Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer).
Characterizing the correlations of quantum many-body systems is known to be hard, but there are ways around: for example, a new method for measuring out-of-time correlations demonstrated in a Penning trap quantum simulator with over 100 ions.
Experimental measurements of higher-order correlation functions in many-body systems provide insight into a non-trivial quantum field theory and how it can be implemented in a cold-atom quantum simulation.
Superlubricity has been predicted and observed at an atomistic level, yet its dynamics is not well understood due to the lack of in situ characterization of contact surfaces. Kiethe et al. use a trapped two-dimensional ion crystal as a model for the study of nanofriction in self-organized structures.
Quantum many-body systems are often so complex as to be intractable. An algorithm that finds the ground state of any one-dimensional quantum system has now been devised, proving that the many-body problem is tractable for quantum spin chains.
The old adage that you can't tango alone is certainly true for humans. But recent experiments show that it may also be applicable to Rydberg atoms, which keep a beat through the coherent exchange of energy.
Accessing orbital exchange between highly symmetric many-component spins may hold the key to a number of exotic, strongly correlated quantum phenomena, but probing such exchange is far from easy. An experiment with ultracold gases takes on the task.