Condensed matter physics

Building a space-time crystal

    Article metrics

    Just as a crystal consists of a regular array of particles repeated in space, so a space-time crystal should consist of a regular pattern of particles that also repeats cyclically over time. Now, Xiang Zhang at the University of California, Berkeley, and his team have published the first proposal for an experiment that could realize this abstract notion.

    The authors' idea is to trap a ring of cold ions in a magnetic field so that they adopt a regular arrangement and then rotate in their lowest energy state, thereby creating temporal repetition. Such a device might be able to store quantum information, and could thus have applications in quantum computing, the researchers say.

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 163001 (2012)

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Building a space-time crystal. Nature 491, 11 (2012) doi:10.1038/491011c

    Download citation

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.