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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.


Exciton-polaritons: In full flow


Flow without friction is a strange phenomenon usually seen in quantum fluids that are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, but features of superfluidity have now been seen with polaritons at ambient conditions.

Van der waals heterostructures: Exciting double bilayers


An excitonic Bose–Einstein condensate has so far been realized only in particular semiconductor heterostructure setups. Now, experiments show that such condensates can form in double graphene bilayers separated by hexagonal boron nitride.

Quantum simulation: Probing information scrambling


Quantum information encoded in one of many interacting particles quickly becomes scrambled. A set of tools for tracking this process is on its way.

Gravitational-wave detection: Entanglement at work


The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen type of quantum entanglement can be used to improve the sensitivity of laser interferometer gravitational-wave detectors beyond the quantum limit.

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.

Cell mechanics: The benefits of getting high


Standard rheology tells us how a cell responds to deformation. But ramping up the frequency reveals more about its internal dynamics and morphology, mapping a route to improved drug treatments — and possible insight into the malignancy of cancers.

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.

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.

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.

Cold molecular collisions: Same object, different symmetry


Cold collisions between hydrogen molecules and helium atoms reveal how the change from spherical to non-spherical symmetry creates a quantum scattering resonance.

Quantum measurement: Coping with pressure


Radiation pressure noise from squeezed light constrains the precision of sensing devices such as improved gravitational wave interferometers.

Magnetic adatoms: When Ising meets Majorana


The topological degeneracy associated with Majorana edge states has been measured in a spin-1/2 chain of cobalt atoms, thereby opening new avenues in low-dimensional quantum magnetism.

Dispersive charge density wave excitations in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ


Ultrahigh-resolution resonant inelastic X-ray scattering shows how dispersive charge density wave excitations influence the charge and lattice degrees of freedom in a high-Tc cuprate, pointing to a connection to the mysterious pseudogap state.

Rotational superradiant scattering in a vortex flow


The amplification of waves reflected from a rotating obstacle, or superradiance, has been predicted in hydrodynamics and black-hole physics. An experiment with rotating vortex flows confirms this phenomenon.

Room-temperature superfluidity in a polariton condensate


Superfluidity is a phenomenon usually restricted to cryogenic temperatures, but organic microcavities provide the conditions for a superfluid flow of polaritons at room temperature.

Direct optical detection of Weyl fermion chirality in a topological semimetal


Measuring the photocurrent response to circularly polarized mid-infrared light provides direct access to the chirality of Weyl fermions in Weyl semimetals — the property responsible for a range of exotic phenomena.

Excitonic superfluid phase in double bilayer graphene


Strongly interacting bosons have been predicted to display a transition into a superfluid ground state, similar to Bose–Einstein condensation. This effect is now observed in a double bilayer graphene structure, with excitons as the bosonic particles.

Quantum Hall drag of exciton condensate in graphene


An electronic double layer, subjected to a high magnetic field, can form an exciton condensate: a Bose–Einstein condensate of Coulomb-bound electron–hole pairs. Now, exciton condensation is reported for a graphene/boron-nitride/graphene structure.

Attosecond chronoscopy of electron scattering in dielectric nanoparticles


Attosecond streaking is used to study the dynamics of electron scattering in dielectric nanoparticles in real time. Revealing the mechanisms involved is the first step towards understanding electron scattering in more complex dielectrics.

Testing universality of Efimov physics across broad and narrow Feshbach resonances


The emergence of Efimov states in ultracold atomic systems is expected to have a universal behaviour, but a new experimental study defies this expectation, reporting a clear deviation around a narrow Feshbach resonance.

Hotspot-mediated non-dissipative and ultrafast plasmon passage


Strong plasmonic hotspots can facilitate ultrafast energy transfer between metallic nanoparticles with almost no energy loss.

Multidimensional entropy landscape of quantum criticality


Thermal-expansion measurements of CeCu6−xAux reveal the thermodynamic landscape of this material’s entropy, offering insights into the behaviour of quantum critical fluctuations as the system approaches its quantum critical point.

Topological triplon modes and bound states in a Shastry–Sutherland magnet


A detailed experimental investigation on the spin excitations in SrCu2(BO3)2 under an external magnetic confirms the existence of topological triplon modes in this experimental realization of the Shastry–Sutherland model.

Tunnelling spectroscopy of Andreev states in graphene


Van der Waals heterostructures provide a tunable platform for probing the Andreev bound states responsible for proximity-induced superconductivity, helping to establish a connection between Andreev physics at finite energy and the Josephson effect.

High-frequency microrheology reveals cytoskeleton dynamics in living cells


Microrheology of cells suggests that the dynamics of single filaments in the cytoskeleton dominate at high frequencies. This response can be used to detect differences between cell types and states — including benign and malignant cancer cells.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Spectroscopic evidence of a new energy scale for superconductivity in H3S


A spectroscopic study of the superconducting phase in sulfur hydride under extreme pressures is presented, revealing the energy scale for the electron–phonon interaction in this system.

