Articles in 2020

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  • Active matter particles self-propel but controlling their direction of motion can be challenging. Here the authors place motile bacteria inside microdroplets and control their propulsion by exploiting the asymmetric director structure of the surrounding liquid crystal.

    • Mojtaba Rajabi
    • Hend Baza
    • Oleg D. Lavrentovich
  • Animals seem capable of an infinite variety of movement, yet also exhibit substantial stereotypy in repeated actions. A beautiful view of worm behaviour now shows that the worm’s state evolves deterministically but is bounced chaotically between unstable periodic orbits.

    • Jane Loveless
    • Barbara Webb
    News & Views
  • Scale-invariant magnetic anisotropy in RuCl3 has been revealed through measurements of its magnetotropic coefficient, providing evidence for a high degree of exchange frustration that favours the formation of a spin liquid state.

    • K. A. Modic
    • Ross D. McDonald
    • Arkady Shekhter
  • Animal behaviour is characterized by repeated movements which can be difficult to analyse quantitatively. Here, the authors apply a data-driven framework based on theory of dynamical systems to characterize nematode behaviour and explain its complexity through deterministic chaotic dynamics.

    • Tosif Ahamed
    • Antonio C. Costa
    • Greg J. Stephens
    • Stefanie Reichert
    Research Highlight
  • The assembly of the more than a million single parts of the ITER tokamak requires large-scale three-dimensional precision metrology. John Villanueva Jr gives us insights into the complexity of this project.

    • John Villanueva Jr
    Measure for Measure
  • As Nature Physics turns fifteen, we celebrate some of our favourite papers.

  • Over the last 15 years, the content of Nature Physics has covered an enormous breadth of subjects at the forefront of physics. The journal’s past and present editors recount their favourite papers and what made chaperoning them to publication special.

    • Alison Wright
    • Ed Gerstner
    • Elizaveta Dubrovina
  • Populations of organisms can be regarded as clouds of genetic variants evolving passively in response to mutation and natural selection. Counterdiabatic driving — a tool borrowed from quantum control — now offers the possibility of actively controlling both the rate and route followed by an evolving population.

    • Daniel M. Weinreich
    News & Views
  • Spatiotemporal waves appear during collective cell migration and are affected by mechanical forces and biochemical signalling. Here the authors develop a biophysical model that can quantitatively account for complex mechanochemical patterns, and predict how they can be used for optimal collective migration.

    • Daniel Boocock
    • Naoya Hino
    • Edouard Hannezo