Articles in 2013

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  • The science-fiction strand 'Futures' returns to Nature Physics in this issue.

  • Controlled switching of interacting ferroelectric surface domains leads to a variety of regular and chaotic patterns, and could provide a physical platform for performing calculations.

    • Alain Pignolet
    News & Views
  • Can a photon be separated from its polarization; or an electron from its magnetic moment? Recent work suggests that in certain contexts, this might not be as impossible as it sounds.

    • Jean-Daniel Bancal
    News & Views
    • Steven L. Peck
  • A combination of two Nobel ideas circumvents the trade-off between power and accuracy in ultraviolet spectroscopy.

    • Scott A. Diddams
    News & Views
  • Chemical substitution often mimics the effects of applied pressure on a compound, and ‘doping’ is a standard way to reach a quantum critical point from a given phase. However, CeCoIn5 is a natural quantum critical superconductor, and Cd-doping tunes the system away from criticality. Applied pressure reverses the effect of doping, but although superconductivity is restored, quantum criticality is not.

    • S. Seo
    • Xin Lu
    • J. D. Thompson
  • Double quantum dots are proving themselves to be an excellent test bed for many-body physics. These artificial atoms now demonstrate a phenomenon in which the capacitive coupling between them causes the spin and charge degrees of freedom of the electrons in the system to become entangled—the so-called SU(4) Kondo effect.

    • A. J. Keller
    • S. Amasha
    • D. Goldhaber-Gordon
  • Frequency combs provide a broad series of well-calibrated spectral lines for highly precise metrology and spectroscopy, but this usually involves a trade-off between power and accuracy. A comb created by adjusting the time delay between two optical pulses now enables both. This so-called Ramsey comb could probe fundamental problems such as determining the size of the proton.

    • Jonas Morgenweg
    • Itan Barmes
    • Kjeld S. E. Eikema
  • CeCoIn5 is a d-wave heavy-fermion superconductor. By tuning the coupling between magnetic and superconducting order, a phase with inhomogeneous p-wave superconductivity can be detected, which coexists with d-wave superconductivity and spin-density-wave order.

    • Simon Gerber
    • Marek Bartkowiak
    • Michel Kenzelmann
  • In the presence of light-induced spin–orbit coupling, ultracold atoms form pairs with a spin-triplet component. Creating these pairs is an important step towards realizing atomic superfluids with topological excitations.

    • Waseem Bakr
    News & Views
  • According to classical nucleation theory, a crystal grows from a small nucleus that already bears the symmetry of its end phase — but experiments with colloids now reveal that, from an amorphous precursor, crystallites with different structures can develop.

    • László Gránásy
    • Gyula I. Tóth
    News & Views