You are here
Home > Blog > Google announced that it may have created a “time crystal” that breaks through physics

Google announced that it may have created a “time crystal” that breaks through physics

On August 6, Beijing time, foreign media reported that researchers from Google’s quantum computing department published a study saying that the company’s Sycamore quantum computer was used to create a “time crystal” against physics.

If the results of this study are true, it will break the second law of thermodynamics, but the time crystal does not seem to warn about entropy. Now Google says that it not only sees its effect, but the process of producing it is scalable, and its impact may be huge. Not only can it prove that time crystals are real, but they may actually be used in some actual real worlds.



It is reported that the time crystal is stable and constantly changing, and the definable state repeats at predictable intervals without being decomposed into a completely random state.

Don’t be too entangled in the upspin and downspin of qubits (subatomic particles that can represent 1 and 0, which are the basis of quantum computing). What Google claims to do is basically a checker with a red pawn on one side and a black pawn on the other, and hit the table figuratively to switch the sides perfectly without consuming any energy.

The concept of time crystal was first proposed in 2012 by Nobel Prize winner Frank Vercek. Compared with ordinary crystals which repeat periodically in space, time crystals repeat periodically in time and present a state of perpetual motion. The time crystal has spontaneous symmetry breaking phenomenon in the time translation symmetry. Time crystals are also related to zero-point energy and dynamic Casimir effects.



In 2016, Ying Yao (English: Norman Y. Yao) and colleagues from the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley proposed a blueprint for constructing time crystals in the laboratory; this blueprint was subsequently adopted by two groups of people, including Christopher Monroe and the University of Maryland. Mikhail Lukin of Harvard University, both teams have successfully created time crystals. The experimental results were published in the journal Nature in March 2017. [2][3]

Conventional crystals are three-dimensional objects, and their internal atoms are repeatedly arranged in a regular order. A time crystal is a crystal with more than four dimensions and possesses a periodic structure in time and space. A time crystal can spontaneously destroy the symmetry of time translation and perform non-translational motions in space. The composition of time crystals is composed of non-localized particles intersecting in the’space’ and making interrelated motions, which is the’extra dimension’ beyond the fixedness of energy-efficient particles. The energy and momentum of domain space and the existence of time crystals also reveal the meaning of the existence of’super extra dimensions’.

It can change over time, but it will continue to return to the same shape it was when it started, just like the moving hands of a clock periodically returning to its original position. Unlike ordinary clocks or other periodic processes, time crystals, like space crystals, will be a state of minimal energy. You can think of it as a clock that can keep its time accurate forever, even after the universe has reached heat death.




1. The movement of the time crystal should not consume any energy. On the contrary, it should be in a stable minimum energy state, just like diamonds and other traditional crystals. Even so, it is still in a state of perpetual motion.

2. The time crystal does not violate the law of conservation of energy. Under normal circumstances, the so-called perpetual motion machines will certainly not last long, because they are not in a ground state, their energy will be consumed with the movement, and eventually the energy will be exhausted. In time crystals, energy is conserved because no energy is removed. In these objects, the rate of motion of atoms in the object is not zero.

The second law of thermodynamics can derive the fate of the “heat death” of the universe, which is a possible theory. And even if our universe does reach a state of heat death, it does not mean the end of computing. A special device called a “time crystal” can theoretically continue to be used as a computer, even after the universe reaches a state of heat death. Recently, scientists have given the latest blueprint for the design of this special device, thus taking this prospect one step forward.




Conventional crystals are three-dimensional objects whose internal atoms are repeatedly arranged in a regular order, such as the salt we eat every day. The reason why the crystal adopts this rule is because it can make the internal energy reach the lowest. Earlier this year, Frank Wilczek, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, pointed out that in higher dimensions, such as the fourth dimension of time, there can also be such a repetitive structure. model.

In order to convert the symmetry of the conventional three-dimensional crystal space to four-dimensional space, the atoms in such a “time crystal” must constantly rotate and constantly return to their positions. The most important thing is that they must all be in their lowest energy state. This means that even after the entropy of the universe has reached its maximum and finally cooled to a uniform temperature (the so-called “heat death” state), this rotation will continue naturally.

Leave a Reply