Creating time crystals with a rotating ion ring

May 03, 2013 by John Hewitt report
Ion Ring for Time Crystal Experiment. Credit: Simonsfoundation.org

(Phys.org) —There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of building what has come to be known as a time crystal. In February 2012, Frank Wilczek originally proposed the idea that under certain conditions, physical structures can move in a repeating pattern without expending any energy. Last June, a group of researchers at Berkeley proposed a time crystal could be realized as a persistently rotating ring of charged atoms. Unfortunately a problem with that approach was pointed out by Patrick Bruno, who noted that to be a time crystal, an object must exhibit perpetual motion in its lowest energy state—the ground state. Commenting in Physical Review Letters in March, Bruno showed that the particular example described by Wilczek was actually one of a system in an excited state, and therefore not a time crystal. Taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in the construction of low noise ion traps, Berkeley researchers now plan to build an ion trap that will satisfy the critics.

The Berkeley team, led by Xiang Zhang and Hartmut Häffner, will attempt to build a time crystal by introducing 100 into a 100-micron wide . The calcium ions will be confined by electric fields to form a crystalline ring, which will then be induced to rotate under the influence of a . According to the group's calculations, this ring should settle into the when the atoms are pre-cooled with lasers to around one-billionth of a degree above .

There are several different kinds of , but the basic principle is to set up conditions where photons from the laser hit the atoms, and cause them to emit photons of a higher average energy than the one initially absorbed. The extra energy comes from the thermal of the atoms (heat), and this energy is converted into the photon that leaves the atom. The lower bound on the temperature that could be obtained in this fashion had previously been limited by background heat emanating from impurities in the electrodes used in the trap. The new technique, which may now allow a time crystal to be made, involves cleaning the electrodes with an argon-ion beam that is integral to the trap. Experiments have shown that this cleaning permits up to 100-fold reduction electric-field noise in the trap.

The experimental plan is to properly cool the chamber and then apply the proper magnetic fields. At this point, the ions should begin to cycle around their starting point at regular intervals, forming the repeating lattice of the time crystal. To observe this ion rotation, one of the 100 calcium ions will then be toggled into a new electronic state using a laser. If the scientists observe that ion rotating at steady state, they will have in effect, "broken the translational symmetry of time."

Atoms within a crystal are said to break translational symmetry in space because they once confined by the discrete symmetry of the crystal, they are no longer free to take up any position along the spatial continuum. Wilczek got to thinking about the idea of a time crystal by imagining a system that would have time-periodic ground states that would break translational time symmetry. He previously considered both classical and quantum systems that are both spatially ordered, and move perpetually in the ground state in an oscillatory or rotational way.

The new Berkeley experiments to test these ideas may take a while to get underway. A few physicists, including Bruno, are still skeptical. His main objection is that it may not be possible to detect motion in the ground state. In other words, it may be feasible to set up the rotating ring of ions inside the trap, but not possible to ever observe it. It does not, however, appear that time crystals would violate any principle of thermodynamics. If they are ever made, potential applications could include ultra-precise clocks, or simulation of ground states in quantum computing schemes. It is probably too early to draw any definitive conclusions on building time crystals, and the new Berkeley experiment is probably not the last we will hear about.

Explore further: Step lightly: All-optical transistor triggered by single photon promises advances in quantum applications

More information: Related publications:
physics.aps.org/articles/v5/116
prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v109/i16/e163001
prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v109/i10/e103001

