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Today β€” 22 October 2021Physics - spotlighting exceptional research

Focus: Continuous Jostling Helps Protein Perform

Author(s): Philip Ball

Kinesin, which moves cargo around inside cells, moves faster with constant buffeting than without, suggesting that it’s optimized for the cellular environment.

[Physics 14, 149] Published Fri Oct 22, 2021

Yesterday β€” 21 October 2021Physics - spotlighting exceptional research

Synopsis: A Laser-Free Method for Cooling Heavy Molecules

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

Electric deceleration brings a beam of the largest molecules yet to a standstill. Β 

[Physics 14, s131] Published Thu Oct 21, 2021

Research News: Pluto’s Tilt Explains Ice Sheet’s History

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

Climate models based on changes in Pluto’s orbital tilt suggest that the dwarf planet’s heart-shaped ice sheet continues to undergo cycles of sublimation, condensation, and reorientation.

[Physics 14, 146] Published Thu Oct 21, 2021

Before yesterdayPhysics - spotlighting exceptional research

Synopsis: Delaying Thermalization in a Periodically Driven System

Author(s): Marric Stephens

Researchers have kept a Floquet system in a prethermal state for a record length of time.

[Physics 14, s132] Published Wed Oct 20, 2021

Synopsis: Close Passes Give Atoms Tiny Quantum Kicks Β 

Author(s): Sophia Chen

A new technique in which atoms move slowly through a diffraction grating lets researchers measure the tiny Casimir-Polder interaction, a force that arises from quantum vacuum fluctuations.

[Physics 14, s134] Published Tue Oct 19, 2021

Viewpoint: Quantum Control for Rydberg State Spectroscopy

Author(s): Stephen D. Hogan

Borrowing from techniques used for the quantum control of chemical reactions, researchers have developed a method to study the Rydberg states of molecular ions that are relevant to astrophysical plasma.

[Physics 14, 145] Published Mon Oct 18, 2021

Focus: Dark Matter Alternative Passes Big Test

Author(s): Michael Schirber

A cosmological model that doesn’t require dark matter has overcome a major hurdle in matching observations from the cosmic microwave background.

[Physics 14, 143] Published Fri Oct 15, 2021

Opinion: Evaluating the Role of Scientific Awards

Author(s): Ching Jin and Brian Uzzi

Science prizes can motivate scientists to take risks and think outside the box, but data show that not all groups share in this motivating experience. Β Β  Β 

[Physics 14, 144] Published Thu Oct 14, 2021

Synopsis: Inducing a Curl with a Stretch

Author(s): Katherine Wright

Patterning grooves into the surface of an elastic ribbon can cause the ribbon to curl into a tube shape when it is stretched.

[Physics 14, s130] Published Thu Oct 14, 2021

Viewpoint: Measuring the Neutron Lifetime with Record-Breaking Precision

Author(s): Shannon F. Hoogerheide

An improved version of a β€œbottle” experiment lets researchers lower the uncertainty on this important parameterβ€”but a tantalizing discrepancy remains.

[Physics 14, 142] Published Wed Oct 13, 2021

Synopsis: Strong Currents Don’t Faze Salt Marsh Coastal Defenses

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

A model captures the influence of plant flexibility, leaves, and current on wave dissipation by a meadow of marsh plants.

[Physics 14, s126] Published Wed Oct 13, 2021

Synopsis: Real-Time Monitoring of Nanoscale Polarization Switching

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

Researchers have visualized the nanoscale jumps in a ferroelectric’s polarization that are thought to play a key role in how well some ferroelectric devices function.

[Physics 14, s129] Published Tue Oct 12, 2021

Viewpoint: Photons Get Slippery

Author(s): Kaden Hazzard

Researchers have turned light into a superfluid by using a β€œsynthetic” dimension, which is created by using temporal degrees of freedom to mimic spatial degrees of freedom.

[Physics 14, 139] Published Mon Oct 11, 2021

Synopsis: Pinning Down the Fate of Fluorine

Author(s): Christopher Crockett

The first results from the Jinping Underground Nuclear Astrophysics particle accelerator refine a key reaction rate for the destruction of fluorine in stars.

