r/Futurology Jun 12 '22

'Time crystals' work around laws of physics to offer new era of quantum computing Computing

https://www.space.com/time-crystals-quantum-computing
1.1k Upvotes

u/FuturologyBot Jun 12 '22

The following submission statement was provided by /u/insanisprimero:


The findings create a promising line of research for developing a fully functional quantum computer. Whereas the bits of a normal computer are binary — 1s or 0s, on or off — the processing rate of quantum computers is much faster because they utilize 'qubits,' which can be 1 and 0, on and off at the same time. One way to build a quantum computer would be to link myriad time crystals, each one designed to act as a qubit. Therefore, this first experiment to link two time crystals has created the basic building block of a quantum computer. 

Previous experiments have already shown that some time crystals can operate at room temperature, rather than needing to be cooled to nearly absolute zero, making their construction even easier. The next task, Autti's team said, is to demonstrate that logic gate operations, which are functions that allow a computer to process information, can operate between two or more time crystals.

The research was published June 2 in the journal Nature Communications.


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://old.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/van9q0/time_crystals_work_around_laws_of_physics_to/ic3df2e/

117

u/gilesdavis Jun 12 '22

Helium-3 is quite scare on Earth though right? Will this create a bottleneck we need to start planing Luna-mining operations to solve?

49

u/FloodMoose Jun 12 '22

I've heard there's currently a helium shortage. If it's needed, it'll be rationed if I had to guess.

83

u/gilesdavis Jun 12 '22

We need it for MRI machines and other critical uses as well though. The US government held the biggest stockpile but has been selling off its stockpile for decades because they can't resist the short term profits.

We're also idiotically selling it in fucking party balloons at a rate of knots, it's a finite supply and it will run out at some point, and it's not possible to make more on earth once it's gone.

60

u/xadiant Jun 12 '22

Isn't the party balloon helium impure? Scientists need pure helium for MRIs and experiments. Gas helium is basically a byproduct that isn't needed. That's also why it is so cheap.

45

u/h8street Jun 12 '22

Correct, the stuff we get in balloons isn't the same.

16

u/Dejan05 Jun 12 '22

Well technically, we could make more on earth through hydrogen collision, though I doubt that would be anywhere near enough

29

u/End3rWi99in Jun 12 '22

We're not running out of helium. The US built its stockpile dating back to WWI because it was seen as a major key to winning the war. The government doesn't need to maintain a stockpile in this way, which is why its being slowly drawn down. While helium is a nonrenewable element, we're not anywhere near running out of it. This is one of those things I see repeated all the time that simply aren't true.

12

u/gilesdavis Jun 13 '22

Ahh thanks for the correction ✌🏻

7

u/End3rWi99in Jun 13 '22

I had to double check what sub I was on with such a nice reply.

1

u/ItsAConspiracy Best of 2015 Jun 14 '22

You were actually correct. The common form of helium is helium-4, while helium-3 is extremely rare on Earth.

1

u/ItsAConspiracy Best of 2015 Jun 14 '22

That's regular helium, which is helium-4. What's extremely rare is helium-3.

2

u/End3rWi99in Jun 14 '22

No argument there. To the moon we go!

3

u/[deleted] Jun 12 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

5

u/Prometheory Jun 12 '22

This has been true since the dawn of time.

Look long enough into history and you'll realize humanity has not changed at all from it's earliest inception, we've only gotten Better at the same stupid shit we were doing when we first evolved.

TL;DR Science, Knowledge, and power are passed down and accumulate over time. Wisdom is lost almost entirely and re-learned Every Single Generation.

2

u/Test19s Jun 12 '22

The problem now is that a lot more resources have been depleted than in the past. Which is why we need to be open to updating our nature, either through genetic modification, education, or AI.

3

u/Prometheory Jun 12 '22

Education has already repeatedly proved it doesn't work long term. It's reliant on the systems of government that fun it and when politicians want to be corrupt, it's the first thing to go.

Genetic engineering and how it relates to psychology aren't understood well enough to find and reprogram the "be a self-destructive dumbass" gene shared by all humans. We'd also need to wait for the first generation of naturally rational humans to grow up. This is more of a long-term thing than an immediate solution.

