Table of contents


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Editorial

It makes you think p897

doi:10.1038/nphys1136

As we research the workings of the human brain, attempting to understand and even mimic its function, do we risk passing a point of no return?


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Commentary

The new iron age pp898 - 900

Cenke Xu & Subir Sachdev

doi:10.1038/nphys1137

The discovery of a new class of high-temperature superconductors based on iron tests the limits of current theoretical and computational tools for the understanding of strongly correlated systems.


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Thesis

Fit for purpose p901

Mark Buchanan

doi:10.1038/nphys1138


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Research Highlights

Light force and curveballs p903

doi:10.1038/nphys1139


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News and Views

Neurophysics: Logic gates come to life pp905 - 906

Fred Wolf & Theo Geisel

doi:10.1038/nphys1142

Nerve cells have the ability to self-organize into strongly interacting networks, even when grown in a Petri dish. Controlling the geometry of such cell cultures might be all that is needed to set up neuronal computing devices.

Subject Categories: Biological physics | Information theory and computation | Techniques and instrumentation

See also: Article by Feinerman et al.


Bose–Einstein condensates: A peek and a poke pp906 - 908

Dieter Jaksch

doi:10.1038/nphys1143

An adapted scanning electron microscope allows the non-destructive measurement and manipulation of Bose–Einstein condensates. The single-atom sensitivity that this technique promises could soon become indispensable in the study of quantum degenerate atomic gases.

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Techniques and instrumentation

See also: Article by Gericke et al.


Light-matter interaction: Perfect reflections p908

Dan Csontos

doi:10.1038/nphys1140

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Optical physics


Entanglement distillation: Pick the best and ignore the rest pp909 - 910

Hans-Albert Bachor

doi:10.1038/nphys1145

Entanglement is precious, allowing us to perform all kinds of quantum tricks. But it is easily buried under technical noise. Two experiments show how to distil the 'good parts' from a data stream and recover high-quality entanglement.

Subject Categories: Quantum physics | Optical physics

See also: Letter by Hu et al. | Letter by Dong et al.


Optical lattice clocks: Keeping time in three dimensions pp910 - 911

Chris Oates

doi:10.1038/nphys1146

The demonstration of an optical clock in which individual atoms are confined in a three-dimensional optical lattice moves us closer to the atomic clockmaker's dream: tens of thousands of isolated atoms that work in parallel.

Subject Categories: Techniques and instrumentation | Atomic and molecular physics | Quantum physics

See also: Article by Akatsuka et al.


Ultracold molecules: The coldest polar region pp911 - 912

David DeMille & Eric R. Hudson

doi:10.1038/nphys1147

Polar diatomic molecules, consisting of potassium and rubidium, have been created with density and temperature close to the regime of quantum degeneracy.

Subject Category: Atomic and molecular physics


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Letters

Preparation of distilled and purified continuous-variable entangled states pp915 - 918

Boris Hage, Aiko Samblowski, James DiGuglielmo, Alexander Franzen, Jaromír Fiurás caronek & Roman Schnabel

doi:10.1038/nphys1110

Two independent experiments demonstrate that quantum entanglement that has been lost in decoherence processes can be recovered. For the first time such 'entanglement distillation' has been achieved for states of light that are entangled in continuous variables, which should help to increase the distance over which quantum information can be distributed.

Subject Categories: Quantum physics | Optical physics | Information theory and computation

See also: News and Views by Bachor


Experimental entanglement distillation of mesoscopic quantum states pp919 - 923

Ruifang Dong, Mikael Lassen, Joel Heersink, Christoph Marquardt, Radim Filip, Gerd Leuchs & Ulrik L. Andersen

doi:10.1038/nphys1112

Two independent experiments demonstrate that quantum entanglement that has been lost in decoherence processes can be recovered. For the first time such 'entanglement distillation' has been achieved for states of light that are entangled in continuous variables, which should help to increase the distance over which quantum information can be distributed.

Subject Categories: Quantum physics | Optical physics | Information theory and computation

See also: News and Views by Bachor


Strong interaction between light and a single trapped atom without the need for a cavity pp924 - 927

Meng Khoon Tey, Zilong Chen, Syed Abdullah Aljunid, Brenda Chng, Florian Huber, Gleb Maslennikov & Christian Kurtsiefer

doi:10.1038/nphys1096

An experiment that demonstrates efficient absorption of light by a single atom residing in free space should be helpful for designing interfaces for the transfer of quantum information from 'flying' qubits to stationary quantum systems, without the need for optical cavities.

