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posted by requerdanos on Monday August 30, @10:20PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the are-laws-of-thermodynamics-overrated? dept.

Eternal Change for No Energy: A Time Crystal Finally Made Real:

In a preprint posted online Thursday night, researchers at Google in collaboration with physicists at Stanford, Princeton and other universities say that they have used Google's quantum computer to demonstrate a genuine "time crystal." In addition, a separate research group claimed earlier this month to have created a time crystal in a diamond.

A novel phase of matter that physicists have strived to realize for many years, a time crystal is an object whose parts move in a regular, repeating cycle, sustaining this constant change without burning any energy.

"The consequence is amazing: You evade the second law of thermodynamics," said Roderich Moessner, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany, and a co-author on the Google paper. That's the law that says disorder always increases.

Time crystals are also the first objects to spontaneously break "time-translation symmetry," the usual rule that a stable object will remain the same throughout time. A time crystal is both stable and ever-changing, with special moments that come at periodic intervals in time.

[...] "This is just this completely new and exciting space that we're working in now," said Vedika Khemani, a condensed matter physicist now at Stanford who co-discovered the novel phase while she was a graduate student and co-authored the new paper with the Google team.

Journal Reference:
Mi, Xiao, Ippoliti, Matteo, Quintana, Chris, et al. Observation of Time-Crystalline Eigenstate Order on a Quantum Processor, (DOI: https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.13571)


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  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday August 30, @10:25PM (10 children)

    by Tork (3914) on Monday August 30, @10:25PM (#1172568)

    Time crystals are also the first objects to spontaneously break "time-translation symmetry," the usual rule that a stable object will remain the same throughout time. A time crystal is both stable and ever-changing, with special moments that come at periodic intervals in time.

    Like putting too much air into a balloon. Make it so.

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    Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Monday August 30, @10:29PM (4 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday August 30, @10:29PM (#1172571) Journal

      quantum simulation platform

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Tork on Monday August 30, @10:34PM (2 children)

        by Tork (3914) on Monday August 30, @10:34PM (#1172575)
        Oh right. Umm... try 'end program' and if that fails just get the acting ensign down here to reboot it or whatever.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, @11:06PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, @11:06PM (#1172587)

          Like a balloon, when something bad happens!

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by Tork on Monday August 30, @11:21PM

            by Tork (3914) on Monday August 30, @11:21PM (#1172590)
            You're almost right, just reverse the polarity of the hull!
            --
            Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, @11:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 30, @11:35PM (#1172597)

        Reminds me of my early exposure to a SPICE electronic circuit analyzer...

        I designed an absolutely perfect voltage reference.

        I built it. It worked almost as good as the simple standard op amp stabilized zener circuit, was far more complicated, used five times more parts, required precision low tempco resistors.

        In other words, wild goose chase.

        Moral and lesson learned...math is exact, but my models are not.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by krishnoid on Monday August 30, @10:34PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Monday August 30, @10:34PM (#1172574)

      I'm sure everyone knows the Futurama reference, but just in case [youtu.be].

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by darkfeline on Tuesday August 31, @02:40AM (2 children)

      by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday August 31, @02:40AM (#1172647) Homepage

      Sounds like relativity bullshit. You can change an object without changing an object by changing the point of reference. Maybe time crystals are simply objects that don't have the same "inertia" as the frames of reference we're used to.

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      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Tuesday August 31, @03:23AM

        by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday August 31, @03:23AM (#1172655) Homepage Journal

        Not relativity. It's quantum-mechanical bullshit. And it looks as if it's just ordinary nonweirdness -- QM just behaving as it ought to until something decoheres.
        When it decoheres, that's when entropy and the second law get their due.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by edIII on Tuesday August 31, @07:41PM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 31, @07:41PM (#1172933)

        I think this whole quantum simulation is fucking people up here.

        A time crystal is like an ordinary crystal. Ordinary crystals have repeating patterns in space, so you might call them space-crystals. A "time-crystal" is just like it sounds, it has repeating patterns in time. It's not that time crystals break symmetry, they just have a different symmetry.

        Yes, these actually exist outside of simulations - Video recording of a time crystal [is.mpg.de]

        This PBS Video [youtube.com] does a good job of explaining them.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @05:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @05:18AM (#1172686)

      Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. It's no good if it's true.

      You need to be able to bring your understanding and knowledge to the wider society.

