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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.


Tools of the trade — and how to use them


The role of physicists in finance is changing, as quantitative trading opens an exciting alternative to traditional financial modelling, and data science lures would-be 'quants' away. But the void is being steadily filled by a new type of analyst.

Superconductivity: Ferroelectricity woos pairing


Ferroelectricity and superconductivity do not have much in common. Now, a superconducting and a ferroelectric-like state have been found to coexist in a doped perovskite oxide.

Superconductivity: When Andreev meets Hall


A device with superconducting contacts connected to graphene in the quantum Hall regime hints at a novel Andreev scattering mechanism.

High-harmonic generation: The bright side of downsizing


The shorter the antenna, the higher the frequency — so what happens when nanoantennas hit optical frequencies? One answer may lead to high-harmonic generation without the need for high-powered lasers.

Quantum simulation: Solid-state platforms


Solid-state systems capable of simulating the theoretical predictions of condensed matter are in short supply. Demonstrations of electronic Lieb lattices using two different platforms suggest this may be about to change.

Topological materials: Monolayers have the edge


Two studies show evidence that single layers of a transition metal dichalcogenide are two-dimensional topological insulators.

Biomolecular switches: Driven to peak


A curious peak in the distribution describing stochastic switching in bacterial motility had researchers confounded. But a careful study performed under varying mechanical conditions has now revealed that the breaking of detailed balance is to blame.

Higgs mode and its decay in a two-dimensional antiferromagnet


An inelastic neutron scattering study of the two-dimensional antiferromagnet Ca2RuO4 reveals evidence for a condensed-matter analogue of the Higgs mode, and its subsequent decay into transverse Goldstone modes.

Higgs amplitude mode in a two-dimensional quantum antiferromagnet near the quantum critical point


The presence of a Higgs amplitude mode is revealed in a two-dimensional spin-half quantum antiferromagnet, C9H18N2CuBr4 by means of neutron scattering.

A ferroelectric quantum phase transition inside the superconducting dome of Sr1−xCaxTiO3−δ


Slight changes in SrTiO’s nominal composition make it superconducting or ferroelectric. A compositional window for which the two phases exist is now reported; varying the fraction of Ca replacing Sr changes the superconducting critical temperature.

Signatures of two-photon pulses from a quantum two-level system


An excited two-level system emits a single photon, but in special circumstances it can emit two. The reason for this unexpected two-photon emission lies with modified Rabi oscillations.

Contactless nonlinear optics mediated by long-range Rydberg interactions


Single photons stored in the collective Rydberg excitations of two atomic ensembles can interact with each other despite being micrometres apart.

Plasmon-enhanced high-harmonic generation from silicon


High-harmonic emission from crystalline silicon can be made ten times brighter by exploiting local plasmonic fields in arrays of nano-antennas.

Subatomic-scale force vector mapping above a Ge(001) dimer using bimodal atomic force microscopy


Measuring vector quantities in nanoscale systems is challenging — often only scalar magnitudes can be experimentally obtained. Now, a multi-frequency atomic force microscopy method for probing the 3D force response of a Ge(001) surface is reported.

Topological states in engineered atomic lattices


Individual vacancies in a chlorine monolayer on copper can be manipulated with scanning tunnelling microscopy to engineer artificial lattices that have topologically nontrivial electronic states.

Experimental realization and characterization of an electronic Lieb lattice


Individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper surface can be manipulated with scanning tunnelling microscopy to realize an electronic Lieb lattice.

Edge conduction in monolayer WTe2


Experiments showing that a single layer of WTe2 can conduct electricity along its edges while insulating in the interior suggests that this material is a two-dimensional topological insulator.

Quantum spin Hall state in monolayer 1T'-WTe2


A combination of photoemission and scanning tunnelling spectroscopy measurements provide compelling evidence that single layers of 1T'-WTe2 are a class of quantum spin Hall insulator.

Light-induced electron localization in a quantum Hall system


Picosecond pulses of terahertz radiation induce non-equilibrium electron dynamics in a GaAs quantum Hall system, suppressing the longitudinal resistivity, and giving rise to a quantized transverse component.

Inducing superconducting correlation in quantum Hall edge states


A superconductor–graphene junction is shown to exhibit the quantum Hall effect, with the chemical potential of the edge state displaying a sign reversal. Such a system could provide a platform for observing isolated non-Abelian anyonic zero modes.

Controlled state-to-state atom-exchange reaction in an ultracold atom–dimer mixture


Products from ultracold atom–dimer exothermic reactions can be directly observed by controlling the energy released during the process, bringing the study of chemical dynamics to the quantum level.

Exploring the ferromagnetic behaviour of a repulsive Fermi gas through spin dynamics


Can short-range repulsion alone bring a system into the ferromagnetic phase? The question is explored by investigating the spin dynamics in a resonantly interacting ultracold Fermi gas, and a Stoner-like ferromagnetic instability is observed.

Non-equilibrium effect in the allosteric regulation of the bacterial flagellar switch


Flagellated bacteria move by alternately rotating their flagella clockwise and counterclockwise with dynamics that are shown here to be torque dependent. This non-equilibrium effect increases motor sensitivity as the torque increases.

Magnetic disunity


The path to consistent cgs magnetic units has been long and winding, as is the process of universally adopting SI units. Andreas Trabesinger peeks into the history of the field.