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Current Issue of Nature

Current Issue : Nature

Current Issue

Volume 543 Number 7644 pp152-280

9 March 2017

About the cover

The cover shows an artist’s impression of time crystals. Much like ordinary crystals, time crystals exhibit a high degree of structural order. But whereas ordinary crystals get their periodicity from the regular repetition of spatial elements, time crystals are an exotic state of matter in which the same structures repeat themselves in time. Predicted to exist a few years ago, time crystals have so far resisted experimental demonstration. Now, two groups offer evidence for experimental observation of this elusive form of matter. Mikhail Lukin et al. have produced a discrete time crystal using a nitrogen–vacancy system in diamond as an experimental platform. In a complementary paper, Jiehang Zhang et al. achieve a similar feat using trapped ions. Such time crystals could potentially find applications in robust quantum memory. Cover artwork: Peter Crowther

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