Communications Physics is 2 years old. To celebrate, we look back at our achievements and put together a collection of our editors’ favourite papers. We will renew this collection over the months to share with our community what we like the most.
Editor's Highlights - Communications Physics
Communications Physics celebrates its second year of working with the physics community. We have decided to share with our readers what we like the most. Each month our editors select their pick article, and we will update this page regularly.
To mark our second revolution around the sun, we have also selected our favourite articles from each of the months of 2019, together with a few commentaries and reviews that have appeared in the journal last year.
This compilation is intended to represent the broad scope of the journal, highlighting new insights into several topics within physics and related disciplines.
As many of our authors have also contributed a “behind the paper” for one of the Nature Community websites, we have also put together a compilation of their pieces aimed at communicating their work in a more personalised way than a research article. We hope you will enjoy browsing this content too.
About Communications Physics
Communications Physics is an open access journal from Nature Research publishing high-quality research, reviews and commentary in all areas of physics. Research papers published by the journal represent significant advances bringing new insight to a specialized area of research. Read more about the journal here.
About the editors
Communications Physics is edited by both in-house professional editors and academic Editorial Board Members. Our editors work closely together to ensure the quality of our published papers and consistency in author experience.
Editors Highlights - 2020
Graphene-based Josephson junctions can make highly sensitive quantum probes and are dependent on properties related to the current phase relationship. Here, the authors theoretically investigate the power spectrum of the critical current fluctuations in graphene Josephson junctions and demonstrate that they have a 1/f dependence on frequency.
Water expands upon freezing, so what happens when it is brought below 0 °C in an undeformable, constant-volume container? Here, the authors use classical thermodynamics and kinetics to derive the phenomenology of freezing in an isochoric chamber, developing a framework therefrom to study the origin of the limiting effects of confinement on ice formation.
Established to explain high-energy particle physics, supersymmetry has since been invoked to describe the interplay between symmetry and topology in numerous fields. Here, supersymmetric transformations are shown theoretically and experimentally to destroy and restore topology in a photonic crystal.
Swarming is a ubiquitous behaviour in living systems, emerging from local interactions. Here, the authors exploit genetic mutations to experimentally characterize how distinct swarming phases of Bacillus subtilis emerge as a function of the shape and density of these bacteria.
Bound states in the continuum have recently found application to sensing, lasing and optoelectronics, but have not been realised in 1D. Here, destructive interference of electron spin in a tilted magnetic field is shown to give rise to bound states in the continuum of a 1D layered photonic crystal.
The assembly and manipulation of synthetic microswimmers often exploits parallels with living systems. Here, the authors show precessing magnetic fields induce rotation and translation in large self-assembled rafts of magnetic beads thanks to metachronal waves and in analogy with ciliates swimmers
Rapid onset of molecular friction in liquids bridging between the atomistic and hydrodynamic pictures
How friction in liquids emerges from conservative forces between atoms is currently not well-understood, but it is a crucial parameter for dynamic processes in liquid matter. Here, the authors combine frequency-resolved simulation data with theory to show that the friction felt by a single molecule occurs abruptly below a certain frequency.
Floquet engineering describes the control of a quantum system using light-matter interactions and has received renewed interest due to recent developments in ultrafast spectroscopy techniques. Here, the authors use light scattering spectroscopy to investigate the Floquet state in MoS2 and apply dynamical symmetries to understand the polarisation selection rules
Living optical random neural network with three dimensional tumor spheroids for cancer morphodynamics
Can living systems function as artificial neural networks for biophysical applications? Here, the authors show that living tumor spheroids can be employed as random optical learning machines and used to investigate cancer morphodynamics and quantify the effect of chemotherapy.
Reviews and Commentaries
Quantum communication and computing is now in a data-intensive domain where a classical network describing a quantum system seems no longer sufficient to yield a generalization of complex networks methods to the quantum domain. The authors review recent progress into this paradigm shift that drives the creation of a network theory based fundamentally on quantum effects.
Magnonics involves the manipulation of spin waves in order to develop more energy efficient spintronics devices which do not rely on the movement of electronic charge. Here, the authors review the various methods designed to control magnonics with particular focus on voltage i.e. electric-field.
