Articles in 2012

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  • The idea of monopoles in spin ice has enjoyed much success in the intermediate temperature regime. Low-temperature measurements now point to the importance of surfaces and impurities in monopole dynamics, in providing extrinsic resistance for monopole currents.

    • Peter Holdsworth
    News & Views
  • Hyper-transport — an increase in diffusion beyond the ballistic-transport regime — is observed in an optical system.

    • Marco Peccianti
    • Roberto Morandotti
    News & Views
  • In the highly degenerate spin-ice ground state, flipped spins give rise to magnetic charges, or monopoles, which form a measurable current in a magnetic field. The low-temperature relaxation dynamics of spin-ice materials now reveal that defects can impede monopole flow—creating a magnetic analogue of electrical resistance.

    • H. M. Revell
    • L. R. Yaraskavitch
    • J. B. Kycia
  • Topological entanglement entropy provides a robust measure for detecting the long-range entanglement that characterizes quantum ground states displaying topological order. A new method for calculating this entropy isolates minimally entangled states from the ground states of a topological phase—offering a reliable test for identifying topological spin liquids.

    • Hong-Chen Jiang
    • Zhenghan Wang
    • Leon Balents
  • Long-distance quantum communication is limited by optical absorption and scattering. A noiseless amplifier for photonic qubits coherently encoded across two optical modes is now demonstrated, which could combat this negative effect. The method enabled a fivefold increase in the transmission fidelity of the polarization state of a single photon.

    • S. Kocsis
    • G. Y. Xiang
    • G. J. Pryde
  • It's been a good month for astronomical discovery and innovation.

  • A unique identifier for every researcher will keep the scientific record in order.

  • A technique for protecting out-of-equilibrium nuclear spin states from thermalization while offering a route to converting them into observable NMR signal is an important contribution to a field that welcomes every bit of extra signal.

    • Andreas Trabesinger
    News & Views
  • The Physical Sciences–Oncology Centers in the US bring together scientists from all backgrounds to tackle some of the most important questions in cancer research.

    • David B. Agus
    • Franziska Michor
  • A superconducting device that exhibits voltage steps twice as large as expected could harbour Majorana fermions.

    • James R. Williams
    • David Goldhaber-Gordon
    News & Views