Time crystals are unusual structures of atoms, the presence of which was predicted recently in 2012, with experimental evidence following a few years after. In an ordinary crystal, like a diamond or salt, the atoms are organized in a regularly duplicating spatial pattern, a lattice, or an identical framework. Like most materials, when the atoms are in their normal state, which is their worst possible energy level, they stop shaking.
Time crystals can contradict the effects of entropy because of a quantum-mechanical principle recognized as “many object localization.” If pressure is felt by one atom in the time crystal, it influences only that atom, and thus, the change is deemed localized instead of global throughout the system. As an outcome, the system does not prove to be chaotic and enables the repeating vibrations to proceed, theoretically, to an afterlife.
“Everyone knows that perpetual motion machines are impossible,” Samuli Autti, a research fellow and lecturer in physics at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, told in a statement. “However, in quantum physics, perpetual motion is okay as long as we keep our eyes closed.”
Autti’s team, operating at Aalto University in Finland, then utilized the helium-3 atoms to build two-time crystals interacting with each other.
Likewise, they identified this time-crystal pairing for a record fraction of about 1,000 seconds (nearly 17 minutes), correlating to billions of periods of oscillating or spinning gestures of the atoms before the time crystals’ wave function collapsed.
“It turns out, putting two of them together works beautifully,” Autti said.