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Curated by RSF Research Staff

Time Crystals – a New Phase of Matter

The underlying formation of crystals is the breaking of symmetry in the spatial domain. Also responsible for phase transitions between liquid and solid it has long been associated with a system in equilibrium – that is a system in its ground state.

However, two independent teams of scientists have recently confirmed the existence of crystals in a non-equilibrium state – known as time crystals. Predicted in 2012 by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek these systems break symmetry in the time domain – where they show periodicities at an emergent sub-harmonic frequency and are robust to external perturbations. Could this be a resonant frequency of the quantum vacuum?


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