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Editorials

The truth will out p449

doi:10.1038/nphys1317

Fraud in science is difficult to spot immediately, but, as high-profile cases show, it does get found out. Tackling plagiarism is at least becoming an easier fight.


The full story p449

doi:10.1038/nphys1318

No more presubmission enquiries — please send us your full manuscript.


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Thesis

Final answer? p450

Mark Buchanan

doi:10.1038/nphys1319


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Books and Arts

Cargo-cult science redux pp451 - 452

Michael R. Norman reviews Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World by Eugenie Samuel Reich

doi:10.1038/nphys1316


Gravitation for the nation p452

doi:10.1038/nphys1320


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Research Highlights

Research highlights p453

doi:10.1038/nphys1321


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News and Views

Cavity QED: Strength in numbers pp455 - 456

Wolfgang Lange

doi:10.1038/nphys1325

Strong coupling of light and matter is the most important, yet challenging goal in the field of cavity quantum electrodynamics. This regime has now been reached by collectively exciting large crystals of trapped ions.

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

See also: Letter by Herskind et al.



Plasmonic circuits: Detecting unseen light pp457 - 458

Luis Martin-Moreno

doi:10.1038/nphys1314

The electrical detection of surface plasmons in nanowires by a micrometre-sized detector brings the possibility of compact photonic circuits closer.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: Letter by Falk et al.


Optomechanics: Photons refrigerating phonons pp458 - 460

Andrew Cleland

doi:10.1038/nphys1324

Optomechanics is a promising route towards the observation of quantum effects in relatively large structures. Three papers, each discussing a different implementation, now combine optical sideband and cryogenic cooling to refrigerate mechanical resonators to fewer than 60 phonons.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: Letter by Gröblacher et al. | Letter by Park & Wang | Article by Schliesser et al.


Quantum phases of matter: Room for one more pp460 - 461

T. Senthil

doi:10.1038/nphys1323

In YbRh2Si2, the transitions to a heavy Fermi-liquid state and to a magnetic phase occur at a single quantum critical point. But under chemical pressure, these transitions separate, and a new phase of matter appears in between.

Subject Category: Condensed-matter physics

See also: Letter by Friedemann et al.


Femtomagnetism: Magnetism in step with light pp461 - 463

Uwe Bovensiepen

doi:10.1038/nphys1322

Femtosecond laser pulses can demagnetize ferromagnetic metallic thin films on an ultrafast timescale. Studying how magnetic films react during optical excitation provides a better understanding of this so-called femtomagnetism.

Subject Category: Condensed-matter physics

See also: Article by Bigot et al. | Letter by Zhang et al.


Galactic archaeology: Overcoming great barriers pp463 - 464

Timothy C. Beers & Daniela Carollo

doi:10.1038/nphys1327

Massive spectroscopic and imaging surveys of individual stars in the Milky Way are opening windows on the formation of the first elements and the nature of the assembly of the Galaxy.

Subject Category: Astrophysics


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Letters

Detaching the antiferromagnetic quantum critical point from the Fermi-surface reconstruction in YbRh2Si2 pp465 - 469

S. Friedemann, T. Westerkamp, M. Brando, N. Oeschler, S. Wirth, P. Gegenwart, C. Krellner, C. Geibel & F. Steglich

doi:10.1038/nphys1299

Under chemical pressure, two phase transitions that were seemingly linked become detached in YbRh2Si2, thereby clarifying a long-standing mystery in the heavy-electron metals. Moreover, a new quantum phase appears under negative pressure.

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Materials physics

See also: News and Views by Senthil


Wave–particle duality of single surface plasmon polaritons pp470 - 474

Roman Kolesov, Bernhard Grotz, Gopalakrishnan Balasubramanian, Rainer J. Stöhr, Aurélien A. L. Nicolet, Philip R. Hemmer, Fedor Jelezko & Jörg Wrachtrup

doi:10.1038/nphys1278

An experiment demonstrates that single surface plasmons—collective electronic excitations on metal surfaces—show wave–particle duality. The result suggests that a macroscopic number of electrons can behave like a single quantum particle.

Subject Categories: Quantum physics | Optical physics | Electronics, photonics and device physics


Near-field electrical detection of optical plasmons and single-plasmon sources pp475 - 479

Abram L. Falk, Frank H. L. Koppens, Chun L. Yu, Kibum Kang, Nathalie de Leon Snapp, Alexey V. Akimov, Moon-Ho Jo, Mikhail D. Lukin & Hongkun Park

doi:10.1038/nphys1284

Plasmonics is heralded as the perfect symbiosis of optics, which is quick, and electronics, which works on a small scale. A method for electrically detecting plasmon polaritons using a quantum dot removes the need for far-field optical techniques and could enable nanoscale integrated circuits.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: News and Views by Martin-Moreno


Photon burst detection of single atoms in an optical cavity pp480 - 484

M. L. Terraciano, R. Olson Knell, D. G. Norris, J. Jing, A. Fernández & L. A. Orozco

doi:10.1038/nphys1282

An approach that combines fluorescence and cavity-QED methods enables the fast and reliable detection of single atoms, and should be useful for a series of atomic-physics and quantum-information protocols.

