Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

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Dave
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Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Dave » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:56 pm

How about, a necklace made of time crystals?

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by GlytchMeister » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:33 am

I swear upon all that came from the Big Bang, if this is a pun about herbs I'm gonna set a great many things on fire.

...

Ok, pyromaniacal apocalypse avoided.

This... This is... Weird. I can usually get a basic sort of understanding about what's going on in an article like this. Like, I can... see it. Visualize it. Imagine it. But this is so far beyond what I'm used to dealing with... I don't know. I really am completely baffled. It's completely out of my wheelhouse. Of course, this is to be somewhat expected. All things related to quantum mechanics baffle me at some level or another, but this is the first time I've been completely un-horsed right at the start.
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Catawampus
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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Catawampus » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:17 am

GlytchMeister wrote:I swear upon all that came from the Big Bang, if this is a pun about herbs I'm gonna set a great many things on fire.
The Sage of the Forest has some experience with that, especially with gas grills or kitchens.

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Catawampus
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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Catawampus » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:58 am

Anyway, time crystals are hard to explain because there's not really an agreed-upon definition of what they are. The basic idea, though, is that it's a continuation of "ordinary" crystals on to higher dimensions. A diamond is made up of carbon atoms that have a rigid, predictable order that depends upon each atom having a (relatively) long-range influence over the atoms around it. This order can be seen in a diamond on a first-, second-, and third-dimensional level that we're familiar with. The crystal has a periodic order, where as you move through space you see a repetition of the arrangement. A time crystal has same thing going on in the fourth dimension: it has the individual atoms of the crystal influencing each other in a rigid periodic order, but that rigidity is not defined by it being in a particular space but rather in a particular state of motion and being. The atoms can be moving all over, but will interact with each other to keep returning to one defined state at a set period. You can poke at them to disrupt their arrangement, but they'll return back to that state at the same periodic interval. Even if you remove external sources of energy such as gravity or heat, they'll still show this same periodic shifting around into that state.

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by jwhouk » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:08 am

Trilithium, anyone?
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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Warrl » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:00 pm

Sounds to me like they have a fancy quantum version of a gear and toggle, as in a ratchet. Application of a certain stimulus (force to turn the gear a bit) will cause it to shift to a different state (the toggle drops into the *next* gap between teeth). Because of the toggle the gear only turns in one direction, but repeated application of exactly the same stimulus will eventually bring it back around to exactly the state it started in, ready to repeat the whole process over again.

With the identified stimulus this sounds like a failure as bling. If they come up with another version where the stimulus is light at a certain frequency commonly encountered in public places, and the crystals look significantly different to the naked eye in different states, maybe...

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Catawampus » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:39 pm

Warrl wrote:Sounds to me like they have a fancy quantum version of a gear and toggle, as in a ratchet. Application of a certain stimulus (force to turn the gear a bit) will cause it to shift to a different state (the toggle drops into the *next* gap between teeth). Because of the toggle the gear only turns in one direction, but repeated application of exactly the same stimulus will eventually bring it back around to exactly the state it started in, ready to repeat the whole process over again.
Not quite (though as I mentioned earlier, people are still debating over the definition of a time crystal, much less whether one can really exist). One difference that does appear to be generally recognised is that in a time crystal, the gear system would simply turn itself.

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Warrl » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:37 pm

Catawampus wrote:
Warrl wrote:Sounds to me like they have a fancy quantum version of a gear and toggle, as in a ratchet. Application of a certain stimulus (force to turn the gear a bit) will cause it to shift to a different state (the toggle drops into the *next* gap between teeth). Because of the toggle the gear only turns in one direction, but repeated application of exactly the same stimulus will eventually bring it back around to exactly the state it started in, ready to repeat the whole process over again.
Not quite (though as I mentioned earlier, people are still debating over the definition of a time crystal, much less whether one can really exist). One difference that does appear to be generally recognised is that in a time crystal, the gear system would simply turn itself.
That would be a perpetual-motion machine. It needs the stimulus of an energy source. The article described a rather specific stimulus.

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Catawampus » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:19 am

Warrl wrote:That would be a perpetual-motion machine. It needs the stimulus of an energy source. The article described a rather specific stimulus.
Yeah, it needs the stimulus to get started. But once it achieves the "time crystal" configuration, it gains long term independent stability in the fourth dimension. That seems to be one of the more agreed-upon parts of the definition. A diamond crystal is formed by outside forces acting on the carbon atoms to get them into a three-dimensional crystal form, but once you have the diamond crystal you don't need anything other than the interatomic forces of the carbon atoms themselves to maintain it. And it will remain in that configuration for a long, long time. A time crystal is the same in principle, but while stable on the fourth dimension has more flexibility in the first three. In fact, once the atoms become a time crystal, then outside influence tends to be canceled out by the atoms reverting right back to their previous harmonic period. You have to hit it with something that totally disrupts the entire crystalline structure to permanently influence or break the thing.

According to some of the theories, in the short term it does look like a perpetual motion machine. And short term could mean "longer than the expected life of the universe". Which is why there is some speculation about using time crystals (if they actually can exist, and if they can exist in that way) as a form of functionally eternal memory. The idea is to somehow use the periodic properties of the atoms to encode data, and then the crystal will be able to exist as a somewhat self-repairing unit.

If you were to leave the thing going for long enough, of course, it would eventually wear down. Energy would get lost, protons would decay, whatever.

Of course, the whole theory could also be totally fanciful, and we'll find out that time crystals aren't really possible after all.

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by Dave » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:00 pm

Catawampus wrote:A time crystal is the same in principle, but while stable on the fourth dimension has more flexibility in the first three. In fact, once the atoms become a time crystal, then outside influence tends to be canceled out by the atoms reverting right back to their previous harmonic period. You have to hit it with something that totally disrupts the entire crystalline structure to permanently influence or break the thing.

According to some of the theories, in the short term it does look like a perpetual motion machine. And short term could mean "longer than the expected life of the universe". Which is why there is some speculation about using time crystals (if they actually can exist, and if they can exist in that way) as a form of functionally eternal memory. The idea is to somehow use the periodic properties of the atoms to encode data, and then the crystal will be able to exist as a somewhat self-repairing unit.

If you were to leave the thing going for long enough, of course, it would eventually wear down. Energy would get lost, protons would decay, whatever.
One article I read, specifically said that they (one type at least) would not create a perpetual motion machine in the usual sense. You cannot draw energy from them without disrupting the periodic state cycle.

In that respect, when used as memory, they could be more like the old magnetic core memories than like DRAM or SRAM. They could hold information for a very long time with no energy being applied, but each time you read it out you would erase it and would have to write the information back in (using some power to do so) if you want to continue to keep the information for future use.

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Re: Bling for the sphinxes in the Time Forest

Post by scantrontb » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:25 pm

Catawampus wrote:
According to some of the theories, in the short term it does look like a perpetual motion machine. And short term could mean "longer than the expected life of the universe". Which is why there is some speculation about using time crystals (if they actually can exist, and if they can exist in that way) as a form of functionally eternal memory. The idea is to somehow use the periodic properties of the atoms to encode data, and then the crystal will be able to exist as a somewhat self-repairing unit.

If you were to leave the thing going for long enough, of course, it would eventually wear down. Energy would get lost, protons would decay, whatever.

Of course, the whole theory could also be totally fanciful, and we'll find out that time crystals aren't really possible after all.
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