Volume 16 Issue 9, September 2020

Volume 16 Issue 9

Braided anyons

An interferometer device is used to detect the quantum-mechanical phase that is gained when two anyons are braided around each other. The fractional value of the phase proves that these quasiparticles are neither bosons nor fermions.

Manfra, Article

IMAGE: James Nakamura and Michael Manfra, Purdue University. COVER DESIGN: Alex Wing.


  • Editorial |

    As the construction of the ITER tokamak enters its next phase — the machine assembly — now is a good time for a recap of the history and current status of nuclear fusion research.


  • Comment |

    Since the 1950s, international cooperation has been the driving force behind fusion research. Here, we discuss how the International Atomic Energy Agency has shaped the field and the events that have produced fusion’s global signature partnership.

    • Matteo Barbarino



  • Q&A |

    The First Plasma discharge in the ITER tokamak is expected for 2025 with deuterium–tritium plasma operation ten years later. We spoke with ITER’s Director-General, Bernard Bigot, and Tim Luce, head of ITER’s Science & Operations Department, about the current status of the project and potential future directions in fusion research.

    • Stefanie Reichert

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The properties of anyons — two-dimensional particles that are neither fermions nor bosons — have been directly measured in a quantum Hall interferometer.

    • Rui-Rui Du
  • News & Views |

    Experiments show how the magnetic order in antiferromagnets can be manipulated through lattice vibrations excited by a laser. This induces a large and reversible magnetic moment at very high speed.

    • Dominik M. Juraschek
    •  & Prineha Narang
  • News & Views |

    A laser–plasma experiment has recreated shock waves in collisionless, weakly magnetized conditions and evidenced electron acceleration to relativistic energies, offering unprecedented insight into a long-standing problem in astrophysics.

    • Laurent Gremillet
    •  & Martin Lemoine
  • News & Views |

    Microscopic motile cilia, beating in synchrony across large scales, move the liquid lining of our lungs, protecting from infection and dirt. Surprisingly, a disordered arrangement of cilia, as observed in nature, is shown to be optimal for airway clearance.

    • Pietro Cicuta
  • News & Views |

    Everybody who has ever made a paper airplane and been disappointed as it spins out of control, crashing to the ground, knows how tricky achieving suitable trim and stability for gliding can be. But, somehow, wiggling flying snakes glide without tumbling.

    • Jim Usherwood


  • Letter | | Open Access

    The cores of neutron stars could be made of hadronic matter or quark matter. By combining first-principles calculations with observational data, evidence for the presence of quark matter in neutron star cores is found.

    • Eemeli Annala
    • , Tyler Gorda
    • , Aleksi Kurkela
    • , Joonas Nättilä
    •  & Aleksi Vuorinen
  • Letter |

    The Rydberg-atom superhet, based on microwave-dressed Rydberg atoms and a tailored electromagnetically induced transparency spectrum, allows SI-traceable measurements of microwave electric fields with unprecedented sensitivity.

    • Mingyong Jing
    • , Ying Hu
    • , Jie Ma
    • , Hao Zhang
    • , Linjie Zhang
    • , Liantuan Xiao
    •  & Suotang Jia
  • Letter |

    In laser–plasma experiments complemented by simulations, electron acceleration is observed in turbulent collisionless shocks. This work clarifies the pre-acceleration to relativistic energies required for the onset of diffusive shock acceleration.

    • F. Fiuza
    • , G. F. Swadling
    • , A. Grassi
    • , H. G. Rinderknecht
    • , D. P. Higginson
    • , D. D. Ryutov
    • , C. Bruulsema
    • , R. P. Drake
    • , S. Funk
    • , S. Glenzer
    • , G. Gregori
    • , C. K. Li
    • , B. B. Pollock
    • , B. A. Remington
    • , J. S. Ross
    • , W. Rozmus
    • , Y. Sakawa
    • , A. Spitkovsky
    • , S. Wilks
    •  & H.-S. Park
  • Letter |

    Here, it is shown that superconductivity can exist without correlated insulating states in twisted bilayer graphene devices a little away from the magic angle. This indicates the two phases compete with each other, in contrast to previous claims.

