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'Time Crystals' Could Upend Physicists' Theory of Time

'Time Crystals' Could Upend Physicists' Theory of Time
Physicists plan to create a “time crystal” — a theoretical object that moves in a repeating pattern without using energy — inside a device called an ion trap. Image: Hartmut Häffner In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. “Most research in physics is continuations of things that have gone before,” said Wilczek, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wilczek’s idea met with a muted response from physicists. Now, a technological advance has made it possible for physicists to test the idea. A Crazy Concept The idea came to Wilczek while he was preparing a class lecture in 2010. When matter crystallizes, its atoms spontaneously organize themselves into the rows, columns and stacks of a three-dimensional lattice. The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek often develops outlandish theories that eventually enter the mainstream. The Big Test Related:  What is Time?Fundamental PhysicsA Sense of Time

Controversially, Physicist Argues Time Is Real | Illusion of Time NEW YORK — Is time real, or the ultimate illusion? Most physicists would say the latter, but Lee Smolin challenges this orthodoxy in his new book, "Time Reborn" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013), which he discussed here Wednesday (April 24) at the Rubin Museum of Art. In a conversation with Duke University neuroscientist Warren Meck, theoretical physicist Smolin, who's based at Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, argued for the controversial idea that time is real. "Time is paramount," he said, "and the experience we all have of reality being in the present moment is not an illusion, but the deepest clue we have to the fundamental nature of reality." Smolin said he hadn't come to this concept lightly. Over time, though, Smolin became convinced not only that time was real, but that this notion could be the key to understanding the laws of nature. "If laws are outside of time, then they're inexplicable," he said.

The Incredible Dark Matter Mystery: Why Astronomers Say it is Missing in Action Astronomers have a problem. Whenever they study the large scale structure of the universe, it soon becomes clear that the amount of visible matter cannot possibly generate enough gravity to hold together the structures they can see. Things like galaxy clusters and even galaxies themselves ought to fly apart given the amount of ordinary matter they contain. Something else must be holding these things together. This isn’t a small problem requiring a tiny amount of extra mass. To make the numbers work, astrophysicists tell us that our galaxy ought to be at least 80 per cent dark matter. That means our Solar System ought to be swimming in the stuff. But that raises an important question. Most dark matter detectors work by looking for evidence of the collisions that dark matter must make with ordinary matter. But there is another way to look for dark matter—by its gravitational effects on the Solar System itself. Today, Nikolay Pitjev at St. So astronomers are left scratching their heads.

The Little Metronome That Wouldn't : Krulwich Wonders... If this wasn't a science page, if this happened 3,000 years ago in, say, a Middle Eastern desert, I would call it a Miracle. But it's not. It's just a plain, ordinary moment of "wow!" First, the beginner's version. But why? Even more simply stated: As the metronomes tick back and forth, they affect the table, and because the table is designed to absorb the motion of the metronomes, the table itself starts to move. That's what you saw in our small, chamber music version. This time, we'll have a much bigger table with 32 brightly colored metronomes — a Mormon Tabernacle Choir of metronomes — all misaligned. They once made a movie about that stubborn metronome.

Living Universe Foundation Physicists Unveil World's Most Precise Clock (And a Twin to Compare It Against) Clocks are one of the enabling technologies of the modern world. Without highly accurate clocks, the global positioning system would not function correctly, neither would it be possible to synchronise networks over vast distances. And physicists rely on clocks to test the fundamental laws of the universe to ever deeper levels. So having more accurate and reliable clocks is an important goal. Today, Andrew Ludlow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder and a few buddies unveil the two most accurate clocks ever built. Ludlow and co put this in perspective: “A measurement at the 10 18 fractional level is equivalent to specifying the age of the known universe to a precision of less than one second or Earth’s diameter to less than the width of an atom.” Their clock is a simple beast, at least in principle. The difficulty is measuring this frequency accurately. Ludlow and pals have done it using a technology known as an optical lattice clock.

111, 033601 (2013): Stopped Light and Image Storage by Electromagnetically Induced Transparency up to the Regime of One Minute The maximal storage duration is an important benchmark for memories. In quantized media, storage times are typically limited due to stochastic interactions with the environment. Also, optical memories based on electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) suffer strongly from such decoherent effects. External magnetic control fields may reduce decoherence and increase EIT storage times considerably but also lead to complicated multilevel structures. These are hard to prepare perfectly in order to push storage times toward the theoretical limit, i.e., the population lifetime . We present a self-learning evolutionary strategy to efficiently drive an EIT-based memory.

Primer (film) Primer is a 2004 American science fiction drama film about the accidental discovery of a means of time travel. The film was written, directed, and produced by Shane Carruth. Primer is of note for its extremely low budget (completed for $7,000), experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics and a former engineer, chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience.[2] The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.[3] The operation of time travel in Primer. After arguing over the project that the group should tackle next, Aaron and Abe independently pursue work on technology intended to reduce the weight of an object. Having traveled back four days in time using this failsafe point, Abe goes to meet Aaron and collapses. List of films featuring time loops

The Reality Tests Phd student Simon Gröblacher sits behind the floating table where he spends evenings doing Schrödinger’s cat-style experiments. Photograph by Mark Mahaney. In the summer of 1925, Werner Heisenberg was stricken with hay fever and having trouble with math. He asked his advisor for two weeks off and left for a barren island in the North Sea. He spent his mornings swimming and hiking, but every evening Heisenberg tried to describe atoms in a theory that included only what could be measured. By this time a quarter century had passed since Max Planck first described energy as whole-number multiples of a basic unit, which he called the quantum. In Switzerland, Erwin Schrödinger had also been “repelled” by Heisenberg’s theory. Schrödinger and Heisenberg independently uncovered dual descriptions of particles and atoms. The following year, in 1927, Heisenberg discovered the uncertainty principle, which placed a fundamental limit on certain measurements. In America Bohm’s theory was ignored.

Nature of time | Beyond Time is the most fundamental aspect of our experience, and yet it remains mysterious in many ways. A longstanding problem is time's arrow – the directionality displayed by most physical processes, for example, clocks run down, organisms age, stars burn out. The laws of physics are symmetric in time, so the appearance of asymmetry from symmetry can be understood only by looking outside the system. Another problem is the psychological perception of time, the feeling we all have that time is flowing or passing. The Mysterious Flow of Time (PDF)By Paul Davies Scientific American, September 2002 How to Build a Time Machine(PDF)By Paul Davies Scientific American, September 2002 The Arrow of Time (PDF)By Paul Davies Whitrow Lecture 2004, A&G February 2005