Volume 13 Issue 11, November 2017

Volume 13 Issue 11

Water droplets skid across hot surfaces, hovering imperceptibly as they undergo rapid vaporization. Elastic solids are now shown to exhibit a variant of this behaviour, engaging in sustained bouncing by coupling vapour release to elastic deformation. Letter p1095 IMAGE: SCOTT WAITUKAITIS, LEIDEN UNIVERSITY COVER DESIGN: BETHANY VUKOMANOVIC


  • Editorial |

    The 2017 Nobel prize in Physics has been awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”.


  • Commentary |

    The emergent phenomena that characterize quantum materials have received prominent exposure thanks to experimental techniques based on photoemission. In turn, the challenges and opportunities presented by quantum materials have driven improvements in the photoemission technology itself.

    • Nuh Gedik
    •  & Inna Vishik
  • Commentary |

    The validity of our scientific descriptions of reality does not hinge on their emergence from a more fundamental theory.

    • George Ellis
    •  & David Sloan


Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Topological states of matter offer new opportunities to improve the way we transmit acoustic or optical signals, but existing technologies have proven difficult to scale. The field of active metamaterials may be able to help.

    • Andrea Alù
  • News & Views |

    By engineering photosensitive proteins and tweaking the classical properties of light, it should be possible to tune the response of a cell equipped with photoreceptors. But would these cells be able to sense the subtle quantum properties of light?

    • Elisabetta Collini
  • News & Views |

    A state of matter known as a quantum spin liquid has been predicted to host Majorana fermions. Recent neutron scattering and specific heat results add to the growing body of evidence suggesting they exist in the quantum magnet α-RuCl3.

    • Natalia Perkins



  • Letter |

    Physical rotation can create fictitious magnetic fields, a phenomenon that stems from Larmor's theorem. The effect on a nuclear spin ensemble was measured using the spin–echo of nitrogen–vacancy centres in rapidly spinning diamond. Interestingly, the rotationally induced magnetic fields can cancel a conventional magnetic field for the nuclear spins.

    • A. A. Wood
    • , E. Lilette
    • , Y. Y. Fein
    • , V. S. Perunicic
    • , L. C. L. Hollenberg
    • , R. E. Scholten
    •  & A. M. Martin
  • Letter |

    The pseudogap is an elusive state that is believed to play an important role in the mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity. A torque-magnetometry study of YBCO reveals that its onset is associated with a second-order nematic transition.

    • Y. Sato
    • , S. Kasahara
    • , H. Murayama
    • , Y. Kasahara
    • , E.-G. Moon
    • , T. Nishizaki
    • , T. Loew
    • , J. Porras
    • , B. Keimer
    • , T. Shibauchi
    •  & Y. Matsuda
  • Letter |

    α-RuCl3 has recently attracted great interest as a possible experimental realization of the Kitaev model. Neutron scattering measurements of a single crystal of this material reveal signatures of Majorana excitations, consistent with Kitaev’s predictions.

    • Seung-Hwan Do
    • , Sang-Youn Park
    • , Junki Yoshitake
    • , Joji Nasu
    • , Yukitoshi Motome
    • , Yong Seung Kwon
    • , D. T. Adroja
    • , D. J. Voneshen
    • , Kyoo Kim
    • , T.-H. Jang
    • , J.-H. Park
    • , Kwang-Yong Choi
    •  & Sungdae Ji
  • Letter |

    The anomalous Nernst effect is usually associated with ferromagnets — enabling a temperature gradient to generate a transverse electric field — but the Berry curvature associated with Weyl points can drive this phenomenon in chiral antiferromagnets.

    • Muhammad Ikhlas
    • , Takahiro Tomita
    • , Takashi Koretsune
    • , Michi-To Suzuki
    • , Daisuke Nishio-Hamane
    • , Ryotaro Arita
    • , Yoshichika Otani
    •  & Satoru Nakatsuji
  • Letter |

    Ensuring topological protection of the edge states in candidate topological insulators is complicated by the need to break time-reversal symmetry. Polar active liquids present an innovative solution to this problem, as a new metamaterial design shows.

    • Anton Souslov
    • , Benjamin C. van Zuiden
    • , Denis Bartolo
    •  & Vincenzo Vitelli
  • Letter |

    Water droplets skid across hot surfaces, hovering imperceptibly as they undergo rapid vaporization. Elastic solids are now shown to exhibit a variant of this behaviour, engaging in sustained bouncing by coupling vapour release to elastic deformation.

    • Scott R. Waitukaitis
    • , Antal Zuiderwijk
    • , Anton Souslov
    • , Corentin Coulais
    •  & Martin van Hecke
  • Letter |

    Deformable polygons are shown to form fibres when the energies associated with attraction and deformation are comparable. The fibres constitute a kinetically trapped metastable state, reminiscent of irreversible protein assembly in living systems.

    • Martin Lenz
    •  & Thomas A. Witten
  • Letter |

    The demonstration of a direct correlation between an optical stimulus and the biological function of a photoreceptor in living brain tissue charts the course for designing tailored pulses to control molecular dynamics in vivo.

    • Kush Paul
    • , Parijat Sengupta
    • , Eugene D. Ark
    • , Haohua Tu
    • , Youbo Zhao
    •  & Stephen A. Boppart


  • Article |

    Spontaneous parity–time-symmetry breaking and topological edge states are observed in a photonic non-Hermitian system — a quantum walk interferometer.

    • L. Xiao
    • , X. Zhan
    • , Z. H. Bian
    • , K. K. Wang
    • , X. Zhang
    • , X. P. Wang
    • , J. Li
    • , K. Mochizuki
    • , D. Kim
    • , N. Kawakami
    • , W. Yi
    • , H. Obuse
    • , B. C. Sanders
    •  & P. Xue
  • Article |

    The 2D electron gas has long been a popular physical system. Now, experiments with GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructures have revealed phases displaying negative permittivity, due to an attractive exchange-correlation energy competing with Coulomb repulsion.

    • B. Friess
    • , Y. Peng
    • , B. Rosenow
    • , F. von Oppen
    • , V. Umansky
    • , K. von Klitzing
    •  & J. H. Smet
  • Article |

    In the charge-density wave state of tantalum sulfide, tantalum atoms group into a Star-of-David arrangement. Experiments show that the polaron spins associated with these atomic clusters can form a quantum spin liquid.

    • Martin Klanjšek
    • , Andrej Zorko
    • , Rok Žitko
    • , Jernej Mravlje
    • , Zvonko Jagličić
    • , Pabitra Kumar Biswas
    • , Peter Prelovšek
    • , Dragan Mihailovic
    •  & Denis Arčon

Measure for Measure

  • Measure for Measure |

    Wonder material graphene makes metrology practical and relaxed, says Andre Geim.

    • Andre Geim