From SOTT:

A trio of researchers has discovered what they are calling a new type of crystal, one that is always moving. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Latham Boyle, Jun Yong Khoo, and Kendrick Smith describe how the idea for the crystal came about, how it was defined mathematically and whether they believe it could ever possibly exist in the real world.

Crystals are normally defined by their orderly arrangement, one that does not involve any moving parts, but that might change as a new class of crystal has been discovered that could ultimately lead to the discovery of real world crystals that exhibit the behavior that has now been theorized. The theory behind the new crystal arrangement came first from Boyle the team notes, he was studying the LISA Pathfinder project where three satellites have been launched to orbit the sun as a means for detecting gravitational waves. He wondered if adding a fourth satellite might not make more sense as it would allow for gathering more statistical informational about gravity waves if they were actually detected, e.g. their amplitude, polarization and direction. But as he thought about how the satellites would orbit, he found paths for all four that followed a highly dynamic symmetry—and that were a cousin to the tetrahedron. Later he discussed what he had found with his colleagues who devised a means for describing all possible symmetric orbits, which they called a swarm—where choreography was used as a measure of symmetry. The…

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