A new kind of time crystal has been created and lasts 10 milliseconds

A time crystal has been created by firing lasers at rubidium atoms. It only lasts for 10 milliseconds, but it could reveal the precise scale at which quantum effects take hold

Physics 9 June 2022

A stock image of crystals

Normal crystals have patterns that appear in three dimensions, but time crystals have patterns that repeat in time

Tetra Images/Getty Images

A new kind of time crystal has been created and it could explain how these mysterious substances function and reveal the scale at which quantum effects kick in.

The existence of time crystals was first proposed in 2012 by Frank Wilczek at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Normal crystals have patterns that repeat in three-dimensional space, creating a lattice structure, but Wilczek imagined a crystal-like entity that would regularly and perpetually repeat …

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