Scientists create new form of matter, a time crystal

time crystal

Salt, snowflakes and diamonds are all crystals, meaning their atoms are arranged in 3-D patterns that repeat. Today scientists are reporting in the journal Nature on the creation of a phase of matter, dubbed a time crystal, in which atoms move in a pattern that repeats in time rather than in space.

The atoms in a time crystal never settle down into what’s known as thermal equilibrium, a state in which they all have the same amount of heat. It’s one of the first examples of a broad new class of matter, called nonequilibrium phases, that have been predicted but until now have remained out of reach. Like explorers stepping onto an uncharted continent, physicists are eager to explore this exotic new realm.

“This opens the door to a whole new world of nonequilibrium phases,” says Andrew Potter, an assistant professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. “We’ve taken these theoretical ideas that we’ve been poking around for the last couple of years and actually built it in the laboratory. Hopefully, this is just the first example of these, with many more to come.” Continue reading Scientists create new form of matter, a time crystal

Physicists say they’ve manipulated ‘pure nothingness’ and observed the fallout


An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by Professor Alfred Leitenstorfer has now shown how to manipulate the electric vacuum field and thus generate deviations from the ground state of empty space which can only be understood in the context of the quantum theory of light.

With these results, the researchers from the field of ultrafast phenomena and photonics build on their earlier findings, published in October 2015 in the scientific journal Science, where they have demonstrated direct detection of signals from pure nothingness.

This essential scientific progress might make it possible to solve problems that physicists have grappled with for a long time, ranging from a deeper understanding of the quantum nature of radiation to research on attractive material properties such as high-temperature superconductivity. Continue reading Physicists say they’ve manipulated ‘pure nothingness’ and observed the fallout

Robotic suitcases: Who needs them?

Whenever you have a good idea, you can be sure someone, somewhere has got the same idea, and has probably already built a prototype or even a business out of it. 

In the internet age, you’ve gotta move fast if you’re going to succeed in the making business. Or maybe try and think of an entirely original idea no one can steal.

So it was that we were thinking if we could find a robotic suitcase to take on our travels this year, to industry events and such. And sure enough there’s at least three we found on the market, and probably several others we don’t know about or haven’t got time to list.  Continue reading Robotic suitcases: Who needs them?

IBM and Wimbledon to serve up new AI-driven insights to enhance tennis fans’ entertainment

The Wimbledon Championships 2014 The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club Wimbledon Picture by:Thomas Lovelock/AELTC
Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Picture by:Thomas Lovelock/AELTC

New IBM innovations to help The Championships, Wimbledon serve insights to fans worldwide  

IBM and The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), unveiled new technologies for The Championships 2016, marking the next phase in the AELTC’s award-winning digital transformation. 

IBM, which is the official supplier of information technology to Wimbledon, will be using all its artificial intelligence wizardry to keep tennis fans entertained and informed.

New for 2016 is an Apple TV app for Wimbledon developed by IBM Interactive Experience that will enable fans to engage with Wimbledon in the comfort of their own homes. Users will be able to browse real-time scores, watch the Live @ Wimbledon studio show, listen to three live radio channels, and delve through all of Wimbledon’s video and photo content, bringing the 2016 Wimbledon experience into their homes in the truest sense. 

New Wimbledon smartphone apps for iOS and Android, responsive to all screen sizes, will provide multi-content personalized feeds for fans at home and on the move. The new apps also provide an enhanced experience for visitors onsite at Wimbledon, including personalized messaging, and the opportunity to create their own Wimbledon Story, allowing fans to capture and share their unforgettable Wimbledon experiences with the global community.  Continue reading IBM and Wimbledon to serve up new AI-driven insights to enhance tennis fans’ entertainment