By: April Carson
Time Crystals are an important advancement in our understanding and application of physics because they help us understand how to use quartz clocks which have been used for hundreds if not thousands years now throughout human history.
Time Crystals are also important in that they could revolutionize technology, time travel and the world. This is due to time crystals being predicted by one scientist to potentially be able to harness time or use time differently than we've ever seen before.
Crystals are nothing new in our time, but a time crystal is a special kind of crystal that is predicted to be time symmetrical and time asymmetrical at the same time, or stated another way, a time crystal is a time machine.
To explain how this works it's important to know what they are first. Time crystals are not like the time travel that people see in movies, time travel takes time and time is time, which means that time flows one direction.
What Are Time Crystals?
Scientists have discovered a new state of matter called time crystals. These structures aren't portals or machines, but rather something completely different than what we know to be solid, liquid and gas.
Time crystals are systems of atoms that arrange themselves in time the way more traditional solids crystallize in space. They're not portals nor infinite Rube Goldberg Machines - they represent an entirely brand-new state of matter which scientists call 'time crystal'.
The time crystals were first described by Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor Emeritus Frank Wilczek in a 2012 research paper. The Professor posits that if things change in time and not in space, it can create new states of matter. Six years after the idea was first proposed, scientists created crystals that seem to have properties like what was proposed.
In the time crystal, atoms spin independently at their own frequency and remain in constant oscillation even at their lowest energy state. This is how time crystals get their time-like properties. They're a form of matter that appears to have a resistance to gravity, even though time crystals are 10^-9 g in mass -- approximately 2000 times lighter than an electron.
What Does this Mean for the Future?
The biggest implication of time crystals is that they could create time machines. A time crystal would have properties similar to an ordinary crystal. Just like an ordinary crystal has atoms that perpetually oscillate, a time crystal would have particles that are always oscillating even at their lowest energy state -- which may unlock the way to time travel.
Researchers think that learning more about time crystals and improving our knowledge of them will lead to improvements in the precision and accuracy of atomic clocks, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, as well as new applications for potential quantum technologies.
The promise of utilizing steady quantum systems at far higher operating temperatures than what we can now achieve may be the ultimate incentive to make quantum computing a reality — which is a significant development. In the computer age, one of the most exciting technological horizons is quantum computing. This is the ability to process information at a rate exponentially faster than what's been possible with today's conventional computing power.
Time crystals are also a call for some present scientific concepts and assumptions to be reexamined, since they appear to suggest that there are additional phases of matter beyond what we currently comprehend.
Time crystals may be classified as a science fiction invention. However, the more we learn about them, the more we realize how much potential they have. This is because time crystals represent a brand new type of matter that might be harnessed to improve timekeeping accuracy.
As we start to reach a limit on how many transistors can be in a chip, time crystals may be the answer. We may have new computers that do not require chips to work. It's obvious that the more we know about time crystals, the better our future will be.