Physical sciences

Physical sciences are those academic disciplines that aim to uncover the underlying laws of nature - often written in the language of mathematics. It is a collective term for areas of study including astronomy, chemistry, materials science and physics.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Colloidal nanocrystals can form into periodic superlattices exhibiting collective vibrations from the correlated motion of the nanocrystals. This Perspective discusses such collective vibrations and their as-of-yet untapped potential applications for phononic crystals, acoustic metamaterials and optomechanical systems.

    • Maximilian Jansen
    • , William A. Tisdale
    •  & Vanessa Wood
  • Reviews
    | Open Access

    In the field of lithium-based batteries, there is often a divide between academic research and industrial needs. Here, the authors present a view on applied research to help bridge academia and industry, focusing on metrics and challenges to be considered for the development of practical batteries.

    • James T. Frith
    • , Matthew J. Lacey
    •  & Ulderico Ulissi
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Neutral homoaromatic hydrocarbons—which possess an interrupted π-system yet display aromatic properties owing to through-space or through-bond interactions—have remained rare as they are typically unstable. Now a class of stable neutral homoaromatic homoannulenes has been synthesized, including one that acts as a photoswitch through a reversible [1, 11] sigmatropic rearrangement.

    • Trung Tran Ngoc
    • , Niklas Grabicki
    •  & Johannes F. Teichert
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Templated synthesis is a valuable method for the preparation of oligomers but requires stoichiometric amounts of the template. Here a catalytic macrocyclic template is reported that promotes the oligomerization of a small-molecule substrate and controls its length. The length of the oligomer correlates with the dimensions of the template.

    • Bartosz M. Lewandowski
    • , Dario Schmid
    •  & Helma Wennemers

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    The selective removal of one oxygen atom from sulfones, without over-reduction to sulfide, is a challenging task. Now, through organocatalysis and incorporation of a cyano group into the sulfone, an asymmetric deoxygenation strategy has been developed, providing an efficient method for the synthesis of chiral sulfinyl compounds.

    • Elżbieta Wojaczyńska
    •  & Jacek Wojaczyński
  • News & Views |

    Tides not only affect ocean dynamics but also influence the Earth’s magnetosphere. Satellite observations have now revealed evidence of tidal effects in the Earth’s plasmasphere correlated with Moon phases.

    • Balázs Heilig
  • News & Views |

    By recovering energy from a relativistically accelerated electron beam in a multiturn configuration, a reduction of radiofrequency power has been demonstrated. This is a milestone toward more efficient and better performing accelerators.

    • Peter Williams