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Nature Physics

Nature Physics is a unique forum for physicists of all disciplines. Every month Nature Physics publishes original top-quality research, plus a compelling mix of news and reviews, in print and online.


Meet the editors


Like all journals based on Nature's editorial philosophy, Nature Physics relies on a dedicated team of full-time editors. We briefly describe who they are and what they do.

Nanotube mystery


Machine learning: New tool in the box


A recent burst of activity in applying machine learning to tackle fundamental questions in physics suggests that associated techniques may soon become as common in physics as numerical simulations or calculus.

Crystallization: Brought to the surface


There is growing evidence for the kinetics of homogeneous nucleation being a multi-step process. Colloid experiments and simulations now suggest that heterogeneous nucleation is no exception.

Supernovae: Memories of a dying star


The spectroscopic observations of the very early stages of a supernova provide a glimpse into its environment prior to the explosion.

Equilibration and order in quantum Floquet matter


Over the past decade, remarkable progress has occurred in the physics of closed quantum systems away from equilibrium, culminating in the recent experimental realization of so-called time crystals. This Progress Article surveys these developments.

Machine learning phases of matter


The success of machine learning techniques in handling big data sets proves ideal for classifying condensed-matter phases and phase transitions. The technique is even amenable to detecting non-trivial states lacking in conventional order.

Learning phase transitions by confusion


A neural-network technique can exploit the power of machine learning to mine the exponentially large data sets characterizing the state space of condensed-matter systems. Topological transitions and many-body localization are first on the list.

Plasma holograms for ultrahigh-intensity optics


Plasma optics enables the manipulation of highly intense laser beams. Now, plasma holograms, involving the creation of a modulated plasma surface on a solid target, are reported—for example, plasma hologram fork gratings produce optical vortices.

Switching chiral solitons for algebraic operation of topological quaternary digits


A demonstration of switching between solitons of different chirality in a one-dimensional electronic system shows how topological excitations can be used to realize non-trivial algebraic operations.

Magnetic domain wall depinning assisted by spin wave bursts


Experiments show how domain walls can act as reservoirs of exchange energy that can be used to controllably launch or detect spin waves in ferromagnetic nanowires.

Intertwined superfluid and density wave order in two-dimensional 4He


A detailed analysis of low-temperature torsional oscillation measurements on two-dimensional 4He reveals evidence for intertwined superfluid and density wave order in this system.

Periodically driving a many-body localized quantum system


Many-body localization, which exhibits a fascinating interplay between disorder and interactions, can be studied using ultracold atoms in a quasiperiodic chain. Adding periodic driving makes things even more interesting.

Generalized non-reciprocity in an optomechanical circuit via synthetic magnetism and reservoir engineering


Combining synthetic magnetism and controlled dissipation, researchers created an optomechanical device in which photons and phonons are coupled, enabling non-reciprocal (asymmetric) photon transport and directional amplification.

State-resolved attosecond reversible and irreversible dynamics in strong optical fields


An experimental and theoretical study of the real-time dynamics in strong-field ionization of xenon atoms reveals the previously unknown role of transient ground-state polarization.

Transient superconductivity from electronic squeezing of optically pumped phonons


Recent developments in advanced light sources have made it possible to transiently alter the electronic properties of materials by exciting specific atomic vibrations in solids. This study provides a theoretical framework for these experiments.

Emergent Dirac fermions and broken symmetries in confined and deconfined phases of Z2 gauge theories


Lattice gauge theories are notoriously hard to analyse at finite fermion density, due to the so-called fermion sign problem. A study now shows this can be circumvented for the case of Ising gauge theories.

Edge reconstruction in fractional quantum Hall states


Two challenging questions related to the quantum Hall effect (QHE) are how edge reconstruction works and where the current flows. A new model now gives the answer for two types of QHE states — two separate downstream chiral edge channels are involved.

Correlation-enhanced control of wave focusing in disordered media


Controlled wave propagation in disordered media is a challenge because of scattering processes. Now it is shown that for speckled targets much larger than the wavelength, long-range correlations between the speckles enhance wave propagation control.

Surface-assisted single-crystal formation of charged colloids


Controlled crystal growth can be achieved by initiating nucleation on a substrate — but the mechanisms at play are still poorly understood. Experiments and simulations now reveal conditions for the growth of defect-free crystals of charged colloids.

Confined dense circumstellar material surrounding a regular type II supernova


Type II supernova explosions are common, but our understanding of such events is not complete. Such an event was observed just three hours after the explosion started, providing important information about the early stages.

Deviations from 2


Alberto Moscatelli surveys a series of experiments on the electron g-factor that marked the departure from the Dirac equation and contributed to the development of quantum electrodynamics.