Optical frequency combs were realized nearly two decades ago to support the development of the world’s most precise atomic clocks, but their versatility has since made them useful instruments well beyond their original goal, and spans across a wide variety of fundamental and applied physics in a wide range of wavelengths. Fortier and Baumann present a comprehensive review of developments in optical frequency comb technology and a view to the future with these technologies.
The concept of non-Hermitian parity-time reversal symmetry in optics has given rise to a vast amount of research aimed at exploring some of the exotic features displayed by photonics systems. The authors present a brief account of the state-of-the-art on non-Hermitian photonics and provide their perspective on the topic.
The anapole, a non-radiating charge-current configuration, was recently observed in a variety of artificial materials and nanostructures. We provide a brief overview of this rapidly developing field and discuss implications for spectroscopy, energy materials, electromagnetics, as well as quantum and nonlinear optics.
2nd year Anniversary Collection - 2019
The successful isolation of a single layer of graphene has led to great interest in finding other 2D materials with similar electronic characteristics with additional spin-dependent phenomena. In this work, a 2D allotrope of Sn is grown on an Au(111) surface and shown through angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to have a linear band dispersion at the zone center and anti-parallel spin polarization.
The valley Hall effect in transition metal dichalcogenides has been studied as a potential mean to develop new electronic and optoelectronic devices. The authors theoretically demonstrate that valley Hall effect can be derived from spin degrees of freedom, which is distinct from the conventional orbital related type.
Semiconductor microcavities coupled to a quantum well can produce three regimes of coherent light generation depending on the nature of the light–matter and electron–hole interactions. The authors design a Se/Te based microcavity containing a single quantum well which enables them to achieve all three lasing regimes in the one device.
The aim of quantum communications is to transmit quantum information at high rate over long distances, something that can only be achieved by quantum repeaters and quantum networks. Here the author presents the ultimate end-to-end capacities of a quantum network, also showing the advantages of multipath network routing versus single repeater chains.
BaFe2Se3 is a ladder-compound that exhibits superconductivity under pressure. Using a density matrix renormalization group calculation to compare results with resonant inelastic X-ray scattering measurements, the authors conclude that this material is realized in an orbital-selective Mott phase.
Revealing how to effectively produce nuclei remains one of the main motivations of recent nuclear reaction and nuclear transmutation studies of radioactive waste. The authors show the enhancement of proton rich isotope production using incomplete fusion mechanism on weakly bound nuclei using the incomplete fusion mechanism by the inverse kinematics technique, in which a radioactive beam of Palladium bombards a proton/deuteron target.
Prospects for new applications in quantum simulations, spectroscopic precision measurements and very low temperature physics and chemistry have resulted in significant advances in the study of cold molecules, with their trapping for long times remaining a major challenge. The authors present an experiment in which polar molecular radicals produced by Stark deceleration are magnetically trapped for a time of order 20 s providing an improvement of up to two orders of magnitude over room temperature experiments.
Photon-noise-limited cold-electron bolometer based on strong electron self-cooling for high-performance cosmology missions
Bolometers, a type of cryogenic detectors, are extensively used for astronomical applications but new technologies offer the possibility to lower the temperature they operate at in order to increase their sensitivity. The authors present the experimental realisation of a Cold-Electron Bolometer based on strong on-chip electron self-cooling in which the electrons of the sensing element are refrigerated by superconductor tunnel junctions opening the door to the use of more cost effective devices for space missions.
Active nematics refers to systems made of a collection of elongated units, each of which consumes ambient or stored energy in order to move. The authors experimentally and numerically study an active nematic system in confinement finding a defect-free regime of shear flow, and defect nucleation under certain boundary conditions, highlighting the importance of topological defects in controlling confined active flows.
Small-world networks describe mathematically many natural and man-made networks such as neurons, power grids or social networks, but a measure of how small a small-world network is, remains a subject of debate. The authors identify the limiting cases with the shortest and longest average path for a given number of nodes and edges, which can be used as benchmarks to evaluate the average shortest path length for both empirical and model networks.
Progress in quantum technologies calls for increased precision in probing quantum systems. The authors present a method for substantially improving the precision bound of ultra low-temperature thermometry via dynamical control of a quantum thermometer.