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  • Quantum computers may help to solve classically intractable problems, such as simulating non-equilibrium dissipative quantum systems. The critical dynamics of a dissipative quantum model has now been probed on a trapped-ion quantum computer.

    • Eli Chertkov
    • Zihan Cheng
    • Michael Foss-Feig
  • The liquid-crystal-like order of cells in epithelial tissues aids rearrangements, but there is disagreement over the dominant liquid crystal phase. Now, a unified approach reveals that two distinct symmetries dominate at different scales.

    • Daniel Beller
    News & Views
  • Cells in a tissue layer arrange themselves in orientationally ordered structures. Now two types of liquid crystalline order have been shown to coexist, with nematic order dominating large length scales and hexatic order dominating small length scales.

    • Josep-Maria Armengol-Collado
    • Livio Nicola Carenza
    • Luca Giomi
  • The boson peak refers to an excess in the phonon density of states seen in three-dimensional amorphous materials. Helium-atom scattering experiments have now revealed a boson peak in a two-dimensional material, too, at a frequency similar to that of the bulk material.

    • Martin Tømterud
    • Sabrina D. Eder
    • Bodil Holst
  • The high inelastic loss rate in gases of bosonic molecules has so far hindered the stabilization needed to reach quantum degeneracy. Now, an experiment using microwave shielding demonstrates a large reduction of losses for bosonic dipolar molecules.

    • Niccolò Bigagli
    • Claire Warner
    • Sebastian Will
  • Describing interdependencies and coupling between complex systems requires tools beyond what the framework of single networks offers. This Review covers recent developments in the study and modelling of multilayer networks.

    • Manlio De Domenico
    Review Article
  • The guiding of magnetic fields by soft ferromagnetic solids is well known and exploited in magnetic shielding applications. Now, ferroelectric nematic liquids are shown to analogously guide electric fields.

    • Alenka Mertelj
    News & Views
  • An experimental approach enables the observation of the microscopic details of the relaxation of a highly equilibrated glass back to the liquid phase in real time. This points to a scenario where devitrification proceeds via localized seeds separated by macroscopic length scales.

    • Federico Caporaletti
    News & Views
  • Chains of coupled superconducting islands known as Josephson junction arrays were predicted to be insulating at high impedance, but superconducting behaviour has been observed. A study of the arrays’ transport suggests thermal effects are responsible.

    • Dmitri V. Averin
    News & Views
  • Time-varying photonics offers ways to manipulate light–matter interactions as never thought before. An experiment with photonic time interfaces reveals how they can enable broadband coherent control of waves.

    • Victor Pacheco-Peña
    News & Views