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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.
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Zirconium isotope found to be a neutron poison

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 00:00

Zirconium isotope found to be a neutron poison

Zirconium isotope found to be a neutron poison, Published online: 18 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0452-5

Zirconium alloys are widely used as cladding material in nuclear reactors due to their neutron transparency. Now, it is shown that 88Zr has a surprisingly high neutron capture cross-section exceeding that of other zirconium isotopes by six orders of magnitude.

Measuring quantized circular dichroism in ultracold topological matter

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 00:00

Measuring quantized circular dichroism in ultracold topological matter

Measuring quantized circular dichroism in ultracold topological matter, Published online: 18 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0417-8

By subjecting a Chern insulator to a circular drive, its geometrical and topological properties would be accessible from the spectroscopic response. This prediction is now confirmed in a Floquet topological system realized by ultracold fermionic atoms.

Swimming <i>Euglena</i> respond to confinement with a behavioural change enabling effective crawling

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 00:00

Swimming Euglena respond to confinement with a behavioural change enabling effective crawling

Swimming <i>Euglena</i> respond to confinement with a behavioural change enabling effective crawling, Published online: 18 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0425-8

Euglenids are unicellular swimmers that undergo striking cell body deformations, interpreted variously as locomotive or functionally redundant. Experiments now suggest that these deformations enable adaptation to a fast crawling mode when the cells are confined.

An upside-down magnet

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 00:00

An upside-down magnet

An upside-down magnet, Published online: 18 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0451-6

Kagome lattice materials combine a frustrated lattice with electron–electron and spin–orbit interactions. One of them, Co3Sn2S2, now reveals magnetic properties that respond in the opposite way to what is expected.

Negative flat band magnetism in a spin–orbit-coupled correlated kagome magnet

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 00:00

Negative flat band magnetism in a spin–orbit-coupled correlated kagome magnet

Negative flat band magnetism in a spin–orbit-coupled correlated kagome magnet, Published online: 18 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0426-7

The authors show that a magnetic material with kagome lattice planes hosts a flat band near the Fermi level. Electrons in this band exhibit ‘negative magnetism’ due to the Berry curvature.

Efficient topological materials discovery using symmetry indicators

Mon, 11/02/2019 - 00:00

Efficient topological materials discovery using symmetry indicators

Efficient topological materials discovery using symmetry indicators, Published online: 11 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0418-7

Symmetry labels of materials under certain space groups can be used to indicate their band topology. Integrating that into first-principles band-structure calculations, new topological materials with a diversity of topological phenomena are discovered.

Quantum error correction and universal gate set operation on a binomial bosonic logical qubit

Mon, 11/02/2019 - 00:00

Quantum error correction and universal gate set operation on a binomial bosonic logical qubit

Quantum error correction and universal gate set operation on a binomial bosonic logical qubit, Published online: 11 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0414-3

Repeated error correction creates a logical qubit encoded in the hybrid state of a superconducting circuit and a bosonic cavity, which is shown to be fully controllable under a universal single-qubit gate set.

Proton superfluidity and charge radii in proton-rich calcium isotopes

Mon, 11/02/2019 - 00:00

Proton superfluidity and charge radii in proton-rich calcium isotopes

Proton superfluidity and charge radii in proton-rich calcium isotopes, Published online: 11 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0416-9

Spectral study on 36,37,38Ca isotopes and calculations based on density functional theory reveal the interplay between charge radii and nucleonic pairing correlations.

Axial-field-induced chiral channels in an acoustic Weyl system

Mon, 11/02/2019 - 00:00

Axial-field-induced chiral channels in an acoustic Weyl system

Axial-field-induced chiral channels in an acoustic Weyl system, Published online: 11 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0415-x

Axial fields couple to the states of different chiralities with opposite signs. In an acoustic Weyl system, the implementation of such fields induces chiral Landau levels, which is now observed experimentally.

Spin–phonon interactions in silicon carbide addressed by Gaussian acoustics

Mon, 11/02/2019 - 00:00

Spin–phonon interactions in silicon carbide addressed by Gaussian acoustics

Spin–phonon interactions in silicon carbide addressed by Gaussian acoustics, Published online: 11 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0420-0

The authors use surface acoustic waves, focused in a Gaussian geometry, to manipulate the spin state of divacancy defects in silicon carbide via mechanical driving. They demonstrate that shear strain is important in controlling the spin transitions.

Scaling behaviour in steady-state contracting actomyosin networks

Mon, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Scaling behaviour in steady-state contracting actomyosin networks

Scaling behaviour in steady-state contracting actomyosin networks, Published online: 04 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0413-4

Actomyosin networks with rapid turnover self-organize within droplets, forming a dynamic steady-state with persistent flows. The networks exhibit homogeneous, density-independent contraction, implying that active stress scales with viscosity.

Turbulent beginnings

Mon, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Turbulent beginnings

Turbulent beginnings, Published online: 04 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0439-2

An inspired experimental approach sheds light on the formation of active turbulence in a system of microtubules and molecular motors. The emergent scaling behaviour takes us a step closer to understanding how activity begets turbulence.

Selection mechanism at the onset of active turbulence

Mon, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Selection mechanism at the onset of active turbulence

Selection mechanism at the onset of active turbulence, Published online: 04 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0411-6

Experiments on microtubule-based nematics, together with active gel theory, suggest that the length scale associated with active turbulence is selected at its onset—balancing activity with the stabilizing effects of nematic elasticity and geometry.

Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot

Mon, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot

Quantum stochastic resonance in an a.c.-driven single-electron quantum dot, Published online: 04 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-018-0412-5

Quantum stochastic resonance, in which the quantum fluctuation represents the noise needed to amplify an otherwise weak signal, is reported in the charging and discharging of a single-electron quantum dot.

Noise put to use

Mon, 04/02/2019 - 00:00

Noise put to use

Noise put to use, Published online: 04 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0442-7

Through stochastic resonance, noise-driven fluctuations make an otherwise weak periodic signal accessible. Experiments have now reported quantum stochastic resonance, which arises from intrinsic quantum fluctuations rather than external noise.

Explore the bad

Fri, 01/02/2019 - 00:00

Explore the bad

Explore the bad, Published online: 01 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0433-8

Explore the bad

The long and short of it

Fri, 01/02/2019 - 00:00

The long and short of it

The long and short of it, Published online: 01 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0429-4

The long and short of it

Searching for civilization

Fri, 01/02/2019 - 00:00

Searching for civilization

Searching for civilization, Published online: 01 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0423-x

Searching for civilization

Two at once

Fri, 01/02/2019 - 00:00

Two at once

Two at once, Published online: 01 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0430-y

Two at once

A problem shared is a problem halved

Fri, 01/02/2019 - 00:00

A problem shared is a problem halved

A problem shared is a problem halved, Published online: 01 February 2019; doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0434-7

After much debate about what should be done about sharing of scientific data and source code, practical solutions are still hard to come by. How should the physics community move forward?

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