before answering the question, remember electrons have a property called “spin”, which can be either up or down.

By applying the precise laser pulses, the spins of these electrons are flipped so that the crystal’s electrons will continually flip and oscillate between spin-up and spin-down. This pattern would repeat in time without losing its energy.

This repeating pattern, or “temporal order,” defines the time crystal. It never comes to rest at a single spin.

With the passing years, different researchers have been creating time crystals from other elements, such as rubidium, helium and with different methods.

Why is the discovery of time crystals important?

The discovery of time crystals could have significant implications for the study of quantum physics, as it suggests the existence of a new type of matter that exhibits unique properties. It could also have practical applications like developing ultra-precise clocks or quantum computers.

Since the pattern keeps repeating in time, it will always remember the initial state. It would lose no memory, hence it would also be a perfect quantum memory device. 

The crystals never lose the energy, hence never stop their dance and never forget the steps of the dance it began with. 

In conclusion, the creation of time crystals might begin a new era in the world of quantum physics and quantum computers.


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