News & Comment

  • News & Views |

    While Bose–Einstein condensates of atoms were achieved in the mid-1990s, extending the regime of quantum degeneracy to polar molecules took another two decades of dedicated work. The researchers that contributed to this achievement span many generations of students in many different laboratories around the world.

    • Kang-Kuen Ni
  • News & Views |

    The transport properties of many two-dimensional systems are strongly affected by the proximity of a periodic pattern. Colloidal particles are now shown to have preferred sliding routes due to competing symmetries between two unmatched crystalline surfaces.

    • Pietro Tierno
  • News & Views |

    A measurement based on quantum entanglement of the parameter describing the asymmetry of the Λ hyperon decay is inconsistent with the current world average. This shows that relying on previous measurements can be hazardous.

    • Ulrik Egede
  • Research Highlight |

    • Stefanie Reichert
  • Comment |

    Einstein’s general theory of relativity is one of the most important accomplishments in the history of science. We reassess the importance of one of the expeditions that made its experimental verification possible — a story that involves a sense of adventure and scientific ingenuity in equal measure.

    • Luís C. B. Crispino
    •  & Daniel J. Kennefick
  • Measure for Measure |

    Bill Phillips celebrates a beautiful reformation of the metric system, by which scientists measure the physical world, coming into effect on World Metrology Day, 20 May 2019.

    • William D. Phillips
  • Editorial |

    General relativity was first experimentally verified in 1919. On the centennial of this occasion, we celebrate the scientific progress fuelled by subsequent efforts at verifying its predictions, from time dilation to the observation of the shadow of a black hole.

  • News & Views |

    A variety of magnetic structures based around ferromagnetic spin spirals have been the topic of intense study over the past decade. The discovery of spin spirals that arise from antiferromagnetic order has just broadened the horizons for magnetic possibilities even further.

    • Elizabeth Blackburn
  • News & Views |

    The measurement of the charge density wave energy gap in high-temperature superconducting cuprates uncovers new links between competing states.

    • Jiarui Li
    •  & Riccardo Comin
  • News & Views |

    Experiments and simulations show that trains of droplets in microfluidic networks undergo synchronized oscillations, and that strategies to prevent these oscillations can help maintain uniform distribution of red blood cells in microcirculation.

    • Siva A. Vanapalli
  • News & Views |

    An experimental study of living cells suggests that single myosin molecules are capable of generating unusually large forces. The observation is supported by a theoretical model — and demonstrates the complexity of in vivo force generation.

    • Andrew W. Holle
    •  & Ralf Kemkemer
  • Editorial |

    Nature Physics is one of 23 Springer Nature journals involved in a pilot scheme to make published papers readily available via ResearchGate.

  • Measure for Measure |

    If you were ever puzzled about the fact that the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider record huge datasets despite the tiny probability of two protons colliding, this is for you. Steven Goldfarb and Katarina Anthony connect the dots.

    • Steven Goldfarb
    •  & Katarina Anthony
  • Editorial |

    The British Royal Mint has issued a commemorative coin in honour of Stephen Hawking.

  • News & Views |

    The mechanics of many materials can be modelled by a network of balls connected by springs. A bottom-up approach based on differential geometry now captures changes in mechanics upon network growth or merger, going beyond the linear deformation regime.

    • A. Souslov
    •  & V. Vitelli
  • News & Views |

    One of the fundamental radioactive decay modes of nuclei is β decay. Now, nuclear theorists have used first-principles simulations to explain nuclear β decay properties across a range of light- to medium-mass isotopes, up to 100Sn.

    • Arnau Rios
  • News & Views |

    Artificial magnetic fields have been constructed in 2D and 3D acoustic structures to manipulate sound, in much the same way as Dirac and Weyl fermions respond to magnetic fields in their quantum levels.

    • Baile Zhang
  • News & Views |

    Ultrasonic radiation forces are harnessed to trap and then shake clusters of spheres — mimicking the effect of temperature on cluster formation in granular systems. This assembly process has applications from the nanoscale to the macroscale.

    • Bruce Drinkwater
  • News & Views |

    A two-state hopping experiment combined with a dynamical systems model reveals that cancer cells are deterministically driven across barriers, whereas normal cells cross only with the help of stochastic fluctuations.

    • Ulrich S. Schwarz
  • News & Views |

    An electrical interferometer device has detected interference patterns that suggest anyons could be conclusively demonstrated in the near future.

    • Steven H. Simon
  • Editorial |

    In praise of the March meeting of the American Physical Society.

  • Measure for Measure |

    In 2016, Peter Trueb computed 22.4 trillion digits of π. Ahead of π Day on 14 March, he reflects on the nature of π and its role in mathematics, science and philosophy.

    • Peter Trueb
  • Research Highlight |

    • Stefanie Reichert
  • Editorial |

    Each year, hundreds of scientists dedicate their time and expertise to help us assess the manuscripts that we send out for review. For those papers that make it through to publication, we will now be thanking them publicly.

  • News & Views |

    Zirconium alloys are widely used as cladding material in nuclear reactors due to their neutron transparency. Now, it is shown that 88Zr has a surprisingly high neutron capture cross-section exceeding that of other zirconium isotopes by six orders of magnitude.

    • Stephan Heinitz
    •  & Ulli Köster
  • News & Views |

    Kagome lattice materials combine a frustrated lattice with electron–electron and spin–orbit interactions. One of them, Co3Sn2S2, now reveals magnetic properties that respond in the opposite way to what is expected.

    • Oleg V. Yazyev
  • News & Views |

    An inspired experimental approach sheds light on the formation of active turbulence in a system of microtubules and molecular motors. The emergent scaling behaviour takes us a step closer to understanding how activity begets turbulence.

    • Seth Fraden
  • News & Views |

    Through stochastic resonance, noise-driven fluctuations make an otherwise weak periodic signal accessible. Experiments have now reported quantum stochastic resonance, which arises from intrinsic quantum fluctuations rather than external noise.

    • Stefan Ludwig