Google’s quantum computer produced a time crystal

— Yurchanka Sirhei /

Google has announced the creation of a single phase of matter using its Sycamore quantum computer. This “time crystal” can theoretically go from one state to another indefinitely without any input of energy.

an important step

A crystal can form from a material when its components form stable and repeating patterns. At this point, it is speculated that it has lost its spatial symmetry: it no longer looks the same from all angles. in 2012, Frank Wilczek, From Withsuggested that, since general relativity defined time as a fourth dimension, a material may also lose its temporal symmetry. This implied that a time crystal would alternate between two states forever, without using or wasting energy, and exhibiting a repeating pattern in time rather than space.

If the researcher accepts that the idea of ​​perpetual motion violates the laws of thermodynamics, he believes it is primarily related to the fact that scientists called them long ago” Were not aware of all the intricacies of quantum mechanics ”, in particular allowing to create frictionless systems. Over the years, the concept has become more and more plausible, with various teams claiming to have succeeded in creating time crystals.

As part of pre-published work on the server arXiv, a research group including scientists Google, From With AndStanford University used quantum computer sycamore to manufacture “ Strict definition most faithful to the time crystal ever produced ».

China recently unveiled the world’s most powerful quantum computer – Yurchanka Sirhei /

Scientists used 20 qubits (quantum bits that can maintain two states simultaneously) sycamore To represent a data string with a random spin. These values ​​were then finely fitted using a technique called multi-body localization, where interference between particles freezes them in place even as they move away from each other due to thermal equilibrium. In this delicate state, the qubits will spontaneously as well as reverse their spin to form a new data model, then repeatedly return to their original position.

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d’important implication

Wilczek Clearly pleased to see their hypothesis confirmed experimentally. ” This is certainly an important step forward, and I think in some ways the implications are even greater for quantum computing, as it is the first concrete problem that such a machine has actually helped to solve. “He explains.” You can almost compare this experience to the fact that a conventional computer crashes and falls into an infinite loop.. »

Time crystals may eventually increase the reliability and accuracy of quantum computers, but should initially be used as a high-precision measurement tool. Wilczek Stimulation in special probes sensitive to certain types of external fields that can be used in all kinds of electric and magnetic experiments.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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