Observation of Time Crystals

In a delicate balance between strong interactions, weak disorder, and a periodic driving force, a collection of trapped ions qubits has been made to pulsate with a period that is relatively insensitive to the drive. This is a time crystal, where the stable pulsations emerge and break time symmetry – just like a freezing liquid breaks spatial symmetry and forms a spatial crystal.¬†Trapped ion qubits don’t really need this added stability (they are nearly perfect on their own), but this observation may guide the stabilization of real-life solid systems, where true quantum behavior is usually masked by defects and impurities.