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  • Ultrafast light pulses, if they are sufficiently intense, can induce phase transitions on ultrafast timescales. It is now shown that when a system is first excited by a weak preparatory pulse, this generates local changes in structure that transiently lower the energy barrier to the phase transition, enabling high-speed and energy-efficient transitions.

    Research Briefing
  • A single light-emitting dye molecule precisely placed within the tiny gap of a metal nanodimer boosts light–matter coupling — a step closer to the development of quantum devices operating at room temperature.

    • Rohit Chikkaraddy
    News & Views
  • Social activities are common in many research groups, often based around outdoor activities such as hiking. We argue that there are more inclusive ways to bring a team together.

    Editorial
  • UNESCO has now formally adopted World Metrology Day as a UNESCO International Day to be observed on 20 May each year — the theme of 2024 is sustainability. Shanay Rab and Richard Brown take a look at its origin.

    • Shanay Rab
    • Richard J. C. Brown
    Measure for Measure
  • Ultracold atoms are a well-established platform for quantum sensing and metrology. This Review discusses the enhanced sensing capabilities that molecules offer for a range of phenomena, including symmetry-violating forces and dark matter detection.

    • David DeMille
    • Nicholas R. Hutzler
    • Tanya Zelevinsky
    Review Article
  • Molecular ions and hybrid platforms that integrate cold trapped ions and neutral particles offer opportunities for many quantum technologies. This Review surveys recent methodological advances and highlights in the study of cold molecular ions.

    • Markus Deiß
    • Stefan Willitsch
    • Johannes Hecker Denschlag
    Review Article
  • Ultracold molecules and ion–neutral systems offer unique access to chemistry in a coherent quantum regime. This Review charts the progress of studies of quantum chemistry in such platforms, highlighting the synergy between theory and experiments.

    • Tijs Karman
    • Michał Tomza
    • Jesús Pérez-Ríos
    Review Article
  • 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
    Article
  • The study of quantum systems in a programmable and controllable fashion is one of the aims of both quantum simulation and computing. This Review covers the prospects and opportunities that ultracold molecules offer in these fields.

    • Simon L. Cornish
    • Michael R. Tarbutt
    • Kaden R. A. Hazzard
    Review Article
  • Cold and ultracold molecules have emerged in the past two decades as a central topic in quantum gas studies. This Review charts the recent advances in cooling and quantum state control techniques that are shaping this evolving field.

    • Tim Langen
    • Giacomo Valtolina
    • Jun Ye
    Review Article
  • 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
    Article
  • 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
    Article
  • The properties of quantum matter arise from the combined effects of dimensionality, interactions and quantum statistics. An experiment now studies what happens to ultracold bosons when the dimensionality of the system changes continuously between one and two dimensions.

    • Jérôme Beugnon
    News & Views