Scientists claim to have created a new form of non-equilibrium matter called Time Crystals,
http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.030401 - Publication
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1610.08057v1.pdf - Harvard paper
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1609.08684v1.pdf - Maryland Paper
For months now, there's been speculation that researchers might have finally created time crystals - strange crystals that have an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, putting them in perpetual motion without energy.
Now it's official - researchers have just reported in detail how to make and measure these bizarre crystals. And two independent teams of scientists claim they've actually created time crystals in the lab based off this blueprint, confirming the existence of an entirely new form of matter.
First predicted by Nobel-Prize winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek back in 2012, time crystals are structures that appear to have movement even at their lowest energy state, known as a ground state.
Usually when a material is in ground state, also known as the zero-point energy of a system, it means movement should theoretically be impossible, because that would require it to expend energy.
But Wilczek predicted that this might not actually be the case for time crystals.
Normal crystals have an atomic structure that repeats in space - just like the carbon lattice of a diamond. But, just like a ruby or a diamond, they're motionless because they're in equilibrium in their ground state.
But time crystals have a structure that repeats in time, not just in space. And it keep oscillating in its ground state.
Imagine it like jelly - when you tap it, it repeatedly jiggles. The same thing happens in time crystals, but the big difference here is that the motion occurs without any energy.
A time crystal is like constantly oscillating jelly in its natural, ground state, and that's what makes it a whole new form of matter - non-equilibrium matter. It's incapable of sitting still.