New State of Matter Has Been Created in a Lab
A bizarre new state of matter, known as a time crystal, has been created in the lab for the first time. While some may associate the word ‘crystal’ with crystal balls and jewellery, in scientific terms a crystal is a material that has a repeating atomic structure.
This means if you started at one atom, and looked along any direction you chose, you would see a repeating pattern of other atoms. This structure happens a lot in nature, for example in snowflakes, salt or diamonds.
Now, researchers have created a completely new type of crystal, a time crystal, which repeats its pattern in time rather than space. The atoms in a time crystal never settle down, and are dubbed a ‘non-equilibrium’ phase. In addition to being a breakthrough in the study of matter, the strange material could be the key to achieving quantum computing.