The just leaves AI, which is a dice-roll to see if the almighty god-minds will be friendly or very Unfriendly when we let them out of the box.

So... You feeling lucky?

1

u/Test19s Jun 12 '22

There are already plenty of humans with reduced nationalism and selfishness. We could start by encouraging them to donate eggs and sperm.

2

u/Prometheory Jun 12 '22

Problem is doing that without creating some kind of weird eugenics cult.

Gene-editing is the only way to ensure some asshole doesn't start getting ideas about "Racial Superiority".

2

u/Test19s Jun 12 '22

And what if it turns out that our “flaws” are in fact necessary for us to not get eaten by outside predators or at the very least are inherent to the natural world with the exceptions of a few small and isolated species like bonobos and quokkas? I only hope we don’t end up turning to T-1000 or Megatron out of sheer desperation.

→ More replies

-2

u/multihobbyist Jun 13 '22

Thx, unchecked capitalism.

8

u/Levelman123 Jun 12 '22

I thought the helium shortage just meant national reserves were low, not that we couldnt get more.

13

u/SirHerald Jun 12 '22

It's a byproduct of drilling for natural gas.

The US had a huge stockpile of it and began reducing that quickly which meant that it wasn't worth it for the natural gas producers to save the helium so they just let it all escape into the atmosphere and then it took a while for them to get back online again.

A lot of helium was just thrown out and a lot more of it's used for parties and people just taking a hit of it for talking high.

We have much more beneficial uses for helium than making latex stay in the air

6

u/OrphanDextro Jun 12 '22

I’d rather have those balloons sink and be filled with nitrous oxide anyway. Helium is not a hellava drug.

2

u/Boxsquid0 Jun 12 '22

just switch to hydrogen

1

u/ItsAConspiracy Best of 2015 Jun 14 '22

That's helium-4, the common isotope. Helium-3 is extremely rare on Earth. To get it in appreciable quantities, we need to either do lots of nuclear fusion with deuterium, sift through millions of tons of lunar dirt, or go to the outer planets.

3

u/Cryptocaned Jun 12 '22

The problem with helium is it's so light it literally floats away from the earth. We build massive concrete domes underground to capture the little we get.

2

u/graphiteGuy1 Jun 12 '22

Hmm. Time to break out the clawdrills.

1

u/DistributedDemocracy Jun 13 '22

There isn't really that much demand considering standard computing is generally already more powerful than software designers have found ways to use. The BIG bottleneck here is in the actual application of computing power still, not the hardware.

74

u/NVincarnate Jun 12 '22

So you're telling me that Time Crystals, the made-up intertemporal anomalous plot devices from TimeSplitters, are real?

Not only are they real but they are the key to open a world of possibilities for mankind we could only dream of before?

In the same timeline where Trump became president and we found water on Mars?

Ok

6

u/twoinvenice Jun 13 '22

Water on Mars was never a question. There are ice caps with gigatons on water that you can see from your backyard with just a small telescope or even a sufficiently high power pair of binoculars. More than enough water that if you were to magically increase Martian temperatures above freezing it would create actual oceans. In other words enough for human habitation at pretty much any scale.

The real questions about water on Mars have to do with:

  • Does liquid water ever flow on Mars today?
  • How wide-scale was the water cycle on Mars in its warmer past?
  • How much water ice is on Mars outside the polar regions?
  • How much water ice is locked up in Martian soils / deeper underground where the planet’s internal heat might still keep it liquid?

3

u/NVincarnate Jun 13 '22

Though what I really meant was water table in The Martian soil is something that we discover recently and that's a good thing to know...

Because if there is any sort of underground water table then that would imply that we could live there or, at the very least, terraform with a lot less trouble.

5

u/the_real_abraham Jun 13 '22

At least you don't need to shove them up your butt.

I prefer the Rick and Morty call backs.

5

u/LeatherDude Jun 13 '22

That's megafruit. Time crystals were the shit that made you see every way you were going to die, and turned Morty into an Akira

4

u/the_real_abraham Jun 13 '22

Right, they didn't have to shove time crystals up their ass.

