Science and Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

Xiang Zhang, Hartmut Haffner
Berkeley, CA
June 2013

Dimensionality is the one of the most fundamental aspects of science. Over the last decades, low dimensional materials such as quantum dots and nanotubes have broadly impacted physical science research and applications. A new frontier of physics is the creation of a high dimensional material, such as a 4D space time crystal. A space time crystal breaks both the space and time translation symmetry and would significantly deepen our understanding of nature. In this project, we propose to create the first space time quantum crystal using ions in a microscopic ring trap. At ultralow temperatures, ions spontaneously form a spatial ring crystal. This ion crystal rotates persistently at the lowest energy state in magnetic fields, producing the temporal order and forming a space-time crystal. This new state of matter will provide a new platform for the study of many body physics and deepen our understanding of quantum physics.

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