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Optical physics | Quantum physics


Amplification and squeezing of quantum noise with a tunable Josephson metamaterial pp929 - 931

M. A. Castellanos-Beltran, K. D. Irwin, G. C. Hilton, L. R. Vale & K. W. Lehnert

doi:10.1038/nphys1090

An array of 488 Josephson junctions that amplifies and squeezes noise beyond conventional quantum limits should prove useful in the study and development of superconducting qubits and other quantum devices.

Subject Categories: Electronics, photonics and device physics | Quantum physics | Techniques and instrumentation


Coulomb correlations and the Wigner–Mott transition pp932 - 935

A. Camjayi, K. Haule, V. Dobrosavljevic acute & G. Kotliar

doi:10.1038/nphys1106

Evidence for metal–insulator transitions in dilute 2D electron gases has sparked controversy and debate. A new model suggests such behaviour could arise from strong correlations driven by non-local Coulomb interactions, providing an alternative view to that which considers disorder to be the over-riding influence.

Subject Category: Condensed-matter physics


Wigner crystallization in a quasi-three-dimensional electronic system pp936 - 939

B. A. Piot, Z. Jiang, C. R. Dean, L. W. Engel, G. Gervais, L. N. Pfeiffer & K. W. West

doi:10.1038/nphys1094

Application of extreme magnetic fields to a low-disorder 2D electron gas causes its electrons to reorder through an unexpected transition from a 2D to quasi-3D Wigner crystal state.

Subject Category: Condensed-matter physics


Probing warm dense lithium by inelastic X-ray scattering pp940 - 944

E. García Saiz, G. Gregori, D. O. Gericke, J. Vorberger, B. Barbrel, R. J. Clarke, R. R. Freeman, S. H. Glenzer, F. Y. Khattak, M. Koenig, O. L. Landen, D. Neely, P. Neumayer, M. M. Notley, A. Pelka, D. Price, M. Roth, M. Schollmeier, C. Spindloe, R. L. Weber, L.  van Woerkom, K. Wünsch & D. Riley

doi:10.1038/nphys1103

Warm dense matter is a complex and little-explored state that is characterized by temperatures usually associated with plasmas but at densities similar to solids. A combination of inelastic X-ray scattering and ab initio simulations enables insight into its structure and behaviour.

Subject Category: Plasma physics


Localization of ultrasound in a three-dimensional elastic network pp945 - 948

Hefei Hu, A. Strybulevych, J. H. Page, S. E. Skipetrov & B. A. van Tiggelen

doi:10.1038/nphys1101

A systematic study of the propagation of ultrasound through a random network of aluminium beads provides the first demonstration of the Anderson localization of classical waves in a 3D system.

Subject Category: Other physics


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Articles

High-resolution scanning electron microscopy of an ultracold quantum gas pp949 - 953

Tatjana Gericke, Peter Würtz, Daniel Reitz, Tim Langen & Herwig Ott

doi:10.1038/nphys1102

Electron microscopes are regularly used to resolve atoms in solid samples. It turns out that they can also be used to image atoms in a Bose–Einstein condensate—remarkably, without destroying the coherent properties of the condensate.

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Techniques and instrumentation

See also: News and Views by Jaksch


Optical lattice clocks with non-interacting bosons and fermions pp954 - 959

Tomoya Akatsuka, Masao Takamoto & Hidetoshi Katori

doi:10.1038/nphys1108

Optical lattice clocks, in which trapped atoms serve as a frequency reference, are promising candidates for next-generation atomic clocks. Depending on whether bosons or fermions are loaded into the lattice, fundamentally different design principles apply, as has now been shown.

Subject Categories: Atomic and molecular physics | Quantum physics | Techniques and instrumentation

See also: News and Views by Oates


Microrheology of a sticking transition pp960 - 966

Prerna Sharma, Shankar Ghosh & S. Bhattacharya

doi:10.1038/nphys1105

The tendency of small objects to stick together as they come into contact is a commonly observed phenomenon. Yet the interactions that govern this behaviour can be complex. A systematic study of the variation in the force between a particle and a solid surface as they are brought together finds many parallels with the characteristics of glassy and granular systems.

Subject Category: Statistical physics, thermodynamics and nonlinear dynamics


Reliable neuronal logic devices from patterned hippocampal cultures pp967 - 973

Ofer Feinerman, Assaf Rotem & Elisha Moses

doi:10.1038/nphys1099

The computational capability of the brain remains a mystery. Some insight might come from a series of experiments in which cultures of living neurons are patterned in a way to form functional logic devices.

Subject Categories: Biological physics | Information theory and computation | Techniques and instrumentation

See also: News and Views by Wolf & Geisel


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Futures

We all fall down p976

Tanith Lee

doi:10.1038/nphys1144

A trail of scarlet.


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