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Nanophysics

Microscopic friction emulators

Cold ions sliding across periodic energy-potential patterns formed by lasers have been used to elucidate the physics of dry friction between crystals. Experiments with no more than six ions suffice to explore a vast domain of frictional forces.

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Figure 1: Ion chain trapped in a lattice.

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Correspondence to Davide Mandelli or Erio Tosatti.

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Mandelli, D., Tosatti, E. Microscopic friction emulators. Nature 526, 332–333 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/526332a

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