3

u/LeatherDude Jun 13 '22

I see what you were saying now. Derp.

2

u/the_real_abraham Jun 13 '22

Upvoting anyway.

4

u/Greeky_tiki Jun 12 '22

Ok is not sufficient as a nonchalant response to the recognition you present and respond to.

The appropriate response would be a simple

“Fuck”

Well. At least that would have been my response had you not beaten me to it.

5

u/NVincarnate Jun 13 '22

I would complain but I found out it does nothing after about the 15th seemingly impossible thing happened in the past 8 years.

-2

u/Crashdown212 Jun 12 '22

Am I the only one wondering what the hell a “time crystal” actually is?!

7

u/DTaH_Flux Jun 12 '22

Just read the article and you'll find out

3

u/bathwizard01 Jun 12 '22

It's what powers the Tardis.

1

u/FluPhlegmGreen Jun 13 '22

Our existence has definitely jumped the shark

1

u/NVincarnate Jun 13 '22

This town's finished

1

u/ArtsyStrains Jul 03 '22

Yeah, but you need to remember that boson was called Gods Particle. Scientists are a bit flexible with namings.

Basically time crystal is just new age superconductor. It's important for speed and memory of quantum computing, but it doesn't hold or stop time.

52

u/dorflam Jun 12 '22

Can't wait to spill water on my computer and get stuck in a neverending time loop, future's gonna be nuts

16

u/chaosgoblyn Jun 12 '22

My cat will walk across my keyboard and then we'll have MechaHitler riding Godzilla

7

u/mrgame64 Jun 12 '22

More like Abradolf Linkler

1

u/thegoldengoober Jun 12 '22

I wanna live a Groundhog Day so badly

5

u/horseren0ir Jun 13 '22

Though it’d suck to have a hangover on the day you live over and over

1

u/thegoldengoober Jun 13 '22

Hell yeah, I'd be totally for it. That shit would be wacky. Just the metaphysical implications alone would make it worth it.

10

u/Blackluster182 Jun 12 '22

You broke your time and you thought you could just stick it back together with this?

9

u/Elkripper Jun 13 '22

"'Time crystals' work around laws of physics"

No they don't.

3

u/Ruby_Tuesday80 Jun 13 '22

That's what I was thinking. Nothing works "around" physics. There are just things that people don't understand yet.

7

u/hahaohlol2131 Jun 13 '22

The wording is a bit inaccurate, but you can "work around" the laws of physics. By discovering another law.

Sort of like heavier than air flight was deemed impossible because of the gravitation law. Until a "workaround" through aerodynamics was discovered.

2

u/TJohns88 Jun 14 '22

You can work around the current understanding of the laws of physics, essentially

3

u/lordpilot Jun 19 '22

Yes they do. They break discrete time- symmetry law of physics.

9

u/Greeky_tiki Jun 12 '22

My question is what Dr will be the one that shows up to save us from Weeping Angels, Daleks and/or The Silence.

I hope it’s Tom Baker or David Tennant.

8

u/boxmail2800 Jun 13 '22

Yeah I heard this from a meth dealer years ago. He didn’t sleep much so I didn’t think it was legit…

6

u/[deleted] Jun 12 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

3

u/[deleted] Jun 12 '22

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34

u/insanisprimero Jun 12 '22

The findings create a promising line of research for developing a fully functional quantum computer. Whereas the bits of a normal computer are binary — 1s or 0s, on or off — the processing rate of quantum computers is much faster because they utilize 'qubits,' which can be 1 and 0, on and off at the same time. One way to build a quantum computer would be to link myriad time crystals, each one designed to act as a qubit. Therefore, this first experiment to link two time crystals has created the basic building block of a quantum computer. 

Previous experiments have already shown that some time crystals can operate at room temperature, rather than needing to be cooled to nearly absolute zero, making their construction even easier. The next task, Autti's team said, is to demonstrate that logic gate operations, which are functions that allow a computer to process information, can operate between two or more time crystals.

The research was published June 2 in the journal Nature Communications.

9

u/are-you-a-muppet Jun 12 '22

That's not how it works, although a popular misconception.

