FEB 07, 2017 08:18 AM PST

Time Crystals: A New Kind of Matter?


Time travel might not be just the stuff of science fiction for much longer. A new development in theoretical physics shows that a team in California has created a "time crystal." A time crystal is when an ion channel, in this case a chain of ten ytterbium ions, repeats the same pattern over and over, always returning to it's original state. It's a new form of matter and physicists see it as a first step in seeing if time can be manipulated.

The ions are being flipped as they move along, once they get halfway through a pattern, the team flipped them back to the original start. Even if they didn't flip the pattern back at exactly half way, the ions responded in a precise manner to go back to the origin point. Scientists think it's the first move toward discovering if nonequalibrium quantum systems are possible. If so, could time travel be far behind?
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