Volume 4 Issue 10, October 2008

Volume 4 Issue 10

Fifty years ago, Philip Anderson published a groundbreaking paper suggesting that the scattering of electrons in a disordered lattice could effectively bring them to a standstill. The signature of this behaviour, known as Anderson localization, has since been observed in many different systems, yet achieving the same for light in three dimensions is remarkably difficult. Massively parallel simulations of defect-induced scattering in a photonic crystal suggest that Anderson localization of light may only occur when the amount of disorder in such a system is within a certain range. Article p794; News & Views p755

Cover design by David Shand


  • Editorial |

    The Large Hadron Collider launched in a blaze of publicity. But, amid claims that the machine would destroy the Earth, is all publicity good publicity?


Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views


  • Letter |

    The observation of controlled adiabatic evolution from paramagnetic into ferromagnetic order in a system made of two trapped ions represents an initial step into the emerging field of quantum simulation.

    • A. Friedenauer
    • , H. Schmitz
    • , J. T. Glueckert
    • , D. Porras
    •  & T. Schaetz
  • Letter |

    Disorder and geometric frustration usually lead to magnetic spins that point in random directions, as in a spin glass. So how can spin-glass behaviour emerge in a well-ordered system without static frustration? The presence of ‘dynamic frustration’ may explain the situation.

    • E. A. Goremychkin
    • , R. Osborn
    • , B. D. Rainford
    • , R. T. Macaluso
    • , D. T. Adroja
    •  & M. Koza
  • Letter |

    That the dynamical properties of a glass-forming liquid at high temperature are different from behaviour in the supercooled state has already been established. Numerical simulations now suggest that the static length scale over which spatial correlations exist also changes on approaching the glass transition.

    • G. Biroli
    • , J.-P. Bouchaud
    • , A. Cavagna
    • , T. S. Grigera
    •  & P. Verrocchio
  • Letter |

    The integration of a micrometre-sized magnet with a semiconductor device has enabled the individual manipulation of two single electron spins. This approach may provide a scalable route for quantum computing with electron spins confined in quantum dots.

    • M. Pioro-Ladrière
    • , T. Obata
    • , Y. Tokura
    • , Y.-S. Shin
    • , T. Kubo
    • , K. Yoshida
    • , T. Taniyama
    •  & S. Tarucha
  • Letter |

    A technique that controls electron spins using single optical pulses far detuned from the optical transition has been demonstrated. This approach may enable fast spin manipulation in a variety of solid-state systems.

    • Kai-Mei C. Fu
    • , Susan M. Clark
    • , Charles Santori
    • , Colin R. Stanley
    • , M. C. Holland
    •  & Yoshihisa Yamamoto
  • Letter |

    Superconducting quantum interference devices, or SQUIDs as they are better known, are capable of detecting minute variations in magnetic field. Embedding a suspended beam into the structure of d.c. SQUID enables this sensitivity to be exploited for measuring displacements.

    • S. Etaki
    • , M. Poot
    • , I. Mahboob
    • , K. Onomitsu
    • , H. Yamaguchi
    •  & H. S. J. van der Zant
  • Letter |

    Cells can change shape by reorganizing the actin filaments that make up the cytoskeleton, and this is usually achieved through protein interactions. But it seems that the cell membrane, by virtue of its elasticity, can also influence the bundling of actin filaments.

    • Allen P. Liu
    • , David L. Richmond
    • , Lutz Maibaum
    • , Sander Pronk
    • , Phillip L. Geissler
    •  & Daniel A. Fletcher


  • Article |

    Analysis of how condensation of an ensemble of bilayer excitons reorganizes the low-energy degrees of freedom of its constituent fermions suggests it should be possible to generate a dissipationless superflow in such a system.

    • Jung-Jung Su
    •  & A. H. MacDonald
  • Article |

    Improvements in the microwave output efficiency of MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions brings them a step closer to practical applications and enables greater insight into the physics of spin transfer in such devices.

    • Alina M. Deac
    • , Akio Fukushima
    • , Hitoshi Kubota
    • , Hiroki Maehara
    • , Yoshishige Suzuki
    • , Shinji Yuasa
    • , Yoshinori Nagamine
    • , Koji Tsunekawa
    • , David D. Djayaprawira
    •  & Naoki Watanabe
  • Article |

    Impurity centres in diamond have recently attracted attention in the context of quantum information processing. Now their use as magnetic-field sensors is explored, promising a fresh approach to single-spin detection and magnetic-field imaging at the nanoscale.

    • J. M. Taylor
    • , P. Cappellaro
    • , L. Childress
    • , L. Jiang
    • , D. Budker
    • , P. R. Hemmer
    • , A. Yacoby
    • , R. Walsworth
    •  & M. D. Lukin


  • Futures |

    The perils of research.

    • Tania Ritchie