Scientists are now suggesting a new blueprint for a device, known as a time crystal, that can theoretically continue to function as a computer even after the universe cools to absolute zero.
Ordinary crystals are three-dimensional objects whose atoms are arranged in normal, repeating patterns related to table salt. They adopt this structure due to the fact it makes use of the lowest amount of energy possible to preserve.
MIT physicist Frank Wilczek says: “First you need to have an ion trap, a device which holds charged particles in location making use of an electric field… Subsequent, you apply a weak static magnetic field, which causes the ions to rotate.
Quantum mechanics means that the rotational energy of the ions ought to be higher than zero, even when the ring is cooled to its lowest energy state.”
Commonly, this behavior would violate thermodynamic laws but superconductors let electrons to rotate continuously.”
As the Universe accelerates, it cools, ultimately dissipating all its energy till every little thing is cold, dark, and as far as life is concerned, dead.
But if crystals, such as table salt, could be translated into the fourth dimension of time.
Wilczek theorizes that a operating time crystal could be made into a pc, with distinct rotational states standing in for the 0s and 1s of a standard personal computer.
“To make it intriguing you want to have various sorts of ions, maybe a number of rings that influence each other,” he says.
“You can commence to believe about machines that run on this principle.”
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Crucially, they would also have to be in their lowest attainable energy state as they do so, which means that they would naturally continue to rotate even after the universe has succumbed to entropy and cooled to a uniform temperature – a state known as heat-death.
Even though such behavior would usually violate the laws of thermodynamics, nonstop rotation is allowed in the situation of electrons in a superconductor, which flow without having resistance.
Wilczek had originally suggested that a superconductive ring could serve as a time crystal if electrons could be made to flow separately rather than in a continuous stream, ensuring a repeating pattern, but he couldn’t figure out how to do so in practice.
Now Tongcang Li at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, have an alternative suggestion that may be feasible to construct.
First you need to have an ion trap, a device which holds charged particles in location making use of an electric field.
This causes the ions to form a ring-shaped crystal, as ions trapped at very low temperatures repel every single.
Subsequent, you apply a weak static magnetic field, which causes the ions to rotate.
Quantum mechanics means that the rotational energy of the ions ought to be higher than zero, even when the ring is cooled to its lowest energy state.
In this state, the electric and magnetic fields are no longer required to preserve the shape of the crystal and the spin of its constituent ions. The outcome is a time crystal – or indeed a space-time crystal, due to the fact the ion ring repeats in both space and time.
Even though Wilczek points out that the heat-death of the universe is, in principle, “really user friendly” for this kind of experiment due to the fact it would be cold and dark, there are other troubles to consider.
“We concentrate on a space-time crystal that can be produced in a laboratory,” says Li. “So you need to have to figure out a method to make a laboratory that can survive in the heat-death of the universe.”
Yes, one has to admit the thought a thing can outlive the Universe is fascinating indeed!
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The heat-death of the universe need not bring an end to the computing age. A strange device known as a time crystal can theoretically continue to work as a computer even after the universe cools. A new blueprint for such a time crystal brings its construction a step closer. Ordinary crystals are three-dimensional objects whose atoms are arranged…