via SimonsFoundation

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Szkeptik
1 / 5 (2) May 03, 2013
I'm not really sure what this is, but just its name is cool enough to fund the research.
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (12) May 03, 2013
Time crystals are actually quite common in quantum physics and known as quantum zitterbewegung (jitterbugging ?). We could model it with floaters, which are allowed to move in vertical direction only. In superconductors the Dirac fermions play a role of such floaters: the electrons which are heavily compressed each other, so they cannot move mutually and only zitterbewegung is allowed for them (i.e. undulations along time dimension only). In AWT the time crystals are important because of their ability to radiate scalar/longitudinal/gravitational waves of vacuum without EM signal.
ValeriaT
1.4 / 5 (11) May 03, 2013
But what these physicists want to observe are rather the "space-time crystals", i.e. the objects which don't stay at place inside of space-time, but which are moving periodically through it like the perpetuum mobile. We already know, that the electrons can revolve tiny metallic rings or quantum dots for ever in similar way, like the electrons inside of atoms. But such an electrons cannot be seen, we can only detect/measure their current. When we would force the charged ions to revolve magnetic trap in small circles, we should observe this effect by our naked eyes, because such an ions are glowing brightly under laser illumination. This could be the easiest to follow few sentence long explanation of the whole subject.
packrat
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2013
Could someone explain to me how a static magnetic field will make that ring rotate?
ValeriaT
1.5 / 5 (8) May 03, 2013
The magnetic field just constrains the ions at tiny place. The rotation itself is maintained with quantum fluctuations of vacuum. Try to imagine the floater fixed at certain distance with anchor. The floater will rotate around anchor in surface waves.
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (6) May 04, 2013
BTW So far my posts here were downvoted with barakn, Physphan, aroc91, bear_dressed_as_a_monkey, jsdarkdestruction, VENDItardE - i.e. higher number of readers, than usually - which I presume is caused with fact, no one here actually understands the subject of this article.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet May 04, 2013
The magnetic field just constrains the ions at tiny place.

Well no. The article states quite plainly that electric fields are used to constrain the ions. The magnetic field simply causes the stuff to rotate.
ValeriaT
2 / 5 (4) May 04, 2013
The magnetic field constrains the plane, in which the ions can rotate in another dimension (it's called the geometric frustration) with Lorentz/Lenz force. It's necessary condition for changing the ions from fermions to Dirac fermions (anyons), which do exhibit the quantum zitterbewegung along time dimension. You can imagine it like the Brownian motion of pollen grains which are moving in the field of focus of the microscope. If the depth of focus of the microscope will remain large, then you can follow the motion of particles along whole their path. But when the focal height will become narrow, then the pollen grains will occasionally disappear from the sight, because they will appear outside of focal plane. The magnetic field therefore provides, that the portion of energy of fundamental quantum state of ions will transform into motion across dimensions of our space-time.
ValeriaT
1.7 / 5 (6) May 04, 2013
In AWT the object which expands or collapses moves against/toward time arrow in time dimension. This animation illustrates, what will happen with quantum objects, if you constrain it in motion: the objects will move faster, which is classical behavior. But in addition to it, they will condense and evaporate more pronouncedly like the fluctuations of the gas. It can even occasionally disappear from our sight. You can play with this behavior at this Java applet, if you drag the quantum particle into "potential well" at the corner with mouse. The quantum wave will become constrained in its motion, but its energy cannot disappear. What such a trapped particle will do? It will expand and collapse periodically thus forming the time crystal.
ValeriaT
2 / 5 (4) May 04, 2013
This is how the character of quantum oscillations of quantum particle will change during geometric frustration from perspective of water surface analogy of space time. It's evident, the constraining of particle motion in space doesn't destroy the energy of particle - it just converts the particle motion momentum along spatial dimension(s) into motion across the time dimension(s) of space-time and the "space-time crystal" will change into "time crystal".
WarRoom
not rated yet May 04, 2013
I hope my time crystal bling won't violate any laws of thermodynamics.
ValeriaT
1.8 / 5 (5) May 04, 2013
The normal particles moving along space don't violate the time arrow based on entropy, but the particles, the motion of which has been constrained with magnetic field tend to move reversibly in time dimension. Such a particles can violate the entropic time arrow by behaving like the Maxwell daemon. When they're hidden in disordered state and revealed in ordered state like the magnetic domain withing ferromagnets, they can pump-out the entropy ("heat") from particle system gradually. I presume, the magnetic motors work in this way.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) May 04, 2013
BTW So far my posts here were downvoted with barakn, Physphan, aroc91, bear_dressed_as_a_monkey, jsdarkdestruction, VENDItardE - i.e. higher number of readers, than usually - which I presume is caused with fact, no one here actually understands the subject of this article.
This is because you are not very popular.

So. Is there any way to determine the exact locations of the rotating ions without altering their rotating? And by implication isnt an atom a time crystal with ions rotating around ions?
the magnetic motors work in this way
Well apparently they dont because if they did, that arab who keeps one behind his couch would be a very rich man. Why arent there copies of his machine all over the place jigga?

