Volume 2 Issue 12, December 2020

Volume 2 Issue 12

The cover of this issue is inspired by a Review on quantum programming languages. See Bettina Heim et al.

Cover design: Charlotte Gurr.


  • Editorial |

    As we close volume 2 of Nature Reviews Physics we look at the richness of topics covered, the variety of article types and the geographical diversity of the community we serve.

Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    Understanding the first few minutes of the Universe has been hampered by uncertainty in the cross section of the so-called deuterium burning process. A paper in Nature reports a much-improved cross section, putting models of the early Universe on firmer footing.

    • Zoe Budrikis
  • Research Highlight |

    A Science paper presents a method of growing twisted spiral structures of 2D materials by using curved substrates.

    • Ankita Anirban
  • Research Highlight |

    In 2000, David DiVincenzo gave a set of basic criteria for building a quantum computer, which have guided research for the past 20 years. Today, despite not all the criteria having been cleared, additional complex requirements have emerged.

    • Iulia Georgescu

Year in Review

  • Year in Review |

    Strong experimental evidence for the existence of the simplest type of anyons (particles that are neither bosons nor fermions) has emerged this year. The next step is to uncover more exotic types of anyons, such as Majorana fermions.

    • Jay Sau
    • , Steven Simon
    • , Smitha Vishveshwara
    •  & James R. Williams


  • Review Article |

    The past decade has witnessed remarkable progress in our understanding of equilibration, thermalization and prethermalization, due in large part to experimental breakthroughs in ultracold atomic gases. This Review discusses theoretical and experimental advances on these topics and the challenges ahead.

    • Masahito Ueda
  • Review Article |

    Axion fields provide a unique way to understand large quantized electromagnetic responses in topological insulators and dynamics in Weyl semimetals. This Review discusses the theory of axion fields in condensed matter, their experimental realization and their application in next-generation devices.

    • Dennis M. Nenno
    • , Christina A. C. Garcia
    • , Johannes Gooth
    • , Claudia Felser
    •  & Prineha Narang
  • Review Article |

    The rapidly developing field of topological data analysis represents data via graphs rather than as solutions to equations or as decompositions into clusters. This Review discusses the methods and provides examples from physics and other sciences.

    • Gunnar Carlsson
  • Review Article |

    A variety of quantum programming languages have been developed over the past few years, enabling newcomers and seasoned practitioners alike. This Review gives a brief introduction to quantum programming, overviewing some of the existing languages and the ecosystem around them.

    • Bettina Heim
    • , Mathias Soeken
    • , Sarah Marshall
    • , Chris Granade
    • , Martin Roetteler
    • , Alan Geller
    • , Matthias Troyer
    •  & Krysta Svore


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