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Scientists Develop Crystals for Real-World Applications

Time Crystals that last indefinitely at room temperature could have applications in precision timekeeping. We have all seen , whether a simple grain of salt or sugar or an elaborate and beautiful amethyst. The study was published this week in Nature Communications.These Crystals are made of atoms or molecules repeating in a symmetrical three-dimensional pattern called a lattice, in which atoms occupy specific points in space.

By forming a periodic lattice, carbon atoms in a diamond, for example, break the symmetry of the space they sit in. Physicists call this “breaking symmetry.”Scientists have recently discovered that a similar effect can be witnessed in time. As the name suggests, symmetry breaking can arise only where some sort of symmetry exists. In the time domain, a cyclically changing force or energy source naturally produces a temporal pattern. Breaking the symmetry occurs when a system driven by such a force faces a déjà vu moment, but not with the same period as that of the force.

‘Time Crystals’ have been pursued as a new phase of matter in the past decade and more recently observed under elaborate experimental conditions in isolated systems. These experiments require shallow temperatures or other rigorous conditions to minimize external influences. To learn more about time Crystals and employ their potential in technology, scientists need to find ways to produce time crystalline states and keep them stable outside the laboratory.

Cutting-edge research led by UC Riverside has now observed time Crystals in a system not isolated from its ambient environment. This significant achievement brings scientists one step closer to developing time for use in real-world applications.

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