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vrijdag 3 februari 2017

Nature Physics February Issue

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Nature Physics

Nature's astronomical highlights

To celebrate Nature's comprehensive astronomical heritage, Nature Astronomy has curated a Web Collection of 40 Nature papers that have had significant impact on astronomical research. 

View the Collection

February 2017 Volume 13, Issue 2

Research Highlights
News and Views
Measure for Measure
Recommend to library



Indian promise   p105
History and cultural depth are assets that benefit Indian science. But do they also hinder it?



The thermodynamics of Earth   p106
Mark Buchanan



Animal magic   pp107 - 108
Matin Durrani
Physics teaching in schools could be transformed by highlighting its role in the animal kingdom.

Research Highlights


Wireless technology: Beaming with energy | Virus disassembly: 2D phase transitions go viral | White dwarfs: Pulsar in disguise | Topological semimetals: Field-free quantum oscillations | Complex networks: Hidden influence

News and Views


Quantum optics: Photons taught new tricks   pp110 - 111
Ady Stern
Experiments of the Aharonov–Bohm type typically involve particles that are charged and interact with a magnetic flux. Photons aren't the former and don't do the latter. Yet, an Aharonov–Bohm ring for photons has just been realized experimentally.

See also: Article by Roushan et al.

Superconductivity: Picky about orientation   pp111 - 112
Kamran Behnia
Not in all superconductors do Cooper pairs respect the lattice symmetry of the crystal in which they move. Now, work finds such 'picky' Cooper pairs in the presence of strong electron–spin interaction — and gives rise to an entire host of new questions.

See also: Letter by Yonezawa et al.

Spin-orbitronics: Skyrmion Hall effect   pp112 - 113
Gong Chen
Two independent teams have demonstrated that the current-driven motion of a topological charge experiences a transverse deflection analogous to charged particles in the classical Hall effect.

See also: Article by Jiang et al. | Article by Litzius et al.

Organic semiconductors: Dynamic duos   pp114 - 115
Michael R. Wasielewski
The discovery of intermediate high-spin multiexciton states with surprisingly long lifetimes provides new opportunities for engineering singlet fission, which may also provide an intriguing route to quantum information and spintronic applications.

See also: Article by Weiss et al. | Article by Tayebjee et al.

Multiferroics: Making a point of control   pp115 - 116
Sergei V. Kalinin
The coexistence of spin order and disorder at a critical point in the phase diagram of multiferroic materials may be exploited to locally control magnetoelectric coupling — as is now shown for doped BiFeO3 by means of scanning probe microscopy.

See also: Article by Jang et al.

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Continuous excitations of the triangular-lattice quantum spin liquid YbMgGaO4   pp117 - 122
Joseph A. M. Paddison, Marcus Daum, Zhiling Dun, Georg Ehlers, Yaohua Liu et al.
A detailed and systematic neutron-scattering study uncovers a continuum of magnetic excitations down to 0.06 K in the triangular quantum magnet YbMgGaO4 — an observation consistent with quantum spin liquid behaviour.

Thermodynamic evidence for nematic superconductivity in CuxBi2Se3   pp123 - 126
Shingo Yonezawa, Kengo Tajiri, Suguru Nakata, Yuki Nagai, Zhiwei Wang et al.
In a nematic liquid crystal, electron orbitals align themselves along one axis, as rods. Thermodynamic observations of such rod-like alignments in CuxBi2Se3 provide evidence for a nematic superconductor.

See also: News and Views by Behnia

Interlayer electron–phonon coupling in WSe2/hBN heterostructures   pp127 - 131
Chenhao Jin, Jonghwan Kim, Joonki Suh, Zhiwen Shi, Bin Chen et al.
The emergence of optically silent phonons show that strong interlayer electron–phonon coupling can arise in van der Waals heterostructures, with the vibrational modes in one layer coupling to the electronic states in a neighbouring layer.

An effective magnetic field from optically driven phonons   pp132 - 136
T. F. Nova, A. Cartella, A. Cantaluppi, M. Först, D. Bossini et al.
Light can be used to directly excite phonon modes in condensed matter. Simultaneously exciting several modes in an antiferromagnetic rare-earth orthoferrite drives behaviour that mimics the application of a magnetic field.