Dynamic scaling in natural swarms


Swarms and statistical physics seem like natural bedfellows, but concepts like scaling are yet to prove directly applicable to insect group dynamics. A study of midges suggests they are, and that they may give rise to a new universality class.

Efficient generation of energetic ions in multi-ion plasmas by radio-frequency heating


Triggering and sustaining fusion reactions — with the goal of overall energy production — in a tokamak plasma requires efficient heating. Radio-frequency heating of a three-ion plasma is now experimentally shown to be a potentially viable technique.

Self-organization and positioning of bacterial protein clusters


Cells rely on their proteins being positioned correctly for processes such as cell division and migration. A model based on Turing patterns provides an active mechanism for establishing this precise control in bacteria.

Membrane fluctuations mediate lateral interaction between cadherin bonds


The proteins that adhere cells together in tissue assemble in domains near the cell–cell interface. Experiments, simulations and theory show that formation of these domains is regulated by the membrane itself — with an explicit role for fluctuations.

Large orbital polarization in a metallic square-planar nickelate


A careful study of the low-valent, quasi-two-dimensional trilayer metallic nickelate Pr4Ni3O8 is presented, revealing this system to be a close analogue of cuprate systems, and offering tantalizing hope that it may superconduct if appropriate electron doping can be achieved.

Controlled release of multiphoton quantum states from a microwave cavity memory


The ability to transfer quantum information from a memory to a flying qubit is important for building quantum networks. The very fast release of a multiphoton state in a microwave cavity memory into propagating modes is demonstrated.

Direct measurement of polariton–polariton interaction strength


Exciton–polariton condensates have garnered interest as a means to access macroscopic displays of quantum phenomena such as Bose–Einstein condensation and superfluidity. In this work, a direct measure of the polariton–polariton interaction is obtained.

Microwave spectroscopy of spinful Andreev bound states in ballistic semiconductor Josephson junctions


Andreev bound states in semiconductor–superconductor hybrid structures are studied using microwave spectroscopy — a tool that could be also used for investigating Majorana modes.

Gate-tunable black phosphorus spin valve with nanosecond spin lifetimes


The injection, transport and manipulation of spins using electric fields in ultrathin films of black phosphorus show the potential of this material as a platform for two-dimensional semiconductor spintronics devices.

Spin-polarized exciton quantum beating in hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites


Hybrid perovskites are known to have excellent optoelectronic properties, but the observation of exciton states with long spin lifetimes suggests that they may also have potential spintronics applications.

Separating the configurational and vibrational entropy contributions in metallic glasses


When a glass transforms into a liquid, is the absorbed specific heat vibrational or configurational in origin? Vibrational spectroscopy experiments on strong and fragile metallic glasses now strongly suggest the latter.

Measuring out-of-time-order correlations and multiple quantum spectra in a trapped-ion quantum magnet


Characterizing the correlations of quantum many-body systems is known to be hard, but there are ways around: for example, a new method for measuring out-of-time correlations demonstrated in a Penning trap quantum simulator with over 100 ions.

Proposal for gravitational-wave detection beyond the standard quantum limit through EPR entanglement


Quantum metrology can enhance gravitational-wave detection through the use of squeezed states. A new proposal now suggests that with EPR entanglement one can do even better, reaching sensitivities beyond the standard quantum limit.

A dissipative quantum reservoir for microwave light using a mechanical oscillator


A microwave cavity optomechanics experiment investigates the interplay between the electromagnetic and mechanical modes and how their roles can be reversed in engineered dissipation.

Mottness at finite doping and charge instabilities in cuprates


The electron dynamics of single-layer Bi2Sr2−xLaxCuO6+δ is studied as a function of doping, revealing the evolution of charge-transfer excitations from incoherent and localized (as in a Mott insulator) to coherent and delocalized (as in a conventional metal).

Quasiparticle interference and strong electron–mode coupling in the quasi-one-dimensional bands of Sr2RuO4


The normal state of the ruthenate Sr2RuO4 is not that of a conventional metal but one with enhanced correlation effects, which may help to elucidate the origin of the unconventional superconductivity observed in this material.

Mixed electrochemical–ferroelectric states in nanoscale ferroelectrics


Nanoscale ferroelectricity is hard to characterize. Studies of BaTiO3 thin films now reveal a close coupling between the ferroelectric and the surface electrochemical states — a notion important for future applications of ferroelectric nanomaterials.

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.

Möbius Kondo insulators


A family of topologically protected Kondo insulators, termed Möbius Kondo insulators, is predicted. A re-analysis of archival resistivity measurements of Ce3Bi4Pt3 and CeNiSn suggests they may be good candidate members of this class.

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.

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.

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.