Articles in 2012

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  • Spin coherence of valence holes in semiconductor quantum-dots is governed by interactions with the nuclear spins of the dot lattice. Experiments and theory have revealed an important new ingredient that determines the strength and sign of this coupling.

    • Bernhard Urbaszek
    News & Views
  • Quantum dots are a promising host for spin-based qubits. Whereas nuclear-field fluctuations adversely affect electron-spin coherence, the smaller hyperfine interaction between holes and nuclei makes holes a promising alternative. A sensitive measurement of the hyperfine constant of the holes in different quantum-dot material systems now demonstrates how this interaction can be tuned and perhaps further reduced.

    • E. A. Chekhovich
    • M. M. Glazov
    • A. I. Tartakovskii
  • Sir Patrick Moore, presenter of The Sky at Night for 55 years, has died.

  • Preparations for the construction of an international linear collider have reached another milestone — but is the way ahead clear?

  • A technique for detecting the presence of a photon without destroying the quantum message it carries could ultimately lead to a loophole-free test of quantum non-locality.

    • A. I. Lvovsky
    News & Views
  • The elusive effects of quantum gravity could be betrayed by subtle deviations from standard quantum mechanics. An experiment using the gravitational wave bar detector AURIGA explores the limits of quantum gravity-induced modifications in the ground state of a mechanical oscillator cooled to the sub-millikelvin regime.

    • Francesco Marin
    • Francesco Marino
    • Jean-Pierre Zendri
  • Topological insulators are now shown to be protected not only by time-reversal symmetry, but also by crystal lattice symmetry. By accounting for the crystalline symmetries, additional topological insulators can be predicted.

    • Robert-Jan Slager
    • Andrej Mesaros
    • Jan Zaanen
  • Could biological systems have evolved to find the optimal quantum solutions to the problems thrown at them by nature? This Review presents an overview of the possible quantum effects seen in photosynthesis, avian magnetoreception and several other biological systems.

    • Neill Lambert
    • Yueh-Nan Chen
    • Franco Nori
    Review Article
  • A time-dependent study of the effective temperature of carriers in impurity-free graphene now indicates that a disorder-assisted mechanism is responsible for cooling hot electrons. Observation of this so-called supercollision contradicts the idea that electron–phonon interactions dominate cooling.

    • Matt W. Graham
    • Su-Fei Shi
    • Paul L. McEuen
  • Charge transport is usually limited by collisions between the carriers, impurities and/or phonons. Collisions involving three bodies are generally much rarer. A study now reveals, however, that such supercollisions can play an important role in the properties of graphene.

    • A. C. Betz
    • S. H. Jhang
    • B. Plaçais