Articles in 2010

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  • 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
  • The development of superconducting quantum interference devices based on the Josephson effect has led to significant improvements in our ability to measure magnetic fields. A similar device, dubbed the superconducting quantum interference transistor, which exploits the proximity effect, could allow similar significant further improvements.

    • Francesco Giazotto
    • Joonas T. Peltonen
    • Jukka P. Pekola
  • Nitrogen–vacancy centres in diamond have emerged as a promising platform for quantum information processing at room temperature. Now, coherent coupling between two electron spins separated by almost 10 nm has been demonstrated. At this distance, the spins can be addressed individually, which might enable the construction of a network of connected quantum registers.

    • P. Neumann
    • R. Kolesov
    • J. Wrachtrup
  • Building on ideas from quantum information science and on recent experimental advances, the use of ultracold alkaline-earth atoms in optical lattices as quantum simulators of many-body phenomena is proposed. The corresponding models possess a high degree of symmetry and may provide fundamental insights into strongly correlated systems.

    • A. V. Gorshkov
    • M. Hermele
    • A. M. Rey
  • Measurements of integer and half-integer transitions of the quantized magnetic flux through a superconducting niobium–iron pnictide ring provide strong evidence to support predictions that the Cooper pairs within iron-based superconductors show an unconventional ‘reversed s-wave symmetry’.

    • C.-T. Chen
    • C. C. Tsuei
    • Z. X. Zhao
  • Cooling molecules to ultralow temperatures is difficult owing to the fact they have many degrees of freedom. Now, a dense cloud of molecules in their lowest vibrational and rotational level has been prepared in an optical lattice, paving the way to Bose–Einstein condensation of ground-state molecules.

    • Johann G. Danzl
    • Manfred J. Mark
    • Hanns-Christoph Nägerl
  • Lasing and strong coupling can coexist in a single quantum dot coupled to a photonic-crystal-nanocavity mode. This provides important clues towards the realization of a single-quantum-dot nanolaser.

    • Stefan Strauf
    News & Views
  • Laser oscillations have now been observed in a solid-state system composed of an InAs quantum dot strongly coupled to the optical modes of a GaAs photonic-crystal cavity. Signs of lasing in the system are observed as the optical pump power is increased but before the strong coupling is lost.

    • M. Nomura
    • N. Kumagai
    • Y. Arakawa
  • Stars form from gas both dense enough to collapse but diffuse enough to cool into molecules. If cooling is prohibited, a supermassive black hole may form instead. The transition may explain key mysteries of galactic structure.

    • Eric G. Blackman
    News & Views
  • Radiation damage to living tissues occurs not only by the high-energy incident particles of this radiation but also by low-energy secondary electrons that they produce. Two studies now demonstrate that a large fraction of these electrons are generated by a relatively unusual autoionization process known as intermolecular Coulombic decay.

    • Tilmann D. Märk
    • Paul Scheier
    News & Views
  • Science diplomacy matters, and there are capable advocates in the world's scientific societies.

  • Quantum theory states that all objects possesses both particle and wave properties. An observation of the 'whispering gallery' modes of a curved surface shows that neutrons are no exception.

    • Helmut Rauch
    News & Views
  • How thin can superconducting materials be and still retain their superconductivity? A recent study of thin films grown on silicon substrates reveals that one atomic layer is the limit.

    • Yukio Hasegawa
    News & Views
  • In recent years, progress has been made towards using cold atomic gases to study the role of disorder in many-body systems. This line of research might offer the key to solving open questions in solid-state physics, but should also provide a new outlook on disordered systems in its own right.

    • Laurent Sanchez-Palencia
    • Maciej Lewenstein
    Progress Article