Earth grows large crystals, rare elements in just minutes

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Scientists have gained new insights into crystal growth rates inside pegmatites, veinlike formations that host some of the planet’s biggest crystals, as well as valuable elements such as tantalum, niobium and lithium.

Magma cooling time typically controls the size of crystals — when magma cools quickly, crystals remain microscopic, and when it cools slowly, crystals have time to grow.

But pegmatite crystals appear to upend this logic, researchers said in a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

“Pegmatites cool relatively quickly, sometimes in just a few years, and yet they feature some of the largest crystals on Earth,” Cin-Ty Lee, professor of geology at Rice University, said in a news release. “The big question is really, ‘How can that be?'”

To determine the growth rates of pegmatite crystals, scientists turned to the rare elements that are often found inside pegmatites.

“It was more

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Time Crystals: What Are They, How They Work

digital composite image of illuminated alarm clock against black background

Chuanchai Pundej / EyeEmGetty Images

  • In new research, mysterious time crystals interact pretty normally in an experiment.
  • Time crystals are a very new form of matter where particles move forever and don’t lose energy.
  • The interacting time crystals passed magnons back and forth and stayed stable.

    For the first time, scientists have observed an interaction of a rare and baffling form of matter called time crystals. The crystals look at a glance like “regular” crystals, but they have a relationship to time that both intrigues and puzzles scientists because of its unpredictability. Now, experts say they could have applications in quantum computing.

    🤯 You love time travel. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

    Scientists only theorized the existence of time crystals starting in the 2010s, making this the state-of-matter equivalent of so-called ruby chocolate—is it really a new thing or just a special case of

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