Reviews & Analysis

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  • Ageing is a non-linear, irreversible process that defines many properties of glassy materials. Now, it is shown that the so-called material-time formalism can describe ageing in terms of equilibrium-like properties.

    • Beatrice Ruta
    • Daniele Cangialosi
    News & Views
  • Interacting emitters are the fundamental building blocks of quantum optics and quantum information devices. Pairs of organic molecules embedded in a crystal can become permanently strongly interacting when they are pumped with intense laser light.

    • Stuart J. Masson
    News & Views
  • Some quantum acoustic resonators possess a large number of phonon modes at different frequencies. Direct interactions between modes similar to those available for photonic devices have now been demonstrated. This enables manipulation of multimode states.

    • Audrey Bienfait
    News & Views
  • The integration of theory and experiment makes possible tracking the slow evolution of a photodoped Mott insulator to a distinct non-equilibrium metallic phase under the influence of electron-lattice coupling.

    • Denitsa R. Baykusheva
    News & Views
  • Quantum simulators can provide new insights into the complicated dynamics of quantum many-body systems far from equilibrium. A recent experiment reveals that underlying symmetries dictate the nature of universal scaling dynamics.

    • Maximilian Prüfer
    News & Views
  • Some cerium and uranium compounds exhibit unusual transport properties due to localized electron states. Recent experiments demonstrate that quantum interference on frustrated lattices provides an alternative route to this behaviour.

    • William R. Meier
    News & Views
  • It has long been predicted that spin-1/2 antiferromagnets on the kagome lattice should feature a series of plateaus in the change of its magnetization under an applied magnetic field. A quantum plateau of this kind has now been observed experimentally.

    • Gia-Wei Chern
    News & Views
  • Some exotic metals exhibit competing electronic states that can be influenced by small perturbations. Now, a study of a kagome superconductor shows that this competition is exquisitely sensitive to weak strain fields, providing insight into its anomalous electronic properties.

    • Stephen D. Wilson
    News & Views
  • When cracks creep forward in our three-dimensional world, they do so because of accompanying cracks racing perpendicular to the main direction of motion with almost sonic speed. Clever experiments have now directly demonstrated this phenomenon.

    • Michael Marder
    News & Views
  • Inertial confinement represents one of two viable approaches for producing energy from the fusion of hydrogen isotopes. Scientists have now achieved a record yield of fusion energy when directly irradiating targets with only 28 kilojoules of laser energy.

    • Vladimir Tikhonchuk
    News & Views
  • Multiple mechanisms can create electrons with reduced kinetic energy in solids. Combining these mechanisms now appears as a promising route to enhancing quantum effects in flat band materials.

    • Priscila F. S. Rosa
    • Filip Ronning
    News & Views
  • Phonons do not carry spin or charge, but they can couple to an external magnetic field and cause a sizable transverse thermal gradient. Experiments suggest that phonon handedness is a widespread effect in magnetic insulators with impurities.

    • Valentina Martelli
    News & Views
  • Electronic transport measurements of the anomalous Hall effect can probe properties of a frustrated kagome spin ice that are hidden from conventional thermodynamic and magnetic probes.

    • Enke Liu
    News & Views
  • Experiments with unprecedented energy and momentum resolution reveal the nature of the pairing symmetry in KFe2As2 and pave the way for a unified theoretical description of unconventional superconductivity in iron-based materials.

    • Norman Mannella
    News & Views
  • Studies of a biological active nematic fluid reveal a spontaneous self-constraint that arises between self-motile topological defects and mesoscale coherent flow structures. The defects follow specific contours of the flow field, on which vorticity and strain rate balance, and hence, contrary to expectation, they break mirror symmetry.

    Research Briefing
  • Quasicrystals are ordered but not periodic, which makes them fascinating objects at the interface between order and disorder. Experiments with ultracold atoms zoom in on this interface by driving a quasicrystal and exploring its fractal properties.

    • Julian Léonard
    News & Views
  • Scalable quantum computers require quantum error-correcting codes that can robustly store information. Exploiting the structure of well-known classical codes may help create more efficient approaches to quantum error correction.

    • Anirudh Krishna
    News & Views
  • Optical atomic clocks are extremely accurate sensors despite the poor use of their resources. A parallel quantum control approach might help to optimize the resources of optical atomic clocks, which could lead to an exponential improvement in their performance.

    • Simone Colombo
    News & Views