Professor Frank Wilcheck in 2012 described a model of a new form of matter, which he called the "crystal of time." The theoretical work of the Nobel laureate in physics received practical confirmation in 2016, when such a crystal was obtained in the laboratory in Berkeley. And recently, scientists from Yale University made a discovery - there is a lot of this matter in the world, it is even in the children's kit for growing crystals.
The time crystal got its name due to the fact that its crystal lattice remains stable not only in space, but also in time. In the usual case, during the formation of a crystal, heated atoms of a substance transfer energy to each other until the system reaches thermal equilibrium. A stable, immovable structure is formed that does not change over time. And the time crystal, on the contrary, “moves” and is very active, but does not collapse.
The movements of atoms occur with a certain constant interval, which resembles how the layers of atoms inside the lattice are at a fixed distance from each other. Although atoms can move with a large amplitude, these vibrations never lead to the destruction of the lattice, it returns to its original state. And this does not in any way depend on the force applied to the crystal, and it itself does not generate energy during internal movements. A completely unique kind of matter.
The research team began their search with monoammonium phosphate crystals, which grow so quickly that they can be used in children's educational kits. And immediately, using nuclear magnetic resonance, they found not the crystal of time itself, but signs of its existence, the so-called "quantum echo". This radically changes the matter - in the Berkeley laboratory, very specific conditions were created to obtain a crystal, but what if they can appear naturally in nature? So far, no one draws conclusions, scientists still have a lot of work to do.