Researchers have developed a way to create photonic time crystals, and they have shown that these bizarre, artificial materials amplify the light that shines on them. These findings, described in a paper in Science Advances, could lead to more efficient and robust wireless communications and significantly improved lasers.
Time crystals were first conceived by Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek in 2012. Mundane, familiar crystals have a structural pattern that repeats in space, but in a time crystal, the pattern repeats in time instead. While some physicists were initially skeptical that time crystals could exist, recent experiments have succeeding in creating them. Last year, researchers at Aalto University's Low Temperature Laboratory created paired time crystals that could be useful for quantum devices.
Now, another team has made photonic time crystals, which are time-based versions of optical materials. The researchers created photonic time crystals that operate at microwave frequencies, and they showed that the crystals can amplify electromagnetic waves. This ability has potential applications in various technologies, including wireless communication, integrated circuits, and lasers.
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