Oh by the way, rossi delivered a big blue shipping container somewhere at some time in the recent or not recent past.
http://www.e-catw...he-jonp/

-Tubes and everything.
ValeriaT
2.2 / 5 (5) May 05, 2013
Why arent there copies of his machine all over the place jigga
Why Chi energy is not replicated with many other people, if its real? Why Podkletnov antigravity experiments aren't replicated? Why cold fusion experiments aren't replicated? Why the dense aether model of Oliver Lodge isn't replicated? Because it doesn't fit the low-dimensional perspective of the contemporary world. The physicists do need to keep our view of universe flat and low-dimensional, because it helps them to teach and apply low-dimensional formal models and survive as a shamans or priests inside of our society. We just replaced the abstract extremely hyper-dimensional confused religion with its dual extremely low dimensional slightly less confused "scientific" version - but the principle remained the same: the close group of people can keep profit just from maintenance of the informational monopoly about observable reality for the rest of human civilization.
ValeriaT
2 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
BTW the Yildiz magnetic motor is just a replica of the older Brazilian patent in the same way, like the magnetic motor of Perendev and some other replicas from Spain and Argentina. These replicas already do exist, but the scientists fear to study it. They're all servants of their grant system and they're risking excommunication from their social community. It does apply to the cold fusion research in the same way, like to scalar wave research, like to water cluster research, like to psychic phenomena research, like to magnetic motors research, like to antigravity research, etc. The fear of replication in standard scientific way and publishing it in peer-reviewed press is the unerring indicia of the alternative science. The more delayed are such an attempts for replication, the more their topic is actually controversial from philosophical perspective of modern science. Such an alternative science behaves like the antimatter inside of our material world and no one wants to touch it.
ValeriaT
2.4 / 5 (5) May 05, 2013
The social psychology already has a causal explanation for such ignorant attitude: the groupthink, spiral of silence, pluralistic ignorance and many others, but the causal basis of all these phenomena indeed always was and remains economical: the scientific people are willingly payed for maintaining of their philosophy and socially cohesive group like any other sect. The laymen people simply like being fooled in organized way and they're willing to pay for it.
ValeriaT
2.4 / 5 (5) May 05, 2013
This is because you are not very popular.
It doesn't explain, why some of my posts are downvoted A) more than others B) with another group of people, than with usual regular downvoters or even voting bots like the former lite, now open account. I'm analyzing all of it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
Why Chi energy is not replicated with many other people, if its real? Why Podkletnov antigravity experiments aren't replicated? Why cold fusion experiments aren't replicated
Jigga. You posted a vid of some guy who hauled this thing out from behind some furniture, hit a switch, and it ran. If it was REAL this guy could have at least sold it for replication.

SO WHERE IS IT? No research involved. Tons of money to be made. Since it has yet to hit the marketplace we can assume that it isn't real.
These replicas already do exist, but the scientists fear to study it
They don't need to study it. If it's real they just need to start manufacturing it.
It doesn't explain
The sites infested with vermin. When has this ever bothered you?
Why the dense aether model of Oliver Lodge isn't replicated?
Because nobody has done the math to turn it into something usable and with any substance whatsoever? A big pile of words. What good is it?
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
They don't need to study it. If it's real they just need to start manufacturing it.
The fact some effect is real doesn't mean, it wouldn't require some research for commercialization. BTW For what we actually paying the scientists? For research of useless and military things and the actual useful research should be done in garages? You're trying to justify the public ignorance of all important findings in the past.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (5) May 05, 2013
The fact some effect is real doesn't mean, it wouldn't require some research for commercialization
Many airplanes were built, flown, and crashed before aeronautics could be used to design them. Perhaps rossi would benefit from research. We'll have to see.
BTW For what we actually paying the scientists? For research of useless and military things
So you want instant gratification. What do you anticipate the immediate benefits of AWT might be?
You're trying to justify the public ignorance of all important findings in the past
You have failed to make the case that your alternate reality is less ignorant than the work of 1000s of scientists over many gens. Try harder.
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
What do you anticipate the immediate benefits of AWT might be?
For example we could save immediately spend for useless search of gravitational waves, which everyone could detect with its TV set (and another [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holometer]two billions of dollars spent into Hogan's holometer). But some 100 scientists would lose their jobs during it - and this is unacceptable. They're all highly qualified and specialized experts, who cannot do anything else.
ValeriaT
1.3 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
What do you anticipate the immediate benefits of AWT might be?
For example we could immediately save one billion of dollars spend for useless search of gravitational waves, which everyone could detect with its TV set (and another two billions of dollars spent into Hogan's holometer). But some 100 scientists would lose their jobs during it - and this is unacceptable. They're all highly qualified and specialized experts, who cannot do anything else. They could feel sad and unsatisfied... The money of thousands of hardly working common people mean nothing from this perspective. They're silly and they cannot recognize, what is good for them.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.2 / 5 (5) May 05, 2013
What do you anticipate the immediate benefits of AWT might be?
some 100 scientists would lose their jobs during it - and this is unacceptable. They're all highly qualified and specialized experts, who cannot do anything else. They could feel sad and unsatisfied... The money of thousands of hardly working common people mean nothing from this perspective. They're silly and they cannot recognize, what is good for them.
I know you dont believe it but you would need the efforts of all those scientists to explore your little theory and turn it into something tangible. WORDS are not ENOUGH.

