Ferroelectric nematic liquid crystal in a microchannel being reoriented by an external electric field.

November issue

This month we celebrate 50 years of the renormalization group, reflect on the Nobel prizes, and examine ferroelectric nematic liquid crystals confined in microchannels.


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  • It has been around fifty years since Kenneth Wilson’s work on the renormalization group. Nature Physics celebrates this anniversary with a collection of Comments on its development and applications.

  • The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”.

  • Although its measurement was considered an experimental nightmare for decades, the Stefan–Boltzmann constant was assigned an exact value in 2019. Massimiliano Malgieri and Pasquale Onorato explain what this story teaches us.

    • Massimiliano Malgieri
    • Pasquale Onorato
    Measure for Measure
  • Kenneth Wilson worked on the renormalization group during the Cold War, when communication between scientists in the Soviet Union and in the West was restricted. Nevertheless, Soviet physicists had a strong influence on Wilson’s work.

    • P. Chandra
  • Historically, most renormalization group studies have been performed for equilibrium systems. Here, I give a personal reflection on the unexpected outcome of studying non-equilibrium flocking using renormalization methods.

    • Yuhai Tu
A simulated speckle pattern created when white light passes through a thin, multiply scattering medium.

Complex optics

Disorder and mode interactions are often treated as sources of noise, but can shape the flow of light in interesting and useful ways.


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