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Volume 543 Issue 7644, 9 March 2017

The cover shows an artist’s impression of time crystals. Much like ordinary crystals, time crystals exhibit a high degree of structural order. But whereas ordinary crystals get their periodicity from the regular repetition of spatial elements, time crystals are an exotic state of matter in which the same structures repeat themselves in time. Predicted to exist a few years ago, time crystals have so far resisted experimental demonstration. Now, two groups offer evidence for experimental observation of this elusive form of matter. Mikhail Lukin et al. have produced a discrete time crystal using a nitrogen–vacancy system in diamond as an experimental platform. In a complementary paper, Jiehang Zhang et al. achieve a similar feat using trapped ions. Such time crystals could potentially find applications in robust quantum memory. Cover artwork: Peter Crowther

Editorial

World View

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    Wolbachia bacteria infect insects and can cause mating incompatibilities, an outcome that is used to fight insect-transmitted disease. The proposed genes responsible illuminate this process and the disease-control mechanisms. See Letter p.243

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News & Views

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    Periodic oscillations are common in nature but they generally decay or fall out of phase. Two experiments have found evidence for a Floquet time crystal, which is characterized by persistent in-phase oscillations. See Letters p.217 & p. 221

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