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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.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

May 2018 Volume 14, Issue 5

Editorial
Comment
Thesis
Books & Arts
Research Highlights
News & Views
Letters
Articles
Amendments & Corrections
Measure for Measure
 
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Editorial

 

Science worth fighting for    p425
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0147-3

Comment

 

Understanding complexity    pp426 - 427
Sophia Kivelson & Steven Kivelson
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0136-6

Thesis

 

Ignorance as strength    p428
Mark Buchanan
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0133-9

Books & Arts

 

The seduction of a scientist    p429
Leonie Mueck
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0130-z

Research Highlights

 

A good egg    p430
Andreas H. Trabesinger
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0142-8

What’s in the box?    p430
David Abergel
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0143-7

Just wait    p430
Federico Levi
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0144-6

Sum it up    p430
Jan Philip Kraack
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0145-5

Towards thermalization    p430
Yun Li
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0146-4

Physics
JOBS of the week
Research Assistant
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
PhD positions in physics, chemistry, biology
IMPRS on Multiscale Bio-Systems
Postdoctoral Fellow - Experimental Physics
University of Otago
Professorship W 3 of Experimental Physics (Chair)
Universitat Regensburg
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News & Views

 

An optical clock to go    pp431 - 432
Andrew D. Ludlow
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0047-6

Enter the machine    pp432 - 433
Pantita Palittapongarnpim & Barry C. Sanders
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0061-8

A new twist on phonons    pp433 - 434
Matthias B. Jungfleisch & Axel Hoffmann
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0104-1

A new wrinkle on the brain    pp435 - 436
Larry A. Taber
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0057-4

Letters

 

Geodesy and metrology with a transportable optical clock    pp437 - 441
Jacopo Grotti, Silvio Koller, Stefan Vogt, Sebastian Häfner, Uwe Sterr et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-017-0042-3

An atomic clock has been deployed on a field measurement campaign to determine the height of a mountain location 1,000 m above sea level, returning a value that is in good agreement with state-of-the-art geodesy.

 

Observation of roton mode population in a dipolar quantum gas    pp442 - 446
L. Chomaz, R. M. W. van Bijnen, D. Petter, G. Faraoni, S. Baier et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0054-7

The roton energy spectrum, originally introduced by Landau, explains the thermodynamic behaviour of strongly interacting liquid helium at low temperature. Now, a similar spectrum has been observed in weakly interacting dipolar quantum gas.

 

Neural-network quantum state tomography    pp447 - 450
Giacomo Torlai, Guglielmo Mazzola, Juan Carrasquilla, Matthias Troyer, Roger Melko et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0048-5

Unsupervised machine learning techniques can efficiently perform quantum state tomography of large, highly entangled states with high accuracy, and allow the reconstruction of many-body quantities from simple experimentally accessible measurements.

 

Anomalous Hall effect in ZrTe5    pp451 - 455
Tian Liang, Jingjing Lin, Quinn Gibson, Satya Kushwaha, Minhao Liu et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0078-z

Magnetotransport measurements show that ZrTe5 exhibits an anomalous Hall effect without magnetic ordering, a signature of Berry curvature introduced by Weyl nodes. This indicates that ZrTe5 may be a Weyl semimetal, even though this was not predicted.

 

Tunable emergent heterostructures in a prototypical correlated metal    pp456 - 460
D. M. Fobes, S. Zhang, S.-Z. Lin, Pinaki Das, N. J. Ghimire et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0060-9

By means of a sensitive neutron spectroscopy approach the magnetic excitations in the heavy fermion superconductor CeRhIn5 are probed, revealing a uniaxial anisotropy that can be tuned with an external magnetic field.

 

Experimental discovery of nodal chains    pp461 - 464
Qinghui Yan, Rongjuan Liu, Zhongbo Yan, Boyuan Liu, Hongsheng Chen et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-017-0041-4

Nodal chains are observed for the first time in a photonic crystal with accompanying drumhead surface states. This will stimulate further study of topological nodal lines with non-trivial connectivity.

