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Nature Physics - AOP - science feeds

Nature Physics offers a unique mix of news and reviews alongside top-quality research papers. Published monthly, in print and online, the journal reflects the entire spectrum of physics, pure and applied.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Para-hydrogen raser delivers sub-millihertz resolution in nuclear magnetic resonance


A method for narrowing the NMR linewidth of specific molecules to the sub-millihertz range—two orders of magnitude below the natural linewidth—could open up new avenues for molecular characterization.

Signatures of interaction-induced helical gaps in nanowire quantum point contacts


Signatures of spin–momentum-locked gap states in nanowire quantum point contacts that have all-electrical origin could provide the conditions for the quasiparticle excitations required for topological quantum computing.

Waveform measurement of charge- and spin-density wavepackets in a chiral Tomonaga–Luttinger liquid


The spatial separation of charge and spin densities in one-dimensional electron systems is the hallmark of Tomonaga–Luttinger physics. Waveform measurements now provide direct evidence for spin–charge separation.

Entanglement area law in superfluid 4He


When the entropy of a system scales as a function of its surface area, rather than its volume, it is said to obey an entropy area law. Now, an area law is shown to exist numerically in the entanglement entropy of superfluid helium.

Experimental quantum Hamiltonian learning


With the help of a quantum simulator and Bayesian inference it is possible to determine the unknown Hamiltonian of a quantum system. An experiment demonstrates this using a photonic quantum simulator and a solid-state system.

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.

Bulk rectification effect in a polar semiconductor


Electrical rectification is usually achieved by layering p-type and n-type materials, but experiments now demonstrate rectification in a bulk polar semiconductor that has inversion-symmetry breaking and strong Rashba spin–orbit coupling.

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.

Weak-value amplification of the nonlinear effect of a single photon


Using two entangled optical beams and post-selection, a single photon can have the same effect as eight photons in terms of the induced phase shift. This example illustrates the power of the so-called weak-value amplification.

Experimental measurement of the Berry curvature from anomalous transport


The Berry curvature is essential to the study of the topological properties of a system, be it solid-state, atomic or photonic. In 1D photonic lattices there is a new clever way of measuring the Berry curvature.

Collisionless momentum transfer in space and astrophysical explosions


Larmor coupling is a collisionless momentum exchange mechanism believed to occur in various astrophysical and space-plasma environments. The phenomenon is now observed in a laboratory experiment.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electron–hole exchange blockade and memory-less recombination in photoexcited films of colloidal quantum dots


Understanding the recombination dynamics in quantum dots is crucial for their use in optoelectronic devices. A photocurrent spectroscopy study shows how two distinct relaxation mechanisms are at play over different timescales.

Experimental observation of optical Weyl points and Fermi arc-like surface states


Three-dimensional laser-written waveguide arrays are used to demonstrate type-II Weyl points, along with Fermi arc-like surface states, for light at optical wavelengths.

Orthogonal magnetization and symmetry breaking in pyrochlore iridate Eu2Ir2O7


A torque magnetometry study of the pyrochlore iridate Eu2Ir2O7 reveals an unusual symmetry-breaking effect that persists above the Néel temperature of this antiferromagnet.

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.

Ultrafast terahertz control of extreme tunnel currents through single atoms on a silicon surface


Controlling electric currents on the atomic scale requires being able to handle the ultrafast timescales involved. Now, experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of terahertz scanning tunnelling microscopy as a method for doing just that.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.