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


Demonstration of an ultracold micro-optomechanical oscillator in a cryogenic cavity pp485 - 488

Simon Gröblacher, Jared B. Hertzberg, Michael R. Vanner, Garrett D. Cole, Sylvain Gigan, K. C. Schwab & Markus Aspelmeyer

doi:10.1038/nphys1301

Cooling optomechanical resonators to their quantum-mechanical ground state could enable the observation of quantum effects in macroscopic objects. The experimental cooling of a 43-ng silicon-nitride beam to a thermal occupancy of just 30 indicates that this ultimate goal is not too far away.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: News and Views by Cleland


Resolved-sideband and cryogenic cooling of an optomechanical resonator pp489 - 493

Young-Shin Park & Hailin Wang

doi:10.1038/nphys1303

Combing cryogenic and so-called sideband cooling promises to cool micrometre-scaled resonators to the point at which quantum effects take hold. Hope that this aim will soon be reached is boosted by the demonstration of a deformed silica microsphere that is cooled so that it contains only 37 phonons.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: News and Views by Cleland


Realization of collective strong coupling with ion Coulomb crystals in an optical cavity pp494 - 498

Peter F. Herskind, Aurélien Dantan, Joan P. Marler, Magnus Albert & Michael Drewsen

doi:10.1038/nphys1302

The experimental realization of strong coupling between a Coulomb crystal—made of several hundred ions—and the light field in an optical cavity could provide a route to efficient light–matter interfaces.

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

See also: News and Views by Lange


Paradigm of the time-resolved magneto-optical Kerr effect for femtosecond magnetism pp499 - 502

G. P. Zhang, W. Hübner, Georgios Lefkidis, Yihua Bai & Thomas F. George

doi:10.1038/nphys1315

Conventional understanding of the magneto-optical Kerr effect, in which changes in the magnetization of a material cause changes in the polarization of reflected light, assumes that this incident light is continuous. However, first-principles simulations of nickel show that this assumption breaks down for femtosecond pulses of light, and establishes a firm foundation for understanding the dynamics of femtomagnetism.

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Electronics, photonics and device physics | Optical physics

See also: News and Views by Bovensiepen


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Articles

Individual topological tunnelling events of a quantum field probed through their macroscopic consequences pp503 - 508

Mitrabhanu Sahu, Myung-Ho Bae, Andrey Rogachev, David Pekker, Tzu-Chieh Wei, Nayana Shah, Paul M. Goldbart & Alexey Bezryadin

doi:10.1038/nphys1276

Measurements of the distribution of stochastic switching currents in homogeneous, ultra-narrow superconducting nanowires provide strong evidence that the low-temperature current-switching in such systems occurs through quantum phase slips—topological quantum fluctuations of the superconducting order parameter via which tunnelling occurs between current-carrying states.

Subject Categories: Condensed-matter physics | Nanotechnology | Materials physics


Resolved-sideband cooling and position measurement of a micromechanical oscillator close to the Heisenberg uncertainty limit pp509 - 514

A. Schliesser, O. Arcizet, R. Rivière, G. Anetsberger & T. J. Kippenberg

doi:10.1038/nphys1304

Optomechanical systems in which a high-quality optical resonator is coupled to a mechanical oscillator hold great promise for examining quantum effects in relatively large structures. As a step towards this, a silica microtoroid has now been cooled to the point that it has just 63 thermal quanta.

Subject Category: Electronics, photonics and device physics

See also: News and Views by Cleland


Coherent ultrafast magnetism induced by femtosecond laser pulses pp515 - 520

Jean-Yves Bigot, Mircea Vomir & Eric Beaurepaire

doi:10.1038/nphys1285

Femtosecond laser pulses can demagnetize ferromagnetic metallic thin films on an ultrafast timescale. Studying how a single optical pulse interacts with a magnetic film now provides a better understanding of this so-called femtomagnetism.

Subject Categories: Optical physics | Materials physics

See also: News and Views by Bovensiepen


Experimental onset threshold and magnetic pressure pile-up for 3D reconnection pp521 - 526

T. P. Intrator, X. Sun, G. Lapenta, L. Dorf & I. Furno

doi:10.1038/nphys1300

Magnetic reconnection—the process by which magnetic field-lines break and reform in a plasma—is believed to be an important part of many astrophysical phenomena, but is poorly understood. The recreation of 3D reconnection events in a laboratory plasma provides a powerful means of studying the parameters that govern the onset, evolution and decay of this process.

Subject Categories: Plasma physics | Astrophysics


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