[Physics 14, s124] Published Thu Oct 07, 2021

Viewpoint: Rising Above the Quantum Noise

Author(s): Elisabetta Collini

The control of molecular-level quantum effects in artificial photosynthetic membranes is a powerful tuning knob for optimizing long-range energy transport, according to a theoretical study.

[Physics 14, 140] Published Wed Oct 06, 2021

Synopsis: Reversing Flow in Charged Membranes

Author(s): Michael Schirber

The process of osmosis is predictedβ€”under certain conditionsβ€”to act in the opposite direction within charged membranes.

[Physics 14, s123] Published Wed Oct 06, 2021

Synopsis: Images Captured of Colliding Microjets

Author(s): Katherine Wright

Researchers have successfully imaged the collision of a pair of micrometer-wide jets made of tin particles.

[Physics 14, s121] Published Tue Oct 05, 2021

Synopsis: A Less Invasive Approach to Rheology Measurements

Author(s): Katherine Wright

Researchers have demonstrated a method of probing a soft material’s properties that could allow them to capture those properties more accurately and for smaller systems than current methods.

[Physics 14, s127] Published Tue Oct 05, 2021

Focus: Nobel Prize: Complexity, from Atoms to Atmospheres

Author(s): Michael Schirber

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics honors research on complex systems that undergo significant fluctuations, including glasses and Earth’s climate.

[Physics 14, 141] Published Tue Oct 05, 2021

Viewpoint: Squeezing down the Theory Space for Cosmic Inflation

Author(s): Daniel Meerburg

An updated search for primordial gravitational waves has not found a signal, which implies that some popular early Universe models are becoming less viable.

[Physics 14, 135] Published Mon Oct 04, 2021

Opinion: Embracing Identity in Peer Review

Author(s): Daniel Ucko

An inclusive, diverse, and equitable peer review system should recognize and embrace the identities of the involved actorsβ€”authors, referees, and editorsβ€”and not expect any individual to offer a β€œview from nowhere.”

[Physics 14, 137] Published Fri Oct 01, 2021

Research News: Reviewing Peer Review

Recognizing that personal and social identity affect peer review is key to making the process equitable and inclusive, as discussed at this year’s Peer Review Week.

[Physics 14, 136] Published Fri Oct 01, 2021

Video: Spreading Frost Under the Microscope

Author(s): David Ehrenstein

A new imaging technique reveals the effects of humidity on the spread of frost across a micropatterned surface.

[Physics 14, 138] Published Fri Oct 01, 2021

Synopsis: Direct Detection of Phonons

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

Using an updated superconducting particle detector, researchers can directly measure from its quasiparticle signal the number of phonons that hit the detector.

[Physics 14, s128] Published Thu Sep 30, 2021

Q&A: The Women Who Win

Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz

Women who have received major physics prizes share their thoughts about what the awards mean to them and about how they help in bringing science to the forefront.

[Physics 14, 134] Published Thu Sep 30, 2021

Synopsis: Trapped Phonons Improve Photon Detection

Author(s): Marric Stephens

Researchers more than double the frequency resolution of a superconducting single-photon detector through phonon trapping.

[Physics 14, s125] Published Thu Sep 30, 2021

Synopsis: Skyrmions Made from Sound Waves

Author(s): Sophia Chen

A topologically stable quasiparticle normally associated with spin textures in magnetic materials has now been created using sound waves in air.

[Physics 14, s120] Published Wed Sep 29, 2021

Synopsis: Far Fewer Qubits Required for β€œQuantum Memory” Quantum Computers

Author(s): Erika K. Carlson

Incorporating storage units for quantum information into quantum computers may allow researchers to build such devices with several orders of magnitude fewer qubits in their processors.

[Physics 14, s117] Published Tue Sep 28, 2021

Viewpoint: A Classical View of Quantum Time Crystals

Author(s): Georg Engelhardt

Numerical studies indicate that certain types of time crystals might be described using classical physicsβ€”a result that could vastly simplify the theoretical description of these systems.

[Physics 14, 132] Published Mon Sep 27, 2021