Perspectives

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  • It is the common wisdom that time evolution of a many-body system leads to thermalization and washes away quantum correlations. But one class of system — referred to as many-body localized — defy this expectation.

    • Ehud Altman
    Perspective
  • Quantitative tools for measuring the propagation of information through quantum many-body systems, originally developed to study quantum chaos, have recently found many new applications from black holes to disordered spin systems.

    • Brian Swingle
    Perspective
  • Robust and responsive, the surface of a cell is as important as its interior when it comes to mechanically regulating form and function. New techniques are shedding light on this role, and a common language to describe its properties is now needed.

    • Alba Diz-Muñoz
    • Orion D. Weiner
    • Daniel A. Fletcher
    Perspective
  • The addition of nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson to the periodic table are a reminder of the achievements in nuclear physics and chemistry. Witold Nazarewicz outlines the future challenges for the field.

    • Witold Nazarewicz
    Perspective
  • As part of a Focus on antiferromagnetic spintronics, this Perspective looks at the complex and often faster dynamics of antiferromagnetic spin textures.

    • O. Gomonay
    • V. Baltz
    • Y. Tserkovnyak
    Perspective
  • As part of a Focus on antiferromagnetic spintronics, this Perspective examines the opportunities afforded by synthetic, as opposed to crystalline, antiferromagnets.

    • R. A. Duine
    • Kyung-Jin Lee
    • M. D. Stiles
    Perspective
  • An analysis of Web of Science data spanning more than 100 years reveals the rapid growth and increasing multidisciplinarity of physics — as well its internal map of subdisciplines.

    • Roberta Sinatra
    • Pierre Deville
    • Albert-László Barabási
    Perspective
  • Fluctuation theorems go beyond the linear response regime to describe systems far from equilibrium. But what happens to these theorems when we enter the quantum realm? The answers, it seems, are now coming thick and fast.

    • Peter Hänggi
    • Peter Talkner
    Perspective
  • The latest data from the Planck satellite have consolidated our understanding of the cosmic microwave background and the early Universe — except for some large-angle anomalies. These effects could be accounted for by invoking SU(2) gauge symmetry for photon propagation.

    • Ralf Hofmann
    Perspective
  • The term 'high-temperature superconductor' used to refer only to copper-based compounds — now, iron-based pnictides have entered the frame. The comparison of these two types of superconductor is revealing, and suggestive of what might be needed to achieve even higher transition temperatures.

    • D. N. Basov
    • Andrey V. Chubukov
    Perspective
  • Precisely what are the electrons in a high-temperature superconductor doing before they superconduct? Strong electronic correlations may give rise to composite rather than fractionalized excitations, as is typical in other strongly coupled systems such as quark matter.

    • Philip Phillips
    Perspective
  • Cells are the building blocks of life. Ideas traditionally applied to physical problems are now helping to unravel their complex mysteries.

    • Ana-Sunčana Smith
    Perspective
  • During the 50 years since its discovery, the Aharonov–Bohm effect has had a significant impact on the development of physics. Its arguably deepest implication, however, has been virtually ignored.

    • Sandu Popescu
    Perspective
  • In his short career, Ettore Majorana made several profound contributions. One of them, his concept of 'Majorana fermions' — particles that are their own antiparticle — is finding ever wider relevance in modern physics.

    • Frank Wilczek
    Perspective
  • Sophocles had it right, the Rolling Stones made a friendly amendment and Linus Pauling detailed the conceptual mechanism for finding novel materials that will define and revolutionize the future.

    • Paul C. Canfield
    Perspective
  • Numerous experiments on cuprate materials suggest that a zero-temperature phase transition is hidden beneath the superconducting dome. Is it the key to understanding high-temperature superconductivity, and can it explain the anomalous normal state properties?

    • D. M. Broun
    Perspective
  • It is fifty years since the launch of Sputnik. The ensuing 'space race' had major impact — politically, of course, and technologically, but it also created a new avenue for physics research and a rich seam of funding for a generation of young scientists.

    • Joseph A. Burns
    Perspective