Nonergodic diffusion of single atoms in a periodic potential   pp137 - 141
Farina Kindermann, Andreas Dechant, Michael Hohmann, Tobias Lausch, Daniel Mayer et al.
Drawing microscopic information out of the diffusive dynamics of complex processes often requires an assumption of ergodicity. Precision experiments on a single atom in a periodic potential suggest that this may be too simplistic in many cases.

Critical slowing down in purely elastic ‘snap-through’ instabilities   pp142 - 145
Michael Gomez, Derek E. Moulton and Dominic Vella
Critical phenomena are well understood in a wide range of physical systems. The dynamics of snap-through instabilities, a widespread phenomenon in their own right, are now shown to display critical scaling properties.



Chiral ground-state currents of interacting photons in a synthetic magnetic field   pp146 - 151
P. Roushan, C. Neill, A. Megrant, Y. Chen, R. Babbush et al.
Superconducting circuits, coupled to form a ring in which a photonic excitation can circulate between sites, are established as a versatile platform for studying the interplay of strong particle interactions and external fields.

See also: News and Views by Stern

A proton density bubble in the doubly magic 34Si nucleus   pp152 - 156
A. Mutschler, A. Lemasson, O. Sorlin, D. Bazin, C. Borcea et al.
The central densities of protons and neutrons in stable atomic nuclei are saturated. More exotic nuclei — with imbalanced proton and neutron numbers — may have depleted central densities. Experiments now suggest such depletion for the 34Si nucleus.

Spiral spin-liquid and the emergence of a vortex-like state in MnSc2S4   pp157 - 161
Shang Gao, Oksana Zaharko, Vladimir Tsurkan, Yixi Su, Jonathan S. White et al.
A detailed and systematic neutron scattering study uncovers a spiral spin-liquid state in the quantum magnet MnSc2S4.

Direct observation of the skyrmion Hall effect   pp162 - 169
Wanjun Jiang, Xichao Zhang, Guoqiang Yu, Wei Zhang, Xiao Wang et al.
Experiments show that when driven by electric currents, magnetic skyrmions experience transverse motion due to their topological charge — similar to the conventional Hall effect experienced by charged particles in a perpendicular magnetic field.

See also: News and Views by Chen

Skyrmion Hall effect revealed by direct time-resolved X-ray microscopy   pp170 - 175
Kai Litzius, Ivan Lemesh, Benjamin Kruger, Pedram Bassirian, Lucas Caretta et al.
Experiments show that when driven by electric currents, magnetic skyrmions experience transverse motion due to their topological charge — similar to the conventional Hall effect experienced by charged particles in a perpendicular magnetic field.

See also: News and Views by Chen

Strongly exchange-coupled triplet pairs in an organic semiconductor   pp176 - 181
Leah R. Weiss, Sam L. Bayliss, Felix Kraffert, Karl J. Thorley, John E. Anthony et al.
Experiments show how molecular structure affects the interaction and dynamics of the triplet exciton pairs produced when an excited singlet exciton decays via singlet fission — a process that could be harnessed for optoelectronic applications.

See also: News and Views by Wasielewski

Quintet multiexciton dynamics in singlet fission   pp182 - 188
Murad J. Y. Tayebjee, Samuel N. Sanders, Elango Kumarasamy, Luis M. Campos, Matthew Y. Sfeir et al.
Experiments show how molecular structure affects the interaction and dynamics of the triplet exciton pairs produced when an excited singlet exciton decays via singlet fission — a process that could be harnessed for optoelectronic applications.

See also: News and Views by Wasielewski

Electric-field-induced spin disorder-to-order transition near a multiferroic triple phase point   pp189 - 196
Byung-Kweon Jang, Jin Hong Lee, Kanghyun Chu, Pankaj Sharma, Gi-Yeop Kim et al.
The triple point is a well-known feature on pressure–temperature phase diagrams. A multiferroic triple point is now reported for La-doped BiFeO3; La concentration and temperature are the phase variables and the phases display different spin (dis)order.

See also: News and Views by Kalinin

Measure for Measure


Metrology in 2019   p198
Klaus von Klitzing
Klaus von Klitzing tells the story of the quantum Hall effect's impact on metrology.

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