Science 2 min read

Scientists Discover Time Crystal in a Child's Crystal-Growing Kit

Scientists from Yale University just grew something straight out of science fiction: a time crystal. This could completely change many aspects of scientific measurement and our understanding of atoms.

A monoammonium phosphate crystal, where Yale researchers have now found the telltale tick of a time crystal | Yale University

A monoammonium phosphate crystal, where Yale researchers have now found the telltale tick of a time crystal | Yale University

Scientists have discovered signs of a time crystal in the most unlikely place: a kid’s toy.

Physicists from Yale University have spotted signs of a time crystal in a crystal-growing kit for kids. While the crystal seems like something that only exists in science fiction, scientists claim that it is real.

Back in 2012, an MIT researcher proposed the concept of the time crystal. Typically, crystals have atoms with repeated patterns. They usually repeat across space and form a lattice structure.

However, a time crystal has atoms that repeat across time. This means that the atomic spins of the crystal flip back and forth in what appears to be a “ticking” motion which is locked to a specific frequency.

Read More: Time Crystals are the Newest Form of Matter

Since it is new, researchers have rarely observed a discreet time crystal (DTS). In fact, it has only been seen once in a solid crystal by Harvard physicists Phil Richerme who created it from a nitrogen-vacancy diamond.

“Our crystal measurements looked quite striking right off the bat,” Sean Barrett, principal investigator on the research, said. “Our work suggests that the signature of a discrete time crystal (DTC) could be found, in principle, by looking in a children’s crystal growing kit.”

The team of researchers reportedly conducted a “time crystal echo” experiment to probe the hidden quantum order found in the system. The test was successful but only led to more questions like how these crystals form naturally.

“It’s too early to tell what the resolution will be for the current theory of discrete time crystals, but people will be working on this question for at least the next few years,” Barrett said.

Researchers said that time crystals could potentially have many applications. And, no, we’re not talking about pocket time travel.

These crystal could improve practical things like our current atomic clock technology which already keeps the most accurate time in the world. These crystals could also be used to enhance other technologies like gyroscopes and GPS.

Where else do you think time crystals could be applied to technology?

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

Found this article interesting?

Let Rechelle Ann Fuertes know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.


Profile Image

Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

Comments (0)
Least Recent least recent
You
share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.