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Time crystals and perpetual motion

Posted on Thursday, 2 May, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments

Image credit: CC 2.0 Rob Brewer

A Nobel Prize-winning physicist has devised the concept of a mysterious structure called a time crystal.

Frank Wilczek is well known for developing exotic theories that later turn out to be true yet despite this there was considerable skepticism among physicists at the revelation of his latest idea. Time crystals, he proposed, were structures that move in a repeating pattern like the hands on a clock, never expending any energy and never winding down. Unlike conventional objects, these crystals got their energy from a break in the symmetry of time - essentially enabling them to facilitate perpetual motion.

"I was thinking about the classification of crystals, and then it just occurred to me that it’s natural to think about space and time together," said Wilczek. "So if you think about crystals in space, it’s very natural also to think about the classification of crystalline behavior in time."

"In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea."

  View: Full article |  Source: Wired

  Discuss: View comments (16)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by keithisco on 2 May, 2013, 16:55
In short NO... this is not what their studies intend to show. Of course Zero-point energy is often related to limitless energy, but that energy comes from somewhere, perhaps leaching energy from a parallel Universe, in which case such extraction of energy may not be sympathetically received if it leads to a net deficit of energy in the Parallel Universe. So much to discover, and so much to learn.
Comment icon #8 Posted by shrooma on 2 May, 2013, 17:29
. he doesn't need any, he's french..... :-)
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 2 May, 2013, 18:19
Great article! I forwarded to a good friend of mine, realizing it's speculative at this point.
Comment icon #10 Posted by OverSword on 2 May, 2013, 18:30
Read the article This isn't about perpetual motion as source of energy. It's about coming up with a new theory of time. Not that I have a clue as to what he's talking about beyond that.
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin on 2 May, 2013, 20:55
Right, It's about a study/experiment to further the understanding of "time" Supposed perpetual motion, though mentioned in the article, is not the focus, but rather that's an inherent aspect of this phenomenon(if confirmed) and is essentially meaningless on such a small scale anyway with regards to usable power production(at this time) The focus, rather, is whether or not such an experiment proves that "time" can be violated on such a small scale, as suggested by the author, which from what I gather would have major implications. Recall, for those who might know,... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Kludge808 on 3 May, 2013, 18:07
Hmmm ... maybe I should try it. It might drive me sane. :-)
Comment icon #13 Posted by Nathan DiYorio on 4 May, 2013, 4:29
Looks like this Nobel Prize winner has played the TimeSplitters trilogy.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Whoop whoop on 4 May, 2013, 5:50
i wonder if he goes by the name docter rick marshall, calls his crystals tackion, meets a primative have man half monkey companion when he creates a crystal amplifyer and travels sideways in time so he can defeat sleestaks and ride t rexes?
Comment icon #15 Posted by Kludge808 on 14 May, 2013, 8:01
Always liked dolphins. Wonderful creatures. Where I used to live up in Waianae there was a pod of some 200 or so spinner dolphins who would ham it up anytime there was a camera around like when the tour boats came by. It will, indeed, be quite interesting to watch the progress on this. If the experiment proves out, there are implications in an assortment of sciences that could either confirm or ruin different theories. Edit to add: And that was a crap answer but not bad considering that I just took my meds.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Mnemonix on 14 May, 2013, 8:35
Not surprised. Wow, this stuff is so surreal. I like this kind of science.

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