The Quest to Crystallize Time

Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not

Time crystals are hypothetical structures that pulse without requiring any energy—like a ticking clock that never needs winding. The pattern repeats in time in much the same way that the atoms of a crystal repeat in space. The idea was so challenging that when Nobel prize–winning physicist Frank Wilczek, Professor (1989–2000) in the School of Natural Sciences, proposed the provocative concept in 2012, other researchers quickly proved there was no way to create time crystals.

But there was a loophole—and researchers in a separate branch of physics, including Member (1988) Shivaji Sondhi, found a way to exploit the gap.

Read more at Scientific American.