New Atom-Ecology to upset usual apple sellers
Now I can build my Tardis and get some-where or is that some-when.
Timely insight into old dilemmas heard in the sound of not so distant drums.
Researchers have finally confirmed months of rumour, time crystals – strange crystals that have an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, have expanded the usual 3 dimensional world of common matter(s). Details on precisely how to make and measure this incredible new 4 dimensional ‘time matter’ are out in Time Crystals Physical Review Letters. Two independent teams of scientists report their work making and studying time crystals in their labs based off the released design instructions.
It’s been predicted for a long time that there are many more strange types of matter in our Universe than the pedantic school-boy physics that has become common dogma has taught. And now we know they’re real.
The fact that we now have the first example of 4th dimensional matter at hand will lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of the world around us, as well as new technology that has been the stuff of science fiction for a long time.
“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,” said lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley.
“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.”
The trail to time matter was first discovered by Nobel-Prize winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek back in 2012, he speculated that time crystals are structures that appear to have movement even at their lowest energy state, known as a ground state. Being in the “ground state” by definition means that “NO” motion is permitted. The system is at ‘zero-point’ energy, at least in our usual world of 3 dimensions.
Wilczek posited that motion governed by another dimension might be a character for time crystals.
Ordinary matter crystals have a structure that repeats in space – just like the carbon lattice of a diamond. But the 3D crystal at rest is motionless because everything is in its ground ‘zero-point energy’ state.
But time crystals have a structure that includes more than our common place/space and it is built with a structure that is constructed also in time, not just in space. When it vibrates it does so not just here and now but here and whenever. Moreover it is incapable of remaining still, at least from our point of view.
Yao and his team have provided a detailed blueprint that describes exactly how to make, manipulate, and measure the properties of a time crystal. They are well along the path to being prescribe how to make use of this new Time Matter.
Published in Physical Review Letters, Yao calls the paper “the bridge between the theoretical idea and the experimental implementation”.
Enter the usual suspects and the need for replication.
Based on Yao’s blueprint, two independent teams – one from the University of Maryland and one from Harvard – have now followed the instructions to create their own time crystals. The replications were announced at the end of last year on the pre-print site arXiv.org (here and here), and have been submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Yao is a co-author on both articles.
While we’re waiting for the papers to be published, we need to be skeptical about the two claims. But the fact that two separate teams have used the same blueprint to make time crystals out of vastly different systems is promising.
The University of Maryland’s time crystals were created by making a conga line of 10 ytterbium ions, all with entangled electron spins.
Wouldn’t it be super weird if you rang a tuning fork and found that somehow it responded with a tone double the normal one, and twice as loud, is how I think of it.
“But that is the essence of the time crystal. You have some periodic driver that has a period ‘T (the frequency in time)’, but the system somehow synchronises so that you observe the system oscillating with a period that is larger than ‘T (a new totally different time element).” says Yao.
Here’s where things get really interesting.
By modifying the local environment, aka the atom-ecology, of known substances new time matter comes into being and one can cause it to behave predictably different in both space and time. Changing things like the temperature and magnetic fields and laser stimulation, the time crystal will then change phase, just like a ‘solid’ ice cube melting into ‘liquid’ and then turning into a ‘gas’ phase only now we have a fourth phase, time!
The team at Harvard team, led by Mikhail Lukin, developed their time crystal in an entirely different fashion. They took advantage of making ultra dense nitrogen which they produced by loading the gas into vacancies found in diamond lattices.
The Harvard authors reveal high expectations for practical results in their paper, “A number of remarkable phenomena in quantum dynamics have recently been observed in engineered many body systems consisting of ten to a few hundred particles. Beyond raising important questions about the role of localization and long-range interactions in studies of driven systems, our work opens up several new avenues for fundamental studies and potential applications.”
Hmmm sounds very familiar as methods of creating ultra dense deuterium by loading it into solid state lattices have been well studied and are legendary for producing astonishing results that demand either here-to-fore unknown solid state quantum effects or endless time or perhaps a bit of both.
“Such similar results achieved in two wildly disparate systems underscore that time crystals are a broad new phase of matter, not simply a curiosity relegated to small or narrowly specific systems,” explained Phil Richerme from Indiana University, who wasn’t involved in the study, in a perspective piece accompanying the paper.
“Observation of the discrete time crystal… confirms that symmetry breaking can occur in essentially all natural realms, and clears the way to several new avenues of research.”
Dare We Say That Technological Applications Are Already At Hand – Timely New Insight Into Old Dilemmas
There are more than a few mysteries in the world of physics that have demanded explanations so far out of the common boxed in dogma that they have received mostly ridicule and outrageous rejections. My favourite of these is how apparent nuclear energy can be produced in the absence of deadly energetic radiations and of how mysterious new particles that have characteristics so crazy they defy pigeon holes amongst the nearly overwhelming particle zoo can be seen, albeit not described as yet, save being the ‘mischugenon’s as my colleague Edward Teller named them.
Making time matter is it seems rather like making the ultra dense hydrogen/deuterium (UDH) that a few of us, aka cold fusion scientists, have been pursuing for some decades. That decidedly ‘strange matter’ was said by the late great nuclear physicist Julian Schwinger as requiring being made in a quantum state, aka in both in this, our common, 3D world and without. Only in such a state could it, the UDH, manage the spectacular conversion of matter into energy via nuclear fusion in the ‘time frames’ allotted without kicking highly energetic fast particles, aka deadly radiation, amongst those standing nearby.
The claim by those buffoon pundits simply ridiculing said experiments by positing that, ‘the absence of dead scientists next to the experiments was proof of no nuclear fusion, aka cold fusion, taking place.’
As the late Max Planck was prone to say about such buffoons in science, ‘before a new scientific truth takes hold its critics will first have to all die, and a new generation growing up with it become the professors.”
Here’s one of those new related ideas in science. The new EM Drive that has become a whipping boy of the boxed in physics dogmatists is a phenomenon that has demanded an ability to be connected to something out of our normal 3D world. The sealed EM drive ‘frustrums’ of Roger Shawyer that contain microwaves bouncing back and forth results in a ‘push off of something as nothing in our 3D world can be seen escaping.
By some means EM Drive ‘thrust’ appears from whatever is sealed in the 3D physical container. Whatever the EM Drives have been thrusting upon the most likely candidate has been collectively judged by those scientists who have dared to speculate is the ‘space-time continuum.’ Given 4D ‘time matter’ we now know can be made it seems plausible that the 4D corollary ‘time energy’ is also close to hand, perhaps in hand.
It seems an incredible, and wonderful, coincidence that after a decade or more of struggling with such dilemmas that demanded purely thought experiments having to do with the dimension of time that now we have real physical stuff of time to begin building into our experiments. Talk about finding how to expand one’s box not only in space but in time as well. Just in time mind you, I am not getting any younger (yet).
Why didn’t I think of this before, oh wait, I can remedy that oversight.
Now about that Tardis design. First to work out the layering of the time modified ytterbium that adds the needed dimensionality in more ways than one. It only needs to be on the outside in an thin atomic layer…. Too much slippery time wax on the floor and you might just find that a slip in time saves nine. You read it here first, send a comment to reserve your supply of TimeWax.
If you have a bit under 10 minutes to spare here’s a video lesson on the Quantum world.