An incredible concept...but "four years after they were first proposed, scientists have managed to add a fourth dimension - the movement of time - to a crystal for the first time, giving it the ability to act as a kind of perpetual 'time-keeper'."
The concept is explained in the linked article, as well as here: http://www.sciencealert.com/physicists-just-created-the-world-s-first-time-crystal
"They did this by chaining together a line of ytterbium ions with spins that interact with each other, and holding them in an out-of-equilibrium state. This forced the quantum ions to become 'localised' in a specific space, and therefore influenced by time.
Using a laser, the team could then start changing the spin of specific ytterbium ions, and by flipping the spin of one ion, it caused the next one to flip, and so on down the chain, until every ion was oscillating.
Once the laser had been used to set the first one off, the oscillation was perpetual, and over time, the researchers noticed something strange.
As Tech Review explains:
"These guys discovered that after allowing the system to evolve, the interactions occurred at a rate that was twice the original period. Since there is no driving force with that period, the only explanation is that the time symmetry must have been broken, thereby allowing these longer periods. In other words, [they] had created a time crystal."
To be clear, we’re not talking about perpetual motion machines here, because by definition, there is no energy in these systems.
But it does demonstrate that time crystals can occur in a real, physical system, and the team says that they could help us solve the problem of quantum memory - that is, how to retain information in the future generation of quantum computers.
So, why is this important, or even significant...because this will help solve the problem of memory in quantum computers....