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Nature Physics September Issue

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Nature Physics

npj Materials Degradation is a new open access journal that is now open for submissions. The journal publishes the finest content describing basic and applied research discoveries in the area of corrosion (degradation) and protection of materials.

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September 2017 Volume 13, Issue 9

Research Highlights
News and Views
Progress Article
Measure for Measure
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Publishing online monthly, Nature Astronomy aims to bring together astronomers, astrophysicists and planetary scientists. In addition to the latest advances in research, we offer Comment and Opinion pieces on topical subjects of relevance to our community, including the societal impact of astronomy and updates on telescopes and space missions. 




The power of universal pictures   p821
The sky map presented by the Dark Energy Survey showcases the power of images to reach scientists and the wider public alike.

Physics students unite   p821
The International Conference of Physics Students continues its remarkable tradition.



Time to fix science prizes   p822
Shivaji Sondhi and Steven Kivelson
Science prizes should better reflect how modern science is carried out, argue Shivaji Sondhi and Steven Kivelson.



The risks of accelerated change   p823
Mark Buchanan

Research Highlights


Quantum dynamics: A new spin on lensing | Theoretical ecology: Sea fairies | Cosmology: A changing constant? | Biophysics: Not hairy enough | Ultracold gases: Reveal the unseen

News and Views


Exciton-polaritons: In full flow   pp825 - 826
Thilo Stöferle
Flow without friction is a strange phenomenon usually seen in quantum fluids that are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, but features of superfluidity have now been seen with polaritons at ambient conditions.

See also: Letter by Lerario et al.

History of physics: When quantum mechanics became huge   p826
Andreas Trabesinger

Heavy ion collisions: A clash of photons   pp827 - 828
Spencer R. Klein
The ATLAS Collaboration observed photons elastically scattering from other photons — an effect predicted by quantum electrodynamics over 80 years ago.

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Progress Article


Spin conversion on the nanoscale   pp829 - 832
YoshiChika Otani, Masashi Shiraishi, Akira Oiwa, Eiji Saitoh and Shuichi Murakami
Spins can act as mediators to interconvert electricity, light, sound, vibration and heat. This Progress article gives an overview of the recent advances associated with nanoscale spin conversion.



Rotational superradiant scattering in a vortex flow   pp833 - 836
Theo Torres, Sam Patrick, Antonin Coutant, Mauricio Richartz, Edmund W. Tedford et al.
The amplification of waves reflected from a rotating obstacle, or superradiance, has been predicted in hydrodynamics and black-hole physics. An experiment with rotating vortex flows confirms this phenomenon.

Room-temperature superfluidity in a polariton condensate   pp837 - 841
Giovanni Lerario, Antonio Fieramosca, Fábio Barachati, Dario Ballarini, Konstantinos S. Daskalakis et al.
Superfluidity is a phenomenon usually restricted to cryogenic temperatures, but organic microcavities provide the conditions for a superfluid flow of polaritons at room temperature.

See also: News and Views by Stoferle

Direct optical detection of Weyl fermion chirality in a topological semimetal   pp842 - 847
Qiong Ma, Su-Yang Xu, Ching-Kit Chan, Cheng-Long Zhang, Guoqing Chang et al.
Measuring the photocurrent response to circularly polarized mid-infrared light provides direct access to the chirality of Weyl fermions in Weyl semimetals — the property responsible for a range of exotic phenomena.

Numerical test of the Edwards conjecture shows that all packings are equally probable at jamming   pp848 - 851
Stefano Martiniani, K. Julian Schrenk, Kabir Ramola, Bulbul Chakraborty and Daan Frenkel
A decades-old proposal that all distinct packings are equally probable in granular media has gone unproven due to the sheer number of packings involved. Numerical simulation now demonstrates that it holds — precisely at the jamming threshold.

Nature Reviews Materials is an online-only, materials science journal that provides an accurate and balanced discussion on a chosen topic, together with an authoritative voice from experienced researchers. Spanning physics, chemistry, biology and engineering, the journal publishes a broad range of Reviews and Comments from world-leading scientists.




Evidence for light-by-light scattering in heavy-ion collisions with the ATLAS detector at the LHC OPEN   pp852 - 858
ATLAS Collaboration
Quantum electrodynamics predicts a rare process in which light is scattered by light. The ATLAS Collaboration reports signs of this elusive effect in the collisions of ultra-relativistic lead ions.

