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TIME CRYSTAL: Time Translation Symmetry breaks down

Image: Phys.org

By Sujan Dahal

Time Crystal is a 4D crystal or a bizarre state of matter within an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, allowing them to maintain constant oscillation at their lowest energy state with non-zero energy in the system.

Time Translation Symmetry, which states that the laws of physics are same everywhere and at all times, beaked down. The experiments by a groups led by Christopher Monroe at University of Maryland and by Mikhail Lukin at Harvard University, independently, got Time Crystal and prove the breaks down of time translation symmetry.

Ytterbium (171Y+) ions were localized in a particular space influenced in time. Using laser, by flipping the spin of one ion, it caused the next one to flip, results into the changing the spin of specific Ytterbium ions, as all ions were oscillating in a chain. They observed the interaction occurred at the rate twice the original period. As there is no external force with that period, it suggests time symmetry has been broken and system rotates perpetually. But time crystal doesn’t violate the laws of conservation of energy and thermodynamics as no work can be produced out from oscillation.

Laws of Physics predicts when quantum system hold onto a bunch of ions in a shape of ring and cooled to their lowest energy state, the ring will stay. But experimentally found the ring could rotate periodically at the ground state. The energy of oscillation never get vanishes as consequences of the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. In Future, time crystal could help to retain the information in future generation of quantum computers.

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