Volume 2 Issue 1, January 2006

Volume 2 Issue 1

Cadmium ions in action

Artwork by Boris Blinov (Univ. Washington).

Letter by Stick et al




Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Treating cancer with beams of high-energy protons is just one of the exciting possibilities presented by the advent of laser-based particle accelerators. But how soon will these devices reach the performance levels needed for such applications, and how will these improvements be made?

    • Ken Ledingham
  • News & Views |

    The melting temperatures of the base-pair sequences in DNA are difficult to predict. But applying statistical physics to the problem has created an 'index' that well represents the molecule's thermal properties.

    • Michel Peyrard
  • News & Views |

    The observation of macroscopic quantum coherent behaviour by a single polymer chain provides an important model system for studying the physics of reduced dimensionality, unperturbed by the disorder that can complicate the study of conventional inorganic systems.

    • Heinz Bässler
  • News & Views |

    The ability to measure small or slow rotations relative to an inertial frame is valuable in navigation as well as in fundamental physics. A device that exploits techniques developed in atomic physics could lead to sensitive and compact rotation sensors.

    • Richard Stoner
    •  & Ronald Walsworth
  • News & Views |

    The role of phonons in conventional superconductivity — first determined by isotope substitution — has been known for over half a century. But identifying the mechanism in unconventional superconductivity is a much more challenging affair.

    • Michael Norman
  • News & Views |

    Depending on the temperature, the flow of current between two reservoirs of superfluid 4He exhibits phase slippage — a mechanism that creates vortices and leads to energy dissipation — or Josephson oscillations when the apertures connecting the reservoirs behave as a weak link.

    • Demetris Charalambous