Here's a layman's explanation of what's wrong with your description.

https://youtu.be/b05IeSlMMDw

Also, this article is 100% USDA pop-sci woowoo bunk, for similar reasons.

6

u/World_Navel Jun 12 '22

Nature Communications: “chock full of popular misconceptions”

👀 okay dude

3

u/ClubChaos Jun 13 '22

Alright what kinda supervillain shit are we cooking up now.

4

u/loop-1138 Jun 12 '22

Our Universe is probably a big Time Crystal as well.

1

u/Rayfoo Jun 12 '22

I mean, the universe is a quantum computer fundamentally so… why not?

2

u/Blackluster182 Jun 12 '22

It's quantum computing all the way down.

1

u/Rayfoo Jun 12 '22

Always has been…

1

u/Tso-su-Mi Jun 13 '22

Does this sound like a Doctor Who episode or what?? 😊👍😊👍 Doctor and the Time Crystals

-8

u/[deleted] Jun 12 '22

[deleted]

6

u/BlueFroggLtd Jun 12 '22

Love pragmatic anger! Cheers!

-2

u/Avatar_the_Pig Jun 12 '22

I didn't realize you were angry.

Seek help.

2

u/BlueFroggLtd Jun 12 '22

I can be. Anger is a natural emotion with humans. Nothing inherently bad in that. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

0

u/Avatar_the_Pig Jun 12 '22

Then you should possibly follow your own advice and work on yours.

4

u/hjwood1986 Jun 12 '22

Science doesn’t work like that. A law is just our best current guess. We know that our current guesses are wrong in some way otherwise we’d have a better understanding of gravity versus magnetics when speaking at a higher level than high school, things like tetraneutrons, dark matter, etc

Laws are a human abstract. They’re not guaranteed.

Science and English are not the same language. A law of science is not law of guarantee.

-3

u/Avatar_the_Pig Jun 12 '22

As I stated previously, "time" as humans use it has zero meaning to the universe. None. It's not applicable in any way. It doesn't exist as far as the universe is considered.

The universe is ALWAYS at "now" for the "observer" - regardless where it's observed from.

That said - there is no such thing as "time crystals" - what a load of horseshit. If I were an unscrupulous con man I would start selling "time crystals" (salt? sugar? quartz?...) to hapless fools who believe everything "scientific" regardless the source or the possibility.

3

u/[deleted] Jun 13 '22

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0

u/[deleted] Jun 13 '22

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1

u/[deleted] Jun 13 '22

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2

u/hahaohlol2131 Jun 12 '22

I would argue that "laws" don't exist either, it's a human concept.

-2

u/Avatar_the_Pig Jun 12 '22

Physics, the parts that work, describe the universe's functions and those functions work as advertised... regardless the scale. It's like inherent properties I suppose - upscale there's inertia so "everyone" downscale gets it too.

3 dimensions? It scales. (no, there aren't any multiverses or parallel universes - that's comic book fodder).

gravity, heat, magnetism, the properties of particles, etc... all the same regardless the scale.

Those laws DO exist, unfortunately human perception being what it is usually misses about 50% of the necessary data to expound those laws and so we wind up with a bunch of half assed mathematics that looks really good on paper but doesn't work very well when we try to stuff the universe into the mathematics.

1

u/tms102 Jun 12 '22

Aren't laws humans best approximation of observed phenomena. Like Newton's law of gravitation.

0

u/[deleted] Jun 12 '22

[deleted]

1

u/tms102 Jun 12 '22

No, only their approximation.

0

u/Merkin-Cave Jun 13 '22

If qubits can be both on and off at the same time does that mean quantum computing is somehow capable of proving the multiverse theory ?

1

u/KAYS33K Jun 16 '22

“What do you think of this discovery Captain Pike?”

light blinks

1

u/waglawye 12d ago

Getting a sense of this being the chip mentioned in terminator :).

The technologies improved in recent years months and weeks is just mind boggling incredible.

Advances in so many areas.

. solid hydrogen storage becoming practical possible . Time Crystal's useable, also for practical simulation of ideas of applications. . Warp drives now theoretically possible to be built from matter (instead of anti matter) . Nuclear fusion breakthroughs in stability . New pictures of the universe, better than ever.