Now why can’t they fix my printer?
You may have been seeing this in the news. I imagine everyone’s first thought is TIME TRAVEL and the media seems to be aware of this. So we at Fortean Winds must be the bearer of bad tidings: Google did not invent time travel. However, they and a team of researchers may have invented/discovered an entirely new phase of matter.
There are five states of matter. You are most familiar with gas, liquid and solid. Liquid is the beer Uncle Larry drinks at Thanksgiving. Gas is what he burps and toots. Solid is what he throws up in Grandma’s toilet. The fourth state of matter is plasma and, fortunately for us, less common here on earth. Plasma is super charged gas. Imagine if Uncle Larry’s toots were mixed with lightning. That’s not the best analogy, but it’s important to note plasma has a ton of energy.
The second law of thermodynamics is the law that deals with entropy or the fact that everything tends to go from a state of order to a state of chaos. Again, like Grandma’s thanksgiving.
This law also makes energy transfer really inefficient. Which is a good reason why solar energy doesn’t power everything in the world right now. Even as batteries improve, and there is plenty of energy from the sun, the collection is inefficient (but improving all the time.)
The fifth state of matter is a Bose-Einstein condensate and created/used in a laboratory. It’s the new kid on the block and was created in 1995. A Bose-Einstein condensate is when scientists smoosh a bunch of atoms into one big super atom by getting them really close to the temperature of absolute zero. They use this super atom in the study of quantum mechanics, and in their study of quantum mechanics they….come to think of it in a way they did invent time travel…
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states “in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state.”Physics
The big G’s Time Crystal gets around the march of time. If we accept that all things flow from a state of order to a state of chaos as time increases, this state of matter is not subject to those laws and therefore….eh time travel sort of.
This is a big deal because when studying quantum mechanics the particles disappear really quickly, before researchers have time to perform tests and gather data. This time crystal keeps them around longer allowing the study of quantum mechanics to progress further and faster.
As usual, the Livescience article on this was great and dives deep into the details.
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