See also: News and Views by Klein

Spectroscopic evidence of a new energy scale for superconductivity in H3S   pp859 - 863
F. Capitani, B. Langerome, J.-B. Brubach, P. Roy, A. Drozdov et al.
A spectroscopic study of the superconducting phase in sulfur hydride under extreme pressures is presented, revealing the energy scale for the electron–phonon interaction in this system.

Large orbital polarization in a metallic square-planar nickelate   pp864 - 869
Junjie Zhang, A. S. Botana, J. W. Freeland, D. Phelan, Hong Zheng et al.
A careful study of the low-valent, quasi-two-dimensional trilayer metallic nickelate Pr4Ni3O8 is presented, revealing this system to be a close analogue of cuprate systems, and offering tantalizing hope that it may superconduct if appropriate electron doping can be achieved.

Direct measurement of polariton–polariton interaction strength   pp870 - 875
Yongbao Sun, Yoseob Yoon, Mark Steger, Gangqiang Liu, Loren N. Pfeiffer et al.
Exciton–polariton condensates have garnered interest as a means to access macroscopic displays of quantum phenomena such as Bose–Einstein condensation and superfluidity. In this work, a direct measure of the polariton–polariton interaction is obtained.

Microwave spectroscopy of spinful Andreev bound states in ballistic semiconductor Josephson junctions   pp876 - 881
David J. van Woerkom, Alex Proutski, Bernard van Heck, Daniël Bouman, Jukka I. Väyrynen et al.
Andreev bound states in semiconductor–superconductor hybrid structures are studied using microwave spectroscopy — a tool that could be also used for investigating Majorana modes.

Controlled release of multiphoton quantum states from a microwave cavity memory   pp882 - 887
Wolfgang Pfaff, Christopher J. Axline, Luke D. Burkhart, Uri Vool, Philip Reinhold et al.
The ability to transfer quantum information from a memory to a flying qubit is important for building quantum networks. The very fast release of a multiphoton state in a microwave cavity memory into propagating modes is demonstrated.

Gate-tunable black phosphorus spin valve with nanosecond spin lifetimes   pp888 - 893
Ahmet Avsar, Jun Y. Tan, Marcin Kurpas, Martin Gmitra, Kenji Watanabe et al.
The injection, transport and manipulation of spins using electric fields in ultrathin films of black phosphorus show the potential of this material as a platform for two-dimensional semiconductor spintronics devices.

Spin-polarized exciton quantum beating in hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites   pp894 - 899
Patrick Odenthal, William Talmadge, Nathan Gundlach, Ruizhi Wang, Chuang Zhang et al.
Hybrid perovskites are known to have excellent optoelectronic properties, but the observation of exciton states with long spin lifetimes suggests that they may also have potential spintronics applications.

Separating the configurational and vibrational entropy contributions in metallic glasses   pp900 - 905
Hillary L. Smith, Chen W. Li, Andrew Hoff, Glenn R. Garrett, Dennis S. Kim et al.
When a glass transforms into a liquid, is the absorbed specific heat vibrational or configurational in origin? Vibrational spectroscopy experiments on strong and fragile metallic glasses now strongly suggest the latter.

Membrane fluctuations mediate lateral interaction between cadherin bonds   pp906 - 913
Susanne F. Fenz, Timo Bihr, Daniel Schmidt, Rudolf Merkel, Udo Seifert et al.
The proteins that adhere cells together in tissue assemble in domains near the cell–cell interface. Experiments, simulations and theory show that formation of these domains is regulated by the membrane itself — with an explicit role for fluctuations.

Dynamic scaling in natural swarms   pp914 - 918
Andrea Cavagna, Daniele Conti, Chiara Creato, Lorenzo Del Castello, Irene Giardina et al.
Swarms and statistical physics seem like natural bedfellows, but concepts like scaling are yet to prove directly applicable to insect group dynamics. A study of midges suggests they are, and that they may give rise to a new universality class.

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Measure for Measure


To catch a chameleon   p920
Tobias Jenke
High-precision laboratory experiments with neutrons and atoms are converging to a verdict on 'chameleon fields' as a possible explanation of dark energy, explains Tobias Jenke.

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