Flipped ions return to original positions periodically to demonstrate new form of symmetry breaking
It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not: Scientists have created the first time crystal, using a chain of ions. Just as a standard crystal repeats in a regular spatial pattern, a time crystal repeats in time, returning to a similar configuration at regular intervals.
“This is a remarkable experiment,” says physicist Chetan Nayak of Microsoft Station Q at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “There is a ‘wow factor.’”