The World’s First Ever Video of A Space-Time Crystal

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A Polish-German collaboration has been able to conduct the first video-recording of a space-time crystal. The recurring material structure was micrometer-sized at room temperature. It also provides a step forward into finding applications for these curious objects.

A crystal is a material whose constituents are arranged in a lattice, highly ordered microscopic structure. A time crystal is similar but the order is not seen in space but in time. The structure changes and oscillates returning to a specific configuration periodically.

Combine the two and you get a space-time crystal. The one in the Physical Review Letters study was created using a strip of permalloy (iron-nickel alloy) and placed on a tiny antenna through which they sent a radio-frequency current.

“Our crystal condenses at room temperature and particles can interact with it – unlike in an isolated system. Moreover, it has reached a size that could be used to do something with this magnonic space-time crystal. This may result in many potential applications.” co-lead author Pawel Gruszecki said in a statement.

Crystals are very useful in an array of technologies so there is a lot of interest in how time crystal structures can be employed for imaging technologies or communication.


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