      Let's put it this way. If technology at whatever level X requires a certain intelligence level and a certain amount of actual energy/effort to build the understanding of that technology into your brain, there's a certain percentage of the population who we will not educate to that technology.

      As the required intelligence and effort rises, so too do the opportunity costs. We have other stuff to do!

      Problem is, the error rate goes up. We're checking the results far fewer times. There will be more errors, and progress will slow, simply because catching the errors is one core way we evolve our model: science.

      That's why you need to ELI-5. To make science work the way it's supposed to. When you claim to break something we spent generations educating the population on, you need to expend similar effort to help us understand the new information.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @12:49AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @12:49AM (#1172616)

    Only temporarily... until Google cancels this project.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:04AM (#1172649)

      Not to worry, they've got all the documentation on their Google+ page.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday August 31, @01:04AM (7 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday August 31, @01:04AM (#1172621)

    You evade the second law of thermodynamics

    No you don't.

    And this time I'll proudly admit I didn't read TFA, because I stopped right there: either the guy is serious and he's a crackpot, or it's a trick to get me to read the rest of the article to find out how this outrageous claim can be true, and I don't appreciate sensationalist science writeups designed to sucker me into reading it.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Tuesday August 31, @03:27AM (1 child)

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday August 31, @03:27AM (#1172657) Homepage Journal

      Move along, nothing to see here. It's just a quantum-mechanical state that stays as it is until it decoheres. Is it oscillating? Of course. Just about any quantum-mechanical state oscillates. It used to be called wave mechanics, remember?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @05:54AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @05:54AM (#1172699)
        Where's the I-Need-Someone-Smarter-Than-Me-To-Fact-Check-This mod?
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:36AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:36AM (#1172661)

      Yeah, but by rigorously playing with the statistical definitions within the laws of thermodynamics you can end up with negative temperatures. That behave as if they're hotter than infinite temperatures. That's not the regime under which the laws of thermodynamics are designed to work.

      The laws of probability don't model the shell game or the stock market either.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:08PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @03:08PM (#1172850)

        The laws of probability don't model the shell game or the stock market either.

        Yeah, not so sure about that second one [wikipedia.org].

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday August 31, @04:15PM (1 child)

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday August 31, @04:15PM (#1172873) Homepage
          That a random signal causes a chartist to perceive a pattern doesn't let you conclude anything about the randomness of otherwise of real stock prices. It does tell you something about that chartist, though. They probably won a Fauxbel Prize.

          Got any evidence that E[eps_t.eps_{t+d}] = 0 for small d?
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @04:39PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @04:39PM (#1172882)

            The answer, as usual, is it depends [sciencedirect.com]:

            The results of first and second generation panel unit root tests rejects the null of unit root which implies that the stock prices do not follow a random walk process and stock markets are not weak efficient. On the other hand, recent panel unit root testing methodologies that considers both structural shifts and cross-sectional dependency across series provides an evidence on weak-form efficiency of stock markets. This finding accepts the random walk behavior of stock prices which implies that the current market prices of stocks include and reflect all the past information. In that case, technical analysis may not contribute to the forecasting of future stock prices because every new information has an impact on the prices. This publicly available and cost-free instant information and intense market competition makes it impossible to predict prices. Therefore, the investors cannot be able to generate returns which are higher than the average of markets by using past price movements.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday September 27, @04:32PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) on Monday September 27, @04:32PM (#1181898) Homepage Journal

        Last time I heard, those negative temperatures [wikipedia.org] have actually been observed. It turns out that the temperature scale connects the negative temperatures with the positive ones across infinity, not across zero. Which suggests to me that we should be talking about the reciprocal of temperature rather than about the temperature.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Tuesday August 31, @02:22AM

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday August 31, @02:22AM (#1172641)

    Just what I always wanted a Google Time Crystal Perpetual Motion Machine (GTCPMM!, another acronym that just rolls of the tongue ...)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @09:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 31, @09:15PM (#1172985)

    It doesn't sound any different to me than having two bodies orbiting each other, in just the right way, that they perpetually orbit each other without any decay; except the quantum version of this. I would imagine you couldn't extract any useful energy out of this system without it decaying...

    Kind of neat though, I suppose; It would seem then... One of the applications for this could be quantum computing; which, is, probably why Google's name is in the article. Perhaps, this is the path to room temperature quantum computing...

    That'd be neat, I suppose..

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