A colourised picture of a quantum transducer.

May issue

This month we feature an Insight on cold and ultracold molecules, and examine burning plasmas and fuel gain exceeding unity in direct-drive intertial confinement fusion.


  • Artistic schematic of two atoms forming a molecule.

    This Insight issue celebrates and reviews recent progress in the generation and study of cold and ultracold molecules and ions for applications in quantum simulation, metrology and chemistry.

Nature Physics is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • The sign of the Casimir force depends on the electric permittivities and the magnetic permeabilities of the materials involved. For a gold sphere immersed in a ferrofluid, tuneability of the Casimir force by means of a magnetic field is now shown.

    • Yichi Zhang
    • Hui Zhang
    • Changgan Zeng
  • The mechanism by which two-dimensional materials remain stable at a finite temperature is still under debate. Now, numerical calculations suggest that rotational symmetry is crucial in suppressing anharmonic effects that lead to structural instability.

    • Unai Aseginolaza
    • Josu Diego
    • Ion Errea
  • Active cell contraction drives hole nucleation, fracture and crack propagation in a tissue monolayer through a process reminiscent of dewetting thin films.

    • Jian-Qing Lv
    • Peng-Cheng Chen
    • Bo Li
  • Many recent experiments have stored quantum information in bosonic modes, such as photons in resonators or optical fibres. Now an adaptation of the classical spherical codes provides a framework for designing quantum error correcting codes for these platforms.

    • Shubham P. Jain
    • Joseph T. Iosue
    • Victor V. Albert
Light caught under the hand of a student as they plug wires into an electrical circuit

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