Time Crystals in Optics

Hossein Taheri, Andrey B. Matsko, Lute Maleki and Krzysztof Sacha

Optical techniques could help take “time crystals”—examples of temporal order and symmetry-breaking analogous to solid-state crystals in space—out of the lab and into real-world use.

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In 1611, Johannes Kepler penned Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula (“On the six-cornered snowflake”), a short treatise presented as a New Year’s gift to a patron. In this 24-page pamphlet—considered the first scientific treatise on crystallography—Kepler pondered why snowflakes always form in the same six-sided shape.

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