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Volume 18 Issue 1, January 2022

Entangled with Cherenkov

Despite their relevance for quantum technology, photon-pair sources are difficult to control. A theoretical proposal shows how photon pairs can be created from vacuum fluctuations in time-dependent systems, potentially enabling heralded single-photon frequency combs.

See Sloan et al. and Talebi

Image: Haley Park. Cover Design: Allen Beattie


  • The Guided Open Access pilot we are trialling with five other journals in the Nature Portfolio will continue into 2022. We highlight some of the main lessons we’ve learned so far.



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News & Views

  • Magnons are collective spin excitations that can propagate over long distances — an attractive trait for information-transfer technologies — but we need to better understand their thermodynamic properties. A platform using graphene may hold the key.

    • Matteo Carrega
    • Stefan Heun
    News & Views
  • Nonlinear optical effects are by default weak but they can be enhanced by sculpting the resulting spectrally periodic pulses from a fibre laser into an optimal shape.

    • Thibaut Sylvestre
    News & Views
  • A condensate of excitons was theoretically conjectured in the 1960s but has been challenging to pinpoint experimentally. Evidence has now emerged that it could be the ground state of tungsten ditelluride, a rich topological material.

    • Vitor M. Pereira
    News & Views
  • The reliability of quantum computers depends on the correction of noise-induced errors, which requires additional resources. Experiments on superconducting qubits have now demonstrated the capabilities of a less-demanding scheme for error detection.

    • Morten Kjaergaard
    News & Views
  • Promising machine learning techniques can deduce the properties of merging black holes from gravitational wave signals a million times faster than current state-of-the-art methods.

    • Rory Smith
    News & Views
  • Solid-state sources of entangled photons with tailored properties are key elements for integrated quantum computing. Refractive-index perturbations propagating faster than the speed of light may offer a practical approach for generating entangled photon pairs.

    • Nahid Talebi
    News & Views
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Review Articles

  • Interaction with light can be used to precisely control motional states. This Review surveys recent progress in the preparation of non-classical mechanical states and in the application of optomechanical platforms to specific tasks in quantum technology.

    • Shabir Barzanjeh
    • André Xuereb
    • Eva M. Weig
    Review Article
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  • The nonlinear optical effects underlying many applications are typically weak, but linear dispersion engineering allows the generation of pulses comprising equidistant frequency components, which enhances the effective nonlinearity.

    • Joshua P. Lourdesamy
    • Antoine F. J. Runge
    • C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Evaluations of quantum computers across architectures need reliable benchmarks. A class of benchmarks that can directly reflect the structure of any algorithm shows that different quantum computers have considerable variations in performance.

    • Timothy Proctor
    • Kenneth Rudinger
    • Robin Blume-Kohout
  • Large-scale quantum computers will manipulate quantum information encoded in error-corrected logical qubits. A complete set of operations has now been realized on a logical qubit with error detection.

    • J. F. Marques
    • B. M. Varbanov
    • L. DiCarlo
  • Insulating states that are formed because of pairing between electrons and holes are known to exist in engineered bilayer structures in high magnetic fields. Now evidence suggests they can occur in a monolayer crystal at zero field.

    • Yanyu Jia
    • Pengjie Wang
    • Sanfeng Wu
  • Exciton condensation has been observed in various three-dimensional (3D) materials. Now, monolayer WTe2—a 2D topological insulator—also shows the phenomenon. Strong electronic interactions allow the excitons to form and condense at high temperature.

    • Bosong Sun
    • Wenjin Zhao
    • David H. Cobden
    Article Open Access
  • Network models rarely fix the number of connections of each node during evolution, despite this being needed in real-world applications. Addressing this need, a new approach can grow scale-free networks without preferential attachment.

    • Shubha R. Kharel
    • Tamás R. Mezei
    • Zoltan Toroczkai
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Amendments & Corrections

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Measure for Measure

  • To celebrate the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, James Gallagher tells the story of the British thermal unit, a unit for heat.

    • James Gallagher
    Measure for Measure
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