Supercooled droplets freezing on superhydrophobic surfaces

May issue

This month we analyse ice repellancy mechanisms, learn that fish shoals resemble a stochastic excitable system, and consider startups in quantum technology.


  • Complex optics insight

    Disorder and mode interactions are often treated as sources of noise, but can shape the flow of light in interesting and useful ways. This Insight reviews the fundamental physics and broad applications of optics in disordered and multimodal media.

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  • Active matter exhibits positional coherence in addition to the well-known orientational order. It is now shown that coherent structures in active nematics—made of dynamical attractors and repellers—form, move and deform, steered by topological defects.

    • Mattia Serra
    • Linnea Lemma
    • L. Mahadevan
  • Dynamic arrest in amorphous gels has so far been ascribed to glass transition. Now, experiments reveal a hierarchical structural ordering in dilute colloidal gels driven by the local potential energy, making this type of gel distinct from amorphous glasses.

    • Hideyo Tsurusawa
    • Hajime Tanaka
  • A moiré potential may play a role in determining the magnetic properties of a two-dimensional homo or heterostructure. Now, non-collinear spin structures are observed in twisted double bilayer CrI3, providing a platform to engineer unusual magnetic textures.

    • Hongchao Xie
    • Xiangpeng Luo
    • Liuyan Zhao
  • The eco-system of companies and start-ups developing quantum technologies is booming, but the disparity between private and public funding may become an issue in the absence of commercial uses.

  • Despite their differences, the six regional metrology organizations work together to provide and advance the global equivalence of national measurements standards, as Hyun Min Park explains.

    • Hyun Min Park
    Measure for Measure
  • As sharing of research data becomes more important, we are facilitating this by integrating the Figshare repository into our submission system.

Feynman diagrams that contribute to the production of the Higgs boson form the number ten.

The Higgs boson discovery turns ten

The discovery of the Higgs boson was announced ten years ago on the 4th of July 2012 — an event that substantially advanced our understanding of the origin of elementary particles’ masses.


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