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Volume 18 Issue 8, August 2022

Big effort for big G

Measurements of the gravitational interaction between two parallel beams vibrating in bending motion enable the quantitative investigation of dynamic gravitation in the hertz regime and allow the determination of the gravitational constant.

See Brack et al. and Rothleitner

Image: Tobias Brack, ETH Zurich. Cover Design: Amie Fernandez


  • This month, we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Philip Anderson’s landmark essay ‘More is Different’.



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  • Across the world, decisions on investment and policy are made under the assumption of continuous economic expansion. Fundamental physical limits may soon put an end to this phase of development, as foreshadowed by the 1972 report The Limits to Growth.

    • Thomas W. Murphy Jr
  • A fundamental technical challenge in the analysis of network data is the automated discovery of communities — groups of nodes that are strongly connected or that share similar features or roles. In this Comment we review progress in the field over the past 20 years.

    • Santo Fortunato
    • Mark E. J. Newman
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Books & Arts

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News & Views

  • Experiments with chiral magnets may hold the key to a better understanding of fundamental aspects of transformations between different skyrmionic states, necessary for magnetic memory and logic applications to become a reality.

    • Alexey A. Kovalev
    News & Views
  • Quantum confinement effects offer a more comprehensive understanding of the fundamental processes that drive extreme optical nonlinearities in nano-engineered solids, opening a route to unlocking the potential of high-order harmonic generation.

    • Julien Madéo
    • Keshav M. Dani
    News & Views
  • Originally suggested for the detection of gravitational waves, resonantly vibrating metal beams have been used in a recent laboratory experiment to measure Newton’s constant of gravitation and to verify Newton’s gravitational law.

    • Christian Rothleitner
    News & Views
  • The hydrodynamic description of many-body quantum systems is a key part of our understanding of out-of-equilibrium physics. Exotic, highly constrained quantum particles called fractons require a treatment that goes beyond hydrodynamics.

    • Olalla Castro-Alvaredo
    News & Views
  • Colloidal random lasers are hard to design and control. Combining optically controlled micro-heaters with thermophilic particles attracted by them leads to microlasers with programmable and reversible patterns.

    • Neda Ghofraniha
    News & Views
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  • Magnetic skyrmions—a type of localized spin texture—have been theoretically predicted to annihilate with counterparts known as antiskyrmions. By means of electron microscopy, such annihilation has now been observed in a cubic chiral magnet.

    • Fengshan Zheng
    • Nikolai S. Kiselev
    • Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
    Letter Open Access
  • Unconventional superconductivity is often associated with the presence of other kinds of electronic order. Observations of charge order in infinite-layer nickelate superconductors show that they fit this pattern.

    • Matteo Rossi
    • Motoki Osada
    • Wei-Sheng Lee
  • A method to engineer higher-order interactions between photons provides a route to create non-classical and entangled states across multiple modes.

    • Srivatsan Chakram
    • Kevin He
    • David I. Schuster
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  • Topological states characterized by Chern numbers are usually considered to be the global properties of a material. Now a spatial patchwork of different Chern insulator states is imaged in twisted bilayer graphene.

    • Sameer Grover
    • Matan Bocarsly
    • Eli Zeldov
  • Continuously changing the coupling between a magnetic impurity and a superconductor allows the observation of the reversal of supercurrent flow at the atomic scale.

    • Sujoy Karan
    • Haonan Huang
    • Christian R. Ast
    Article Open Access
  • In generic quantum many-body systems, initial configurations far from equilibrium are expected to undergo general thermalization. An experiment with ultracold atoms now shows evidence of a class of spin-helix states that evade such behaviour.

    • Paul Niklas Jepsen
    • Yoo Kyung ‘Eunice’ Lee
    • Wolfgang Ketterle
  • Thermal fluctuations associated with higher temperatures normally destroy long-range order, but in some circumstances they can stabilize new ordered phases. This ‘order by disorder’ phenomenon has now been observed in the magnetic phases of neodymium.

    • Benjamin Verlhac
    • Lorena Niggli
    • Alexander A. Khajetoorians
    Article Open Access
  • Fractons are particles that can only move in tandem, which substantially affects their thermalization. Below four spatial dimensions, an unconventional dynamical universality class can emerge as thermal fluctuations destroy hydrodynamic behaviour.

    • Paolo Glorioso
    • Jinkang Guo
    • Andrew Lucas
  • Interactive protocols can verify that a quantum computer exhibits a computational speedup using only classical analysis of its output. Exploiting a connection to Bell’s theorem gives a simpler protocol that is much less demanding for experiments.

    • Gregory D. Kahanamoku-Meyer
    • Soonwon Choi
    • Norman Y. Yao
    Article Open Access
  • The standard quantum limit bounds the precision of quantum measurements. Now, a protocol based on time-reversal operations with cold atoms overcomes that limit and achieves the greatest phase sensitivity improvement in any full Ramsey interferometer.

    • Simone Colombo
    • Edwin Pedrozo-Peñafiel
    • Vladan Vuletić
  • Uncovering structures in temporal networks requires different tools than in their static counterparts. A metric now quantifies whether the nodes with a large number of connections also tend to stay simultaneously connected for longer times.

    • Nicola Pedreschi
    • Demian Battaglia
    • Alain Barrat
  • Experiments inspired by the behaviour of active matter show that an external optical stimulus can spatially reconfigure colloidal random lasers and continuously tune their lasing threshold.

    • Manish Trivedi
    • Dhruv Saxena
    • Giorgio Volpe
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Amendments & Corrections

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Measure for Measure

  • The digital transformation doesn’t stop at metrology as Shanay Rab, Meher Wan and Sanjay Yadav explain.

    • Shanay Rab
    • Meher Wan
    • Sanjay Yadav
    Measure for Measure
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