‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time

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techstepgenr8tion
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02 May 2013, 5:18 pm

Jono
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03 May 2013, 3:10 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/time-crystals/2/

Do you guys think its legit?


I was initially suspicious of the title when I read it but after reading the article, I think it looks legitimate. The are doing an experiment to try to detect motion of particles in the ground state, I think some people might be sceptical of that.



ruveyn
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03 May 2013, 1:45 pm

If I understand this correctly, it will mean time is inherently directional on a very small scale. The physical laws of mechanics make no distinction between time running "forward" and time running "backward" For example if you played a movie of the motion of the solar system backward, it would make complete sense mechanically. However in large aggregates of molecules in randame motion, if such a system is isolated it would become more random even if it started out in good order. That is way when you mix red dye in water the mixture becomes pale red over a period of time. However aggregates of small numbers of things do not have to show directionality according to classical statistical mechanics.

This experiment will show there is something about time, qua time that has a direction and not merely a tendency to go from order to disorder.

ruveyn



Fnord
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03 May 2013, 2:31 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/04/time-crystals/2/ Do you guys think its legit?

The text progresses from idea to hypothesis to experiment. So far, it's legit.

It remains to be seen if they can detect motion in the ground state without affecting the result of the experiment - Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle might come into play.

We'll know in about three years ... maybe more ...