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Volume 15 Issue 10, October 2019

Solar wind in the lab

The Parker spiral – arising from the interaction between the Sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind – is recreated in the laboratory from a rapidly rotating plasma magnetosphere.

See Peterson et al.

Image: Ethan Peterson, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Cover Design: David Shand


  • The selection of speakers at a conference should reflect the full diversity of experience within the relevant community. Including more early-career researchers may help achieve this goal.



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Books & Arts

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Whether a cell divides symmetrically or asymmetrically during early development determines the fate of its progeny. Now cell size has emerged as a key player in making this decision.

    • Alexandra Jilkine
    News & Views
  • Floquet engineering harnesses alternating fields to create a topological band structure in an otherwise ordinary material. These fields drive plasmons that can spontaneously split into chiral circulating modes and induce magnetization.

    • Luis E. F. Foa Torres
    News & Views
  • Synchronization can induce both order and disorder, betraying a multistability that is rife in living systems. Evidence now suggests that the circadian clock synchronizes with the cell cycle, and that this behaviour is common to different species.

    • Mathias L. Heltberg
    • Mogens H. Jensen
    News & Views
  • The visible mass in the Universe emerged when hadrons — the building blocks of atomic nuclei — formed from a hot fireball made of quarks and gluons. This mechanism has now been investigated in baryon-rich matter at relatively low temperatures.

    • Ralf Rapp
    News & Views
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Review Articles

  • Cell size is regulated by processes ranging from rapid fluctuations to slower growth and division. Limited dialogue between communities studying these disparate timescales has hindered our understanding of size control—a gap bridged by this Review.

    • Clotilde Cadart
    • Larisa Venkova
    • Matthieu Piel
    Review Article
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  • Transport measurements on twisted bilayer graphene show that a large linear-in-temperature increase in resistivity exists for many twist angles. This may have implications for the mechanism of superconductivity in this material.

    • Hryhoriy Polshyn
    • Matthew Yankowitz
    • Andrea F. Young
  • The authors predict that Berry flux can be spontaneously generated in a metal by plasmonic oscillations in response to illumination by light. They show that this topological ‘Berryogenesis’ can work in graphene.

    • Mark S. Rudner
    • Justin C. W. Song
  • High harmonics are generated from a thin film by leveraging the epsilon-near-zero effect. These kinds of harmonic are found to exhibit a pronounced spectral redshift as well as linewidth broadening caused by the time-dependency of this effect.

    • Yuanmu Yang
    • Jian Lu
    • Igal Brener
  • A transverse wind is shown to be capable of inciting a droplet to move along a horizontal fibre due to the presence of an asymmetric wake behind the droplet. Such a perturbation can even induce repulsive interactions between droplets.

    • Pierre-Brice Bintein
    • Hadrien Bense
    • David Quéré
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  • Braiding by topological defects in an active nematic fluid produces macroscopic chaotic advection, such that the defects themselves act as effective stirring rods. The resultant mixing is revealed to be a result of sliding on a molecular scale.

    • Amanda J. Tan
    • Eric Roberts
    • Linda S. Hirst
  • Virtual photons emitted from strong-interaction matter created in relativistic heavy-ion collisions decay into electron–positron pairs, which provide information about the system’s properties.

    • J. Adamczewski-Musch
    • O. Arnold
    • P. Zumbruch
  • Potential Majorana bound states are seen in the vortex cores of a transition metal dichalcogenide. The properties of the superconductor mean that the bound states are highly anisotropic, and can appear at higher temperatures than other materials.

    • Yonghao Yuan
    • Jie Pan
    • Qi-Kun Xue
  • Superionic states of matter simultaneously exhibit some of the properties of a liquid and of a solid. Detailed numerical simulations predict two superionic phases in mixtures of helium and water.

    • Cong Liu
    • Hao Gao
    • Dingyu Xing
  • A dissipative Kerr soliton crystal state is a temporally ordered regular ensemble of soliton pulses within a cavity. Chaotic driving of optical resonators enables the defect-free creation and dynamical characterization of these states.

    • Maxim Karpov
    • Martin H. P. Pfeiffer
    • Tobias J. Kippenberg
  • The proteins tasked with establishing polarity in a cell undergo reaction–diffusion dynamics that are shown here to impose a cell-size threshold on polarization. The limit may facilitate switching between symmetric and asymmetric modes of division.

    • Lars Hubatsch
    • Florent Peglion
    • Nathan W. Goehring
  • Modelling and microscopy of thousands of cells together reveal the coupling through which the cell cycle influences the circadian clock. This coupling may explain why mammalian tissues growing at different rates have shifted circadian rhythms.

    • Colas Droin
    • Eric R. Paquet
    • Felix Naef
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Measure for Measure

  • Continuously improving precision in length measurements increases understanding of our world and its phenomena, both at small and large scales, as Leo Gross reveals.

    • Leo Gross
    Measure for Measure
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