 

Topological domain walls in helimagnets    pp465 - 468
P. Schoenherr, J. Müller, L. Köhler, A. Rosch, N. Kanazawa et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0056-5

The observation of three new classes of domain wall demonstrates the importance of topological disclination and dislocation defects in the helimagnet iron germanium, via analogy with grain boundaries in cholesteric liquid crystals.

 

Universality of clone dynamics during tissue development    pp469 - 474
Steffen Rulands, Fabienne Lescroart, Samira Chabab, Christopher J. Hindley, Nicole Prior et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0055-6

The cluster size distribution of cells’ progeny in developing organs is found to be universal. A new theory inspired by the physics of aerosols suggests that collective cell dynamics leads to a critical state balancing merger with fragmentation.

 

Electron acceleration by wave turbulence in a magnetized plasma    pp475 - 479
A. Rigby, F. Cruz, B. Albertazzi, R. Bamford, A. R. Bell et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0059-2

Electrons can be accelerated by astrophysical shocks if they are sufficiently fast to start with. As laboratory laser-produced shock experiments reveal, this can be achieved by lower-hybrid waves generated by a shock-reflected ion instability.

 

Alfvén wave dissipation in the solar chromosphere    pp480 - 483
Samuel D. T. Grant, David B. Jess, Teimuraz V. Zaqarashvili, Christian Beck, Hector Socas-Navarro et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0058-3

The first observational evidence of plasma heating through the dissipation of Alfvén-wave energy in tenuous regions of solar magnetism provides fresh insight into heating processes in the solar atmosphere, and in other magnetohydrodynamic systems.

 

Articles

 

Photoexcitation circular dichroism in chiral molecules    pp484 - 489
S. Beaulieu, A. Comby, D. Descamps, B. Fabre, G. A. Garcia et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-017-0038-z

Photoexcitation circular dichroism generates an ultrafast response in chiral molecules, with a much higher sensitivity than standard circular dichroism.

 

Emergence of anisotropic Gilbert damping in ultrathin Fe layers on GaAs(001)    pp490 - 494
L. Chen, S. Mankovsky, S. Wimmer, M. A. W. Schoen, H. S. Körner et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0053-8

The Gilbert damping constant, a fundamental parameter to describe magnetization dynamics, is an isotropic scalar for most magnetic materials. Now, at a metal/semiconductor interface, the emergence of anisotropic magnetic damping has been observed.

 

Bilinear magnetoelectric resistance as a probe of three-dimensional spin texture in topological surface states    pp495 - 499
Pan He, Steven S.-L. Zhang, Dapeng Zhu, Yang Liu, Yi Wang et al.
doi:10.1038/s41567-017-0039-y

A method for resolving the spin texture of the surface state of a topological insulator using a transport measurement is developed. Understanding the spin texture will help engineer spintronic devices.

 

Detecting the phonon spin in magnon–phonon conversion experiments    pp500 - 506
J. Holanda, D. S. Maior, A. Azevedo & S. M. Rezende
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0079-y

Experiments on a magnetostrictive material reveal the conversion between coherent magnons and phonons that have spin.

 

Rethinking pattern formation in reaction–diffusion systems    pp507 - 514
J. Halatek & E. Frey
doi:10.1038/s41567-017-0040-5

Canonical pattern formation relies on a system being close to an instability and stabilized by nonlinearities — but real systems seldom conform to these conditions. A new theory solves the problem by recasting it in terms of moving local equilibria.

 

Human brain organoids on a chip reveal the physics of folding    pp515 - 522
Eyal Karzbrun, Aditya Kshirsagar, Sidney R. Cohen, Jacob H. Hanna & Orly Reiner
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0046-7

Wrinkling in human brain organoids suggests that brain development may be mechanically driven, a notion supported only by model gels so far. Evidence in this simple living system highlights roles for cytoskeletal contraction and nuclear expansion.

 

Amendments & Corrections

 

Author Correction: The physics of spreading processes in multilayer networks    p523
Manlio De Domenico, Clara Granell, Mason A. Porter & Alex Arenas
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0065-4

Publisher Correction: A quantum dipolar spin liquid    p523
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0095-y

Publisher Correction: Universality of clone dynamics during tissue development    p523
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0096-x

Measure for Measure

 

Balancing energy and mass with neutrons    p524
Michael Jentschel & Klaus Blaum
doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0132-x

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