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Volume 15 Issue 12, December 2019

Magnetic collapse

Spin-polarized tunnelling data show that the breakdown of antiferromagnetic order and the collapse of the spectral gap are not correlated in Sr2IrO4. This indicates that short-range magnetic correlations are not behind the emergence of the pseudogap.

See Zeljkovic et al.

Image: He Zhao and Ilija Zeljkovic, Boston College. Cover Design: David Shand

Editorial

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Thesis

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Books & Arts

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • High-magnetic-field experiments on the recently discovered unconventional superconductor UTe2 are consistent with p-wave pairing arising while time-reversal symmetry is broken. In turn, this suggests that this material is a candidate for a chiral superconductor that may be exploited for topological quantum computing.

    • Marc Janoschek
    News & Views
  • An unusual flavour of critical phenomena with a stable quantum critical phase of matter is observed in a strongly correlated material and linked to the underlying lattice structure.

    • Aline Ramires
    News & Views
  • Non-Hermitian systems with gain and loss give rise to exceptional points with exceptional properties. An experiment with superconducting qubits now offers a first step towards studying these singularities in the quantum domain.

    • Stefan Rotter
    News & Views
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Perspectives

  • This Perspective argues that ergodicity — a foundational concept in equilibrium statistical physics — is wrongly assumed in much of the quantitative economics literature. By asking the extent to which dynamical problems can be replaced by probabilistic ones, many economics puzzles are resolved in a natural and empirically testable fashion.

    • Ole Peters
    Perspective
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Letters

  • Experiments with two counter-propagating laser beams report the observation that the photon momentum is shared between the electron and parent ion in strong-field ionization, which results from the photon’s magnetic field acting on the electron.

    • A. Hartung
    • S. Eckart
    • R. Dörner
    Letter
  • The Kibble–Zurek mechanism, that is, the spontaneous formation of topological defects in a system crossing a continuous phase transition, is observed in a strongly interacting Fermi gas, where the underlying symmetry plays a crucial role.

    • Bumsuk Ko
    • Jee Woo Park
    • Y. Shin
    Letter
  • Matter-wave interference experiments demonstrate quantum superposition of molecules consisting of up to 2,000 atoms—the heaviest objects to show this quantum behaviour to date. This provides a bound on potential modifications to quantum mechanics.

    • Yaakov Y. Fein
    • Philipp Geyer
    • Markus Arndt
    Letter
  • The predicted metallization of hydrogen has long fascinated high-pressure physicists. Conductivity and spectroscopic measurements now reveal that above pressures of 350 GPa, hydrogen starts to conduct in a manner akin to a semimetal.

    • M. I. Eremets
    • A. P. Drozdov
    • H. Wang
    Letter
  • The recently discovered spin-triplet superconductor UTe2 is found to display a number of other ‘re-entrant’ superconducting phases under ultrahigh magnetic fields.

    • Sheng Ran
    • I-Lin Liu
    • Nicholas P. Butch
    Letter
  • Few-layer magnetic materials sometimes show a different form of magnetism from their thicker equivalents. The authors contend that the mechanism is changes in the stacking order in the thin limit that modify the interlayer exchange interaction.

    • Dahlia R. Klein
    • David MacNeill
    • Pablo Jarillo-Herrero
    Letter
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Articles

  • Vacuum fluctuations in the vicinity of nanophotonic structures can lead to the conversion of a free electron into a polariton and a high-energy photon, whose frequency can be controlled by the electromagnetic properties of the nanostructure.

    • Nicholas Rivera
    • Liang Jie Wong
    • Ido Kaminer
    Article
  • The remarkably large thermal Hall response recently observed in the copper oxides challenges our understanding of the excitations in an insulating antiferromagnet. Here, a possible explanation of the underlying physics is provided.

    • Rhine Samajdar
    • Mathias S. Scheurer
    • Subir Sachdev
    Article
  • In a model system crosslinked by motors, cytoskeletal polymers slide past each other at speeds independent of their polarity. This behaviour is best described within an active-gel framework that deviates from the dilute limit set by existing theory.

    • Sebastian Fürthauer
    • Bezia Lemma
    • Michael J. Shelley
    Article
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Amendments & Corrections

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Measure for Measure

  • Tell Bartolo Luque and Fernando Ballesteros how far the Sun is from the Earth, and they will tell you the size of the Universe.

    • Bartolo Luque
    • Fernando J. Ballesteros
    Measure for Measure
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