Solve this equation... word x word = ? word^2 = ? How many word mongers does it take to screw in a lightbulb or build an aether detector??

All those elaborate fantasies you have dancing about your skull would have to be converted into something useful, communicable, developablle, testable, refinable, and also and not least of all, weaponizable. Because we do have enemies you know.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) May 05, 2013
WORDS are not ENOUGH
Neither the equations. Albert Einstein: "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality" Richard Feynman: "Physics is to mathematics like sex is to masturbation. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." But the problem goes deeper: Alan P. Lightman, a MIT teacher: We are living in a universe uncalculable by science. How to describe it, if not with math, after then?
All those elaborate fantasies you have dancing about your skull would have to be converted into something useful, communicable, developablle, testable, refinable, and also and not least of all, weaponizable. Because we do have enemies you know
Tell it to string theorists, not me. Actually many findings of recent era are closed into treasuries, just because they're something useful and not least of all, weaponizable.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) May 05, 2013
I could recommend for example the reading of these articles in this regard (1, 2, 3)
brt
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2013
The time crystal concept is the biggest crock of bullshit I've ever seen. Proof of this is shown by the dominance of ValeriaT in the comments section.

I mean seriously! A time crystal?! did someone say, "ah shit, I need an idea to present...uhhhh, TIME CRYSTAL!"
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) May 05, 2013
Proof of this is shown by the dominance of ValeriaT in the comments section.
You guessed it. Frank Wilczek who proposed time crystal concept was proponent of aether concept too. For my the "time crystal" is somewhat misinterpreted and overhyped denomination of phenomena, which are routinely described or even observed under different names already (zitterbewegung, Dirac fermions, anyons, etc..)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (4) May 05, 2013
But the problem goes deeper: Alan P. Lightman, a MIT teacher: We are living in a universe uncalculable by science.
Yeah. The guy is a novelist.

"In 1981, Lightman began publishing essays about science, the human side of science, and the "mind of science"..."

-Since then we have concluded that there is no such thing as 'mind', only brain. Perhaps he would like to update his notions about calculating the universe as well?

Math is a superior form of communication. It is necessary to both add validity and coherence to your theory. Talk is cheap.
Tell it to string theorists, not me
What? They have lots of math. Lots and lots of math.
ValeriaT
2.3 / 5 (3) May 05, 2013
They have lots of math. Lots and lots of math.
Yeah, they really have... But if I remember well, you wanted something something useful, communicable, developablle, testable, refinable and weaponizable.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2013
Yeah, they really have... But if I remember well, you wanted something something useful, communicable, developablle, testable, refinable and weaponizable
You are impatient. Wait until we start moving about in space at relativistic speeds. We didnt know we could build neutron bombs until theorists discovered fission.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) May 08, 2013
So you shouldn't be impatient when asking some results from "elaborate fantasies I have dancing about my skull" as well. One of signs of pathological skepticism is the application of double standards.