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Volume 17 Issue 3, March 2021

The formation of a shell

Molluscs are capable of assembling layers of material in the shells around them with exquisite control. Synchrotron-based nanotomographic imaging of the structural evolution of this layer formation has now prompted a model that draws analogy with topological defect dynamics in liquid crystals

ArticleN&V

IMAGE: Igor Zlotnikov. COVER DESIGN: Allen Beattie.

Volume 17 Issue 3

Editorial

  • A year on from the last-minute cancellation of the 2020 American Physical Society March Meeting, we examine the ups and downs of the online conference experience that has become the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Editorial

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Thesis

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Comment

  • Muon colliders offer enormous potential for the exploration of the particle physics frontier but are challenging to realize. A new international collaboration is forming to make such a muon collider a reality.

    • K. R. Long
    • D. Lucchesi
    • V. Shiltsev
    Comment
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Books & Arts

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News & Views

  • The contact formalism describes short-range correlations, which play a crucial role in nuclear systems. Initially introduced for ultracold atoms, its generalization to the nuclear case was now validated by ab initio calculations.

    • Michael Urban
    News & Views
  • Quantum computing combines great promise with daunting challenges — the road to devices that solve real-world problems is still long. Now, an implementation of a quantum algorithm maps the problems we want to solve to the devices we already have.

    • Boaz Barak
    News & Views
  • Measuring a quantum state often enough can leave you with a completely different phase of matter. Mix in competing measurements and you may find yourself with an entire phase diagram of dynamical quantum states and transitions.

    • Brayden Ware
    • Romain Vasseur
    News & Views
  • A Cooper-pair box qubit is used to squeeze the energy of a heavy oscillating membrane towards a quantum energy eigenstate, bringing measurements of how mass and quantum mechanics interact one step closer.

    • Mario Gely
    • Gary A. Steele
    News & Views
  • Table-top superfluid experiments offer a way of bringing the physics of astrophysical black holes into the lab. But the presence of two event horizons in these superfluid black holes complicates matters — and makes them more interesting.

    • Giovanni Modugno
    News & Views
  • When molecular model systems, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are ionized by ultrashort extreme ultraviolet pulses, their relaxation path proceeds via electron–phonon scattering, linking molecules to typical solid-state matter behaviour.

    • Laura Cattaneo
    News & Views
  • Iridescent mother of pearl sports a complex structure that eludes standard imaging techniques. Now, a nanotomographic method provides high resolution 3D insight into the topological defects underpinning this composite material.

    • Rebecca A. Metzler
    News & Views
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Letters

  • High-harmonic generation up to the seventh harmonic is observed from the intrinsic three-dimensional topological insulator BiSbTeSe2. The parallel components of the even-order harmonics arise directly from the topological surface states.

    • Ya Bai
    • Fucong Fei
    • Peng Liu
    Letter
  • Three-dimensional structures of vortex loops in a bulk micromagnet GdCo2 have been observed using X-ray magnetic nanotomography. The cross-section of these loops consists of a vortex–antivortex pair stabilized by the dipolar interaction.

    • Claire Donnelly
    • Konstantin L. Metlov
    • Sebastian Gliga
    Letter
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Articles

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Amendments & Corrections

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Measure for Measure

  • Surface scientists love a good vacuum. The reason for this is captured by the work of Irving Langmuir and the little-known unit bearing his name, explains Daniel Payne.

    • Daniel T. Payne
    Measure for Measure
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