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Volume 16 Issue 10, October 2020

Smells like teen physics

The number 15 is created by quantum imaging, self-assembly of green-fluorescent-protein-active Escherichia coli bacteria, self-assembly of polystyrene beads and with a quantum gas microscope.

See Feature and Editorial

IMAGE: Hugo Defienne and Daniele Faccio, University of Glasgow (top left); Serim Ilday, Bilkent University – UNAM (top right and bottom left); Immanuel Bloch, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (bottom right). COVER DESIGN: Alex Wing.


  • As Nature Physics turns fifteen, we celebrate some of our favourite papers.



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  • The particle physics community refreshes the roadmap for the field in Europe, taking into account the worldwide context, in the so-called European Strategy for Particle Physics update, which happens every seven years.

    • Fabiola Gianotti
    • Gian Francesco Giudice
    Comment Open Access
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  • Over the last 15 years, the content of Nature Physics has covered an enormous breadth of subjects at the forefront of physics. The journal’s past and present editors recount their favourite papers and what made chaperoning them to publication special.

    • Alison Wright
    • Ed Gerstner
    • Elizaveta Dubrovina
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Near-term quantum computations are susceptible to noise that — left uncorrected — can destroy the correlations responsible for quantum computational speedups. New work develops tools for bolstering the noise resilience of these speedups.

    • Bill Fefferman
    News & Views
  • Novel non-equilibrium phases of matter have recently become the focus of intense interest. The realization of topological phases which cannot exist under the constraints of thermodynamic equilibrium is a key aim.

    • Mark S. Rudner
    News & Views
  • An elegant experiment showing that acoustic waves are amplified after scattering by a rotating body demonstrates an effect predicted in 1971 by Yakov Zel’dovich. This result has implications for the understanding of scattering from black holes.

    • Bruce W. Drinkwater
    News & Views
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  • The quantum Hall effect is realized in a two-dimensional quantum gas system consisting of one spatial dimension and one synthetic dimension encoded in the atomic spin. Measurements show distinct bulk properties rooted in the topological structure.

    • Thomas Chalopin
    • Tanish Satoor
    • Sylvain Nascimbene
  • The spin polarization of a quantum Hall system is determined by a spin-resolved tunnelling method. This technique shows a substantial regime where the weakly interacting composite fermion picture is not valid.

    • H. M. Yoo
    • K. W. Baldwin
    • R. C. Ashoori
  • A memory device is proposed that uses a dynamical modification of the stacking order of few-layer WTe2 to encode information. The change in stacking modifies both the Berry curvature and the Hall transport, allowing two states to be distinguished.

    • Jun Xiao
    • Ying Wang
    • Aaron M. Lindenberg
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  • Uncorrected noise prevents quantum computers from running deep algorithms and outperforming classical machines. A method is now reported that allows noisy shallow quantum algorithms to be used to solve classically hard problems.

    • Sergey Bravyi
    • David Gosset
    • Marco Tomamichel
  • An adaptive heterodyne technique with a Josephson parametric amplifier detector allows a high-precision single-shot canonical phase measurement on a one-photon wave packet, complementing near-ideal measurements of photon number or field amplitude.

    • Leigh S. Martin
    • William P. Livingston
    • Irfan Siddiqi
  • Standard topological invariants commonly used in static systems are not enough to fully capture the topological properties of Floquet systems. In a periodically driven quantum gas, chiral edge modes emerge despite all Chern numbers being equal to zero.

    • Karen Wintersperger
    • Christoph Braun
    • Monika Aidelsburger
  • Acoustic waves that carry orbital angular momentum are amplified as they pass through an absorbing disk when the rotation rate exceeds the frequency of the incident wave, thus providing an experimental demonstration of Zel’dovich amplification.

    • Marion Cromb
    • Graham M. Gibson
    • Daniele Faccio
  • The structures of stingers of living organisms are surprisingly similar despite their vastly different lengths. Now, stingers are found to obey a unifying mechanistic principle that characterizes the stingers resistance to buckling.

    • Kaare H. Jensen
    • Jan Knoblauch
    • Keunhwan Park
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Measure for Measure

  • The assembly of the more than a million single parts of the ITER tokamak requires large-scale three-dimensional precision metrology. John Villanueva Jr gives us insights into the complexity of this project.

    • John Villanueva Jr
    Measure for Measure
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