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Time crystals: what are they?

Physicists are reporting their creation

By Philip Ball  

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek ©Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay Follow

There’s no point denying that in science is partly an issue of marketing: branding matters. Would we be so interested in gravitationally collapsed stars if they had not been dubbed “black holes”? (The term is generally attributed to the aphoristic American physicist John Wheeler.) Would we care about the non-commutation of certain quantum variables, as the experts would phrase it, if Werner Heisenberg had not called it (once translated from the German) the Uncertainty Principle? Scientists themselves regularly complain about how…

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