    • Yu Saito
    • , Jingyuan Ge
    • , Kenji Watanabe
    • , Takashi Taniguchi
    •  & Andrea F. Young


  • Article |

    An interferometer device is used to detect the quantum-mechanical phase that is gained when two anyons are braided around each other. The fractional value of the phase proves that these quasiparticles are neither bosons nor fermions.

    • J. Nakamura
    • , S. Liang
    • , G. C. Gardner
    •  & M. J. Manfra
  • Article |

    This paper shows how lattice distortions induced by a laser pulse can create a ferrimagnetic moment in an antiferromagnet. This mechanism gives a magnetic response that is orders of magnitude larger than using mechanical strain.

    • Ankit S. Disa
    • , Michael Fechner
    • , Tobia F. Nova
    • , Biaolong Liu
    • , Michael Först
    • , Dharmalingam Prabhakaran
    • , Paolo G. Radaelli
    •  & Andrea Cavalleri
  • Article |

    Symmetry breaking is essential for polarization of cells and generation of left–right body asymmetry. Here the authors investigate the arrangement of hair cells in zebrafish and show that mirror-symmetric patterns arise from a combination of biochemical and mechanical symmetry-breaking events.

    • A. Erzberger
    • , A. Jacobo
    • , A. Dasgupta
    •  & A. J. Hudspeth
  • Article |

    Fluid flow through airways—necessary to keep lungs healthy and free from particles—occurs thanks to moving cilia. Here the authors show that defects in the arrangement of these cilia can facilitate particle clearance through the lungs.

    • Guillermina R. Ramirez-San Juan
    • , Arnold J. T. M. Mathijssen
    • , Mu He
    • , Lily Jan
    • , Wallace Marshall
    •  & Manu Prakash
  • Article |

    The arrangement of a sequence of stimuli affects how humans perceive information. Here, the authors show experimentally that humans perceive information in a way that depends on the network structure of stimuli.

    • Christopher W. Lynn
    • , Lia Papadopoulos
    • , Ari E. Kahn
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article |

    Observations of flying snakes inform the development of a dynamical model of gliding taking undulation into account. This work suggests that aerial undulation has a different function in snakes than in other animals.

    • Isaac J. Yeaton
    • , Shane D. Ross
    • , Grant A. Baumgardner
    •  & John J. Socha
  • Article |

    In the interaction of ultraintense, short laser pulses with solid targets, the collisionless Weibel instability is observed. For a sufficiently high resistivity of the target, an additional resistive instability appears.

    • C. Ruyer
    • , S. Bolaños
    • , B. Albertazzi
    • , S. N. Chen
    • , P. Antici
    • , J. Böker
    • , V. Dervieux
    • , L. Lancia
    • , M. Nakatsutsumi
    • , L. Romagnani
    • , R. Shepherd
    • , M. Swantusch
    • , M. Borghesi
    • , O. Willi
    • , H. Pépin
    • , M. Starodubtsev
    • , M. Grech
    • , C. Riconda
    • , L. Gremillet
    •  & J. Fuchs
  • Article |

    The non-zero geometric phase acquired by the braiding of vortex modes in photonic waveguide lattices demonstrates their potential to serve as a platform for the study of both Abelian and non-Abelian braiding in bosonic systems.

    • Jiho Noh
    • , Thomas Schuster
    • , Thomas Iadecola
    • , Sheng Huang
    • , Mohan Wang
    • , Kevin P. Chen
    • , Claudio Chamon
    •  & Mikael C. Rechtsman

Measure for Measure

  • Measure for Measure |

    Wolfgang Pauli introduced the Bohr magneton as a fundamental unit of magnetic moment during an effort to find a quantum basis for magnetism, as Davide Castelvecchi recounts.

    • Davide Castelvecchi