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As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. The laws of physics confirm this: on our planet, all processes increase entropy, thus molecular disorder. For example, a broken glass would never put itself back together again.

Theoretical physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems have discovered that things which seem inconceivable in the everyday world are possible on a microscopic level.

"Until now, the assumption was that quasiparticles in interacting quantum systems decay after a certain time. We now know that the opposite is the case: strong interactions can even stop decay entirely," explains Frank Pollmann, Professor for Theoretical Solid-State Physics at the TUM. Collective lattice vibrations in crystals, so-called phonons, are one example of such quasiparticles.

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Category: Science