Volume 12 Issue 9, September 2016

Volume 12 Issue 9

The detection of spin-orbit torques in a non-centrosymmetric magnetic Heusler alloy at room temperature could guide the search for materials whose magnetism can efficiently be manipulated using electrical currents. Article p855 IMAGE: CHIARA CICCARELLI COVER DESIGN: ALLEN BEATTIE

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    A flurry of 'null results' have hit the physics headlines recently. They are only 'null' if you place no value in the information they provide.

Thesis

Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    The experimental observation of superconductivity that breaks spin-rotation symmetry in copper-doped Bi2Se3 provides a qualitatively distinct kind of unconventional superconducting behaviour — one that brings the importance of the spin–orbit interaction to the fore.

    • Liang Fu
  • News & Views |

    Going around an exceptional point in a full circle can be a non-adiabatic, asymmetric process. This surprising prediction is now confirmed by two separate experiments.

    • Dieter Heiss
  • News & Views |

    Insights from the emerging field of branched flow are directing us towards a way of anticipating the effects of tsunamis. A framework linking bathymetric fluctuations to wave physics marks a promising step forward.

    • Eric Heller

Letters

  • Letter |

    An ultracold gas trapped in a symmetric double-well potential should populate both wells equally; however, the gas spontaneously localizes in one well when the interaction between atoms reaches a critical value, thus breaking parity symmetry.

    • A. Trenkwalder
    • , G. Spagnolli
    • , G. Semeghini
    • , S. Coop
    • , M. Landini
    • , P. Castilho
    • , L. Pezzè
    • , G. Modugno
    • , M. Inguscio
    • , A. Smerzi
    •  & M. Fattori
  • Letter |

    Overlaying two transparent phase masks in a light beam results in a far-field achromatic intensity pattern. This effect lies at the basis of a polychromatic far-field interferometer for use in X-ray phase-contrast imaging without absorption gratings.

    • Houxun Miao
    • , Alireza Panna
    • , Andrew A. Gomella
    • , Eric E. Bennett
    • , Sami Znati
    • , Lei Chen
    •  & Han Wen
  • Letter |

    The discovery of a superconducting temperature of roughly 200 K in hydrogen sulfide has attracted widespread attention. Now, the crystal structure of this system is elucidated experimentally.

    • Mari Einaga
    • , Masafumi Sakata
    • , Takahiro Ishikawa
    • , Katsuya Shimizu
    • , Mikhail I. Eremets
    • , Alexander P. Drozdov
    • , Ivan A. Troyan
    • , Naohisa Hirao
    •  & Yasuo Ohishi
  • Letter |

    Materials with low magnetic damping are important for a range of applications but are typically insulating, which limits their use. Thanks to a unique feature of the band structure, similar levels of damping can now be achieved in a metallic alloy.

    • Martin A. W. Schoen
    • , Danny Thonig
    • , Michael L. Schneider
    • , T. J. Silva
    • , Hans T. Nembach
    • , Olle Eriksson
    • , Olof Karis
    •  & Justin M. Shaw
  • Letter |

    A system in equilibrium takes a finite time to relax to a new equilibrium following a sudden change of a control parameter—impeding progress in device miniaturization. Now, a strategy succeeds in reducing this time for an open classical system.

    • Ignacio A. Martínez
    • , Artyom Petrosyan
    • , David Guéry-Odelin
    • , Emmanuel Trizac
    •  & Sergio Ciliberto
  • Letter |

    Observing magnetic reconnection directly is generally difficult, but looking at the reconnection between erupting solar filaments and nearby coronal loops uncovers many fine details with unprecedented clarity.

    • Leping Li
    • , Jun Zhang
    • , Hardi Peter
    • , Eric Priest
    • , Huadong Chen
    • , Lijia Guo
    • , Feng Chen
    •  & Duncan Mackay

Articles

  • Article |

    A series of 77Se nuclear magnetic resonance measurements on the electron-doped topological insulator Cu0.3Bi2Se3 reveal a spontaneous breaking of the rotational spin symmetry below its superconducting transition temperature.

    • K. Matano
    • , M. Kriener
    • , K. Segawa
    • , Y. Ando
    •  & Guo-qing Zheng
  • Article |

    The detection of spin–orbit torques in a non-centrosymmetric magnetic Heusler alloy at room temperature could guide the search for materials whose magnetism can efficiently be manipulated using electrical currents.

    • C. Ciccarelli
    • , L. Anderson
    • , V. Tshitoyan
    • , A. J. Ferguson
    • , F. Gerhard
    • , C. Gould
    • , L. W. Molenkamp
    • , J. Gayles
    • , J. Železný
    • , L. Šmejkal
    • , Z. Yuan
    • , J. Sinova
    • , F. Freimuth
    •  & T. Jungwirth
  • Article |

    A light-induced spin voltage is demonstrated that arises from a spin-dependent excitation and diffusion of photo-excited electrons near heavy-metal/magnetic-insulator interfaces.

    • David Ellsworth
    • , Lei Lu
    • , Jin Lan
    • , Houchen Chang
    • , Peng Li
    • , Zhe Wang
    • , Jun Hu
    • , Bryan Johnson
    • , Yuqi Bian
    • , Jiang Xiao
    • , Ruqian Wu
    •  & Mingzhong Wu
  • Article |

    The interaction of two magnetic moments on a metallic surface is usually understood as a competition between an indirect surface-mediated exchange interaction and the Kondo effect. Now, a different mechanism, involving chemical interactions driving a quantum phase transition, is reported.

    • Taner Esat
    • , Benedikt Lechtenberg
    • , Thorsten Deilmann
    • , Christian Wagner
    • , Peter Krüger
    • , Ruslan Temirov
    • , Michael Rohlfing
    • , Frithjof B. Anders
    •  & F. Stefan Tautz
  • Article |

    Certain proteins are capable of self-replicating, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Simulations now pinpoint the adsorption of monomeric proteins onto protein fibril surfaces as the mechanism responsible for self-replication.

    • Anđela Šarić
    • , Alexander K. Buell
    • , Georg Meisl
    • , Thomas C. T. Michaels
    • , Christopher M. Dobson
    • , Sara Linse
    • , Tuomas P. J. Knowles
    •  & Daan Frenkel
  • Article |

    While we sleep, our neuronal networks sustain slow oscillations that are remarkably regular. Experiments on the cerebral cortex suggest that these oscillations optimize regularity in spite of synaptic noise—revealing a regime of stochastic coherence.

    • Belén Sancristóbal
    • , Beatriz Rebollo
    • , Pol Boada
    • , Maria V. Sanchez-Vives
    •  & Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo

Measure for Measure

  • Measure for Measure |

    The bit is a proper unit of measurement and should be recognized as such, argues Iulia Georgescu.

    • Iulia Georgescu