Time crystals are proposed states of matter which spontaneously break time translation symmetry. There is no settled definition of such states. We offer a new definition which follows the traditional recipe for Wigner symmetries and order parameters. Supplementing our definition with a few plausible assumptions we find that a) systems with time-independent Hamiltonians should not exhibit time translation symmetry breaking while b) the recently studied π spin glass/Floquet time crystal can be viewed as breaking a global internal symmetry and as breaking time translation symmetry, as befits its two names.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics