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Volume 8 Issue 11, November 2012

Sudden bursts of charged particles emitted from the surface of the Sun can disrupt the satellites orbiting Earth. However, the mechanisms that drive these so-called coronal mass ejections remain unclear. An advanced computer model now establishes a link between the onset of an ejection and the emergence of magnetic flux into the solar atmosphere. Article p845; News & Views p783 COVER IMAGE: COOPER DOWNS AND ILIA IANKOV ROUSSEV COVER DESIGN: ALLEN BEATTIE

Editorial

  • A unique identifier for every researcher will keep the scientific record in order.

    Editorial

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  • It's been a good month for astronomical discovery and innovation.

    Editorial
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Commentary

  • The Physical Sciences–Oncology Centers in the US bring together scientists from all backgrounds to tackle some of the most important questions in cancer research.

    • David B. Agus
    • Franziska Michor
    Commentary
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Thesis

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • A superconducting device that exhibits voltage steps twice as large as expected could harbour Majorana fermions.

    • James R. Williams
    • David Goldhaber-Gordon
    News & Views
  • Topological insulators have an electronic structure that supports topologically protected surface states. Now it seems that crystal symmetry can likewise generate protected states in a new class of materials known as 'topological crystalline insulators'.

    • H. Dennis Drew
    News & Views
  • A technique for protecting out-of-equilibrium nuclear spin states from thermalization while offering a route to converting them into observable NMR signal is an important contribution to a field that welcomes every bit of extra signal.

    • Andreas Trabesinger
    News & Views
  • A sophisticated model of the birth and early evolution of coronal mass ejections could lead to better forecast of the 'weather' in space.

    • Stefaan Poedts
    News & Views
  • The realization of a Mott insulating state in a system of ultracold fermions comprising far more internal components than the electron, provides an avenue for probing many-body physics that is difficult to access in solids.

    • Congjun Wu
    News & Views
  • The formation of a macroscopic self-organized electromagnetic-field structure during a collisionless interaction of supersonic plasma streams is challenging existing models of counter-streaming plasmas.

    • Sergey Lebedev
    News & Views
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Letter

  • The so-called braking index calculated for the spin-down of rotating neutron stars, or pulsars, doesn’t tally well with observations. But a model accounting for a changing moment of inertia, as an increasing fraction of the stellar core becomes superfluid, can explain the rotational evolution of young pulsars.

    • Wynn C. G. Ho
    • Nils Andersson
    Letter
  • A two-level quantum system driven by an electromagnetic field can oscillate between its two states. The effects of these so-called Rabi oscillations are usually obscured in many-body systems by the variation in properties of the particles involved. Now, however, coherent many-body Rabi oscillations are observed in a vapour made up of several hundred cold rubidium atoms.

    • Y. O. Dudin
    • L. Li
    • A. Kuzmich
    Letter
  • The fractional alternating-current Josephson effect produces a series of steps in the current–voltage characteristics of a superconducting junction driven at radiofrequencies. This unusual phenomenon is now observed in a semiconductor–superconductor nanowire. What is more, a doubling in step size when a strong magnetic field is applied could be a possible signature of Majorana fermions, particles that are their own antiparticle.

    • Leonid P. Rokhinson
    • Xinyu Liu
    • Jacek K. Furdyna
    Letter
  • A topological insulator has surface metallic states that are topologically protected by time-reversal symmetry. Tin telluride is now shown to be a ‘topological crystalline insulator’, in which the surface metallic state is instead protected by the mirror symmetry of the crystal.

    • Y. Tanaka
    • Zhi Ren
    • Yoichi Ando
    Letter
  • Extreme ultraviolet and X-ray radiation can be generated when the high harmonics of incident laser light are reflected by a dense plasma, the so-called relativistically oscillating mirror mechanism. Theoretical studies have, however, predicted an alternative regime in which short-wavelength light is generated by dense electron nanobunches that form at the plasma–vacuum boundary. Signatures of this coherent synchrotron emission are now experimentally observed.

    • B. Dromey
    • S. Rykovanov
    • B. M. Hegelich
    Letter
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Article

  • Quantum gases are useful toy models for the study of quantum magnetism. Exquisite control of a spinor gas of fermionic atoms in an optical lattice has now been demonstrated, opening up the exploration of quantum magnetism with high spins.

    • Jasper S. Krauser
    • Jannes Heinze
    • Klaus Sengstock
    Article
  • The ability to modify a material’s magnetization with an electric field could enable lower-power electronic devices. Such ‘magnetoelectric’ behaviour is usually only seen at the interface between magnetostrictive and electrostrictive materials, but has now been observed in the bulk of single-component rare-earth ferrites.

    • Yusuke Tokunaga
    • Yasujiro Taguchi
    • Yoshinori Tokura
    Article
  • Sudden bursts of charged particles emitted from the surface of the Sun can disrupt the satellites orbiting Earth. However, the mechanisms that drive these so-called coronal mass ejections remain unclear. An advanced computer model now establishes a link between the onset of an ejection and the emergence of magnetic flux into the solar atmosphere.

    • Ilia I. Roussev
    • Klaus Galsgaard
    • Jun Lin
    Article
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