Volume 11 Issue 5, May 2015

Volume 11 Issue 5

As a liquid relaxes towards the glass transition, its dynamics is thought to become more cooperative. Experiments using holographic optical tweezers support a contested thermodynamic picture, claiming this cooperation involves morphology changes.Letter p403; News & Views p381 IMAGE: HIMA NAGAMANASA COVER DESIGN: ALLEN BEATTIE


  • Editorial |

    Physicists are now, as ever, pushing the development of computing technologies. But they're also innovating ways of using them.


  • Commentary |

    Granting access to publications and data may be a step towards open science, but it's not enough to ensure reproducibility. Making computer code available is also necessary — but the emphasis must be on the quality of the programming.

    • Tony Hey
    •  & Mike C. Payne
  • Commentary |

    Writing efficient scientific software that makes best use of the increasing complexity of computer architectures requires bringing together modelling, applied mathematics and computer engineering. Physics may help unite these approaches.

    • Thomas C. Schulthess
  • Commentary |

    Research in high-energy physics produces masses of data, demanding extensive computational resources. The scientists responsible for managing these resources are now turning to cloud and high-performance computing.

    • Sergey Panitkin


Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Classically, it is impossible to infer causal dependencies from the correlations between two variables alone, but in the quantum world causal relationships exist that can be completely characterized by observing the correlations between two systems.

    • Giulio Chiribella
  • News & Views |

    Laser tweezers can be used to control particles in a colloidal glass, thereby influencing the dynamics of their neighbours. The range of this influence — and how it changes — may provide a structural mechanism to explain the solidity of glasses.

    • Eric R. Weeks
  • News & Views |

    Quantum entanglement is as confounding as it is potentially useful. A paper in 2006 suggested that its utility might extend to making sense of a fundamental puzzle in statistical mechanics.

    • Sebastian Deffner

Progress Article

  • Progress Article |

    Topological insulators are often considered to be one-band problems that are easy to solve. However, strongly correlated topological insulators cannot be described by band theory because the electrons fractionalize into other degrees of freedom.

    • Joseph Maciejko
    •  & Gregory A. Fiete



  • Article |

    It is impossible to distinguish between causal correlation and common cause based on classical correlations alone. An experiment now shows that for quantum variables it is sometimes possible to infer the causal structure just from observations.

    • Katja Ried
    • , Megan Agnew
    • , Lydia Vermeyden
    • , Dominik Janzing
    • , Robert W. Spekkens
    •  & Kevin J. Resch
  • Article |

    By pushing both time and frequency resolution in optical spectroscopy it is now possible to resolve antiferromagnetic fluctuations in a copper oxide superconductor, which are believed to mediate the pairing of charge carriers.

    • S. Dal Conte
    • , L. Vidmar
    • , D. Golež
    • , M. Mierzejewski
    • , G. Soavi
    • , S. Peli
    • , F. Banfi
    • , G. Ferrini
    • , R. Comin
    • , B. M. Ludbrook
    • , L. Chauviere
    • , N. D. Zhigadlo
    • , H. Eisaki
    • , M. Greven
    • , S. Lupi
    • , A. Damascelli
    • , D. Brida
    • , M. Capone
    • , J. Bonča
    • , G. Cerullo
    •  & C. Giannetti
  • Article |

    Perovskite photovoltaics are the fastest-advancing solar technology but the mechanisms responsible for their performance are not clear. The observation of magnetic field effects in hybrid perovskites may help to explain their high efficiencies.

    • C. Zhang
    • , D. Sun
    • , C-X. Sheng
    • , Y. X. Zhai
    • , K. Mielczarek
    • , A. Zakhidov
    •  & Z. V. Vardeny


  • Futures |

    An identity crisis.

    • Jeremy Szal


  • Focus |

    Physics and computing

    Physicists have always been quick to adopt computing technologies, and computers have likewise played a key role in physics research. This Focus examines physicists' response to the challenges—and opportunities—posed by recent advances in computing.