Volume 6 Issue 6, June 2010

Volume 6 Issue 6

When a fluid flows along a wall, the surface of the wall causes frictional drag. The long-sought connection between this drag and the eddies in the flow has finally been established through experiments on a soap film that is pierced by a turbulence-inducing comb. Letter p438 Cover design by David Shand


  • Editorial |

    We can publish only a small fraction of the papers that are submitted to Nature Physics. If you think we've got it wrong in declining your work, what should you do about it?

  • Editorial |

    The 2010 Wolf Prize in Physics acknowledges research into the foundations of quantum mechanics.


Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    An experiment reveals that micrometre-sized superconducting circuits follow the laws of quantum mechanics, and thus defy common experience of how macroscopic objects should behave.

    • Johan E. Mooij
  • News & Views |

    In photosynthesis, the Sun's energy is harvested and converted into biomass, greening the planet. Evidence is growing that quantum mechanics plays a part in that process. But exactly how, and why, remains to be explored.

    • Gregory D. Scholes
  • News & Views |

    Is the mysterious pseudogap in the copper oxide superconductors a signature of preformed pairs or a competing ordered state? Measurements of broken symmetries suggest that the pseudogap cannot originate from superconductivity alone.

    • Jennifer E. Hoffman
  • News & Views |

    A newly identified physical process in the interaction of strong laser fields with matter paves the way for broadband amplification of light in the extreme ultraviolet to soft-X-ray spectral region.

    • Lukas Gallmann
  • News & Views |

    Biological cells are remarkably capable force sensors and mechanical actuators. Fresh data and extended modelling lead us closer to uncovering just how they do it.

    • Erich Sackmann


  • Letter |

    Quantum process tomography provides a means of benchmarking the components and algorithms of a quantum computer in a quantitative fashion, independent of the particular architecture used. Such a procedure has now been demonstrated for a universal entangling gate in a solid-state system.

    • R. C. Bialczak
    • , M. Ansmann
    • , M. Hofheinz
    • , E. Lucero
    • , M. Neeley
    • , A. D. O’Connell
    • , D. Sank
    • , H. Wang
    • , J. Wenner
    • , M. Steffen
    • , A. N. Cleland
    •  & J. M. Martinis
  • Letter |

    Photoemission studies in the pseudogap state of a cuprate superconductor show differences depending on whether a particle is added or removed, revealing broken translational symmetry. Moreover, this particle–hole asymmetry coincides with the opening of the pseudogap.

    • Makoto Hashimoto
    • , Rui-Hua He
    • , Kiyohisa Tanaka
    • , Jean-Pierre Testaud
    • , Worawat Meevasana
    • , Rob G. Moore
    • , Donghui Lu
    • , Hong Yao
    • , Yoshiyuki Yoshida
    • , Hiroshi Eisaki
    • , Thomas P. Devereaux
    • , Zahid Hussain
    •  & Zhi-Xun Shen
  • Letter |

    A study shows that in electron-doped Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2, the presence or absence of superconductivity and antiferromagnetism can be linked directly to changes in the Fermi surface—as measured by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy.

    • Chang Liu
    • , Takeshi Kondo
    • , Rafael M. Fernandes
    • , Ari D. Palczewski
    • , Eun Deok Mun
    • , Ni Ni
    • , Alexander N. Thaler
    • , Aaron Bostwick
    • , Eli Rotenberg
    • , Jörg Schmalian
    • , Sergey L. Bud’ko
    • , Paul C. Canfield
    •  & Adam Kaminski
  • Letter |

    Whether the torsional oscillator experiments on helium-4 reveal supersolid behaviour remains debatable, not least because the history of the sample matters. Many inconsistencies across different experiments may be explained by the presence of two hidden phases.

    • H. Choi
    • , S. Kwon
    • , D. Y. Kim
    •  & E. Kim
  • Letter |

    An experimental study shows how a polar molecule can be oriented in three dimensions by using a combination of laser and electrostatic fields. The approach should help to obtain molecular-frame information about strong-field ionization processes in molecules for which the orientation cannot be determined after ionization.

    • Lotte Holmegaard
    • , Jonas L. Hansen
    • , Line Kalhøj
    • , Sofie Louise Kragh
    • , Henrik Stapelfeldt
    • , Frank Filsinger
    • , Jochen Küpper
    • , Gerard Meijer
    • , Darko Dimitrovski
    • , Mahmoud Abu-samha
    • , Christian P. J. Martiny
    •  & Lars Bojer Madsen
  • Letter |

    When a fluid flows along a wall, the surface of the wall leads to frictional drag. The long-sought connection between this drag and the eddies in the flow has finally been established through experiments involving soap films.

    • Tuan Tran
    • , Pinaki Chakraborty
    • , Nicholas Guttenberg
    • , Alisia Prescott
    • , Hamid Kellay
    • , Walter Goldburg
    • , Nigel Goldenfeld
    •  & Gustavo Gioia


  • Article |

    Macrorealism assumes that a macroscopic object is at any given time in one of the distinct states it has available, and that it is in principle possible to determine which state the system is in without disturbing its dynamics. An experiment now demonstrates that a superconducting microelectronic system violates macrorealism and obeys the laws of quantum mechanics.

    • Agustin Palacios-Laloy
    • , François Mallet
    • , François Nguyen
    • , Patrice Bertet
    • , Denis Vion
    • , Daniel Esteve
    •  & Alexander N. Korotkov
  • Article |

    Non-local transport measurements on mercury telluride quantum wells show clear signatures of the ballistic spin Hall effect. The ballistic nature of the experiment allows the observed effect to be interpreted as a direct consequence of the band structure of these semiconductor nanostructures, rather that being caused by impurity scattering.

    • C. Brüne
    • , A. Roth
    • , E. G. Novik
    • , M. König
    • , H. Buhmann
    • , E. M. Hankiewicz
    • , W. Hanke
    • , J. Sinova
    •  & L. W. Molenkamp
  • Article |

    The high-order harmonics of short laser pulses created in a nonlinear medium are a useful source of extreme-ultraviolet and soft-X-ray radiation. A newly discovered phenomenon that amplifies this emission even further could improve the efficiency of short-wavelength light sources.

    • J. Seres
    • , E. Seres
    • , D. Hochhaus
    • , B. Ecker
    • , D. Zimmer
    • , V. Bagnoud
    • , T. Kuehl
    •  & C. Spielmann
  • Article |

    Recently, coherent quantum beating has been observed in photosynthetic complexes. Theoretical work now shows how quantum correlations in biological systems can be quantified, and establishes that quantum entanglement exists in light-harvesting complexes, even at physiological temperatures.

    • Mohan Sarovar
    • , Akihito Ishizaki
    • , Graham R. Fleming
    •  & K. Birgitta Whaley
  • Article |

    From observations we know that stem-cell development depends on the elastic properties of the surface on which the cells are found or the matrix in which the cells are placed. A study combining both theory and experiment now provides a physical model for the part played by substrate elasticity in cell differentiation and function.

    • A. Zemel
    • , F. Rehfeldt
    • , A. E. X. Brown
    • , D. E. Discher
    •  & S. A. Safran