Frank Wilczek defends his time crystals




Physicist Frank Wilczek has had to defend his ideas many times in the course of his long and interesting career. His work on quarks, the smallest building blocks of this matter, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, was, by his own admission physics, a little crazy. Recently, he put forward the theory of “time crystals”, which can be read here . What has changed since then?

The last sentence Wilczek, who now works at MIT, was caught off guard – a physicist offered to make the type of device with an infinite movement called “crystal time.” Patrick Bruno, a theoretical physicist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, argues that dealt with the idea of ​​presenting a mathematical proof, published last month in Physical Review Letters.

“He went on the warpath,” – says Wilczek. But he had no fear of fighting with an opponent, laying on the preprint of August 27, which provides a new method of physical realization of his ideas.

Crystal time suggested Wilczek, in essence may be all that can be seen in the movement that is repeated at regular intervals with the passage of time without the addition of energy – watch that ticks forever. Similarly, as the atoms in the crystal are repeated with regular intervals in a discrete space-time structure of the crystals is repeated at discrete intervals in time.

Finding example, it would support the theory Wilczek started with the superconducting ring to the lowest energy state. electrons can pass through a ring without resistance by flowing a constant current, which is normally calm and stable over time, and hence it lacks observable “commas” in the work.

In an article published in October 2012, Wilczek brought the idea a step further by presenting a ring of quantum particles that interact with each other and form clusters. If you make them move a weak magnetic field, these clots will fluctuate in a move that would meet the crystal of time.

Bad idea?

Bruno paper challenges the idea, calling into question the fact that this system really is in the lowest energy state. The physicist presented a mathematical proof that any such system should get some energy to start spinning. However, he notes, if the particle is not the least possible energy, they may lose a little bit to become more stable, and this, in turn, break the repetitive pattern of the crystal of time.

“My work closes the book of quantum crystals of time for a wide class of systems” – says Bruno.

The team of experimental physicists from the United States and China do not agree with him. Tongchang Lee of Caltech and his colleagues are planning to create a crystal time of ions arranged in a ring. Their plans have not changed with the release of Bruno.

“An experiment that we are going to help resolve the dispute,” – says Lee.

He also notes that Bruno could not take too seriously the definition of a crystal of time. “Metastable” system – one that is almost in the lowest energy state – can not run forever, scientists say, but long enough to be interesting, perhaps it will lead to a clock that can operate for long periods without external intervention . This is not a watch from Samsung , which is 25 hours hold a charge.

Not wanting to give up their original ideas, Wilczek admits that the concept of a crystal of time to develop. This topic is still at the research stage, and it will take time before the physicist knows exactly what the definition of the system would be most appropriate.

As long as we continue to work on the ions, the last work of Wilczek outlines a different, more simple circuit chip manufacturing time. Time will tell.
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Tags: Crystals of time , Mathematics , Physics .

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