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Nature Physics

July 2018 Volume 14, Issue 7

Books & Arts
Research Highlights
News & Views
Review Articles
Amendments & Corrections
Measure for Measure
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Is peer review ergodic?    p633



Organoids of intelligence    p634
Mark Buchanan

Nature Spotlight on Hong Kong: Building science innovation
Hong Kong is maximising major scientific innovation and commercial benefits through its proximity to the research and development hubs in mainland China. Yet barriers to collaboration remain.

Access the full supplement for more

Books & Arts


Theoretical introspection    p635
Gaia Donati

Research Highlights


#Change    p636
Andreas H. Trabesinger

Gold trappings    p636
Abigail Klopper

Inside the cloud    p636
David Abergel

All stitched up    p636
Jan Philip Kraack

Mining the laws of nature    p636
Yun Li

JOBS of the week
Postdoctoral Researcher Cavity control of rare earth ions
KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Postdoc in NanoBioPhotonics
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Postdoc in NanoBioPhotonics
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
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The 5th International Conference on the Physics of Optical Materials and Devices
Igalo, Montenegro
More science events from

News & Views


Escape the thermal fate    pp637 - 638
Vanja Dunjko & Maxim Olshanii

Live streaming    pp638 - 639
Francesc Sagués

Cellular diversity heals    pp639 - 641
M. Shane Hutson

Between a ripple and a dune    pp641 - 642
N. M. Vriend & P. A. Jarvis



Physics of living systems    p645
Abigail Klopper



Biophysics across time and space    pp646 - 647
Ewa K. Paluch



In pursuit of the mechanics that shape cell surfaces    pp648 - 652
Alba Diz-Muñoz, Orion D. Weiner & Daniel A. Fletcher

Robust and responsive, the surface of a cell is as important as its interior when it comes to mechanically regulating form and function. New techniques are shedding light on this role, and a common language to describe its properties is now needed.


Ethology as a physical science    pp653 - 657
André E. X. Brown & Benjamin de Bivort

Review Articles


Physical biology of the cancer cell glycocalyx    pp658 - 669
Joe Chin-Hun Kuo, Jay G. Gandhi, Roseanna N. Zia & Matthew J. Paszek

It may look like little more than slime, but the glycocalyx coating our cells plays a key role in cell signalling. And changes to its physical structure have been linked to cancer, triggering emergent behaviours that form the focus of this Review.


Mesoscale physical principles of collective cell organization    pp671 - 682
Xavier Trepat & Erik Sahai

The behaviour of cells and tissues can be understood in terms of emergent mesoscale states that are determined by a set of physical properties. This Review surveys experimental evidence for these states and the physics underpinning them.


The physics of cooperative transport in groups of ants    pp683 - 693
Ofer Feinerman, Itai Pinkoviezky, Aviram Gelblum, Ehud Fonio & Nir S. Gov

Evidence that ants communicate mechanically to move objects several times their size has prompted a theory that places the group near a transition between uncoordinated and coordinated motion. These findings and their implications are reviewed here.




Amplification of intense light fields by nearly free electrons    pp695 - 700
Mary Matthews, Felipe Morales, Alexander Patas, Albrecht Lindinger, Julien Gateau et al.

Light fields of energy comparable to the Coloumb field that binds valence electrons in atoms generate states where nearly free electrons oscillate in the laser field. These are now shown to exist in rare gases, acting as gain for laser filamentation.


Ultrafast preparation and detection of ring currents in single atoms    pp701 - 704
Sebastian Eckart, Maksim Kunitski, Martin Richter, Alexander Hartung, Jonas Rist et al.

When an electron with specific orbit — either clockwise or anticlockwise — in a rare gas atom is selectively ionized, the remaining ion will possess a stationary ring current, which can be probed in a time-delayed second ionization step.


On-demand quantum state transfer and entanglement between remote microwave cavity memories    pp705 - 710
Christopher J. Axline, Luke D. Burkhart, Wolfgang Pfaff, Mengzhen Zhang, Kevin Chou et al.

Sending quantum states as shaped microwave photonic wavepackets realizes on-demand, high-fidelity quantum state transfer and entanglement between two superconducting cavity quantum memories.


Experimental signatures of emergent quantum electrodynamics in Pr2Hf2O7    pp711 - 715
Romain Sibille, Nicolas Gauthier, Han Yan, Monica Ciomaga Hatnean, Jacques Ollivier et al.

A detailed and systematic neutron scattering study of rare-earth pyrochlore magnet Pr2Hf2O7 provides evidence for a quantum spin ice state, and emergent lattice quantum electrodynamics consistent with theoretical predictions.


Topological quantum phase transition in the Ising-like antiferromagnetic spin chain BaCo2V2O8    pp716 - 722
Quentin Faure, Shintaro Takayoshi, Sylvain Petit, Virginie Simonet, Stéphane Raymond et al.

A neutron scattering study of an Ising-like quasi-one-dimensional antiferromagnet, BaCo2V2O8, reveals a topological quantum phase transition when it is subjected to a transverse magnetic field.


Classical topological order in the kinetics of artificial spin ice    pp723 - 727
Yuyang Lao, Francesco Caravelli, Mohammed Sheikh, Joseph Sklenar, Daniel Gardeazabal et al.

Experiments on the Shakti geometry of artificial spin ice show that its low-energy excitations are topologically protected, and that an emergent classical topological order influences the ergodicity and equilibration of this nanomagnetic system.


Spontaneous shear flow in confined cellular nematics    pp728 - 732
G. Duclos, C. Blanch-Mercader, V. Yashunsky, G. Salbreux, J.-F. Joanny et al.

Antiparallel streams of nematically oriented cells arise in both embryonic development and cancer. In vitro experiments and a hydrodynamic active gel theory suggest that these cells are subject to a transition that is driven by their activity.




Attosecond coupled electron and nuclear dynamics in dissociative ionization of H2    pp733 - 738
L. Cattaneo, J. Vos, R. Y. Bello, A. Palacios, S. Heuser et al.

Attosecond XUV spectroscopy is reported, focussing on non-Born–Oppenheimer dynamics in molecular gases of light elements. It is shown that the phase of the detected photoelectrons carries information from both vibrational and electronic degrees of freedom.


Bose–Einstein condensation in a plasmonic lattice    pp739 - 744
Tommi K. Hakala, Antti J. Moilanen, Aaro I. Väkeväinen, Rui Guo, Jani-Petri Martikainen et al.

Surface plasmon polaritons in an array of metallic nanoparticles evolve quickly into the band minimum by interacting with a molecule bath, forming a Bose–Einstein condensate at room temperature within picoseconds.


Weak ergodicity breaking from quantum many-body scars    pp745 - 749
C. J. Turner, A. A. Michailidis, D. A. Abanin, M. Serbyn & Z. Papić

Ergodicity can be strongly broken by integrable or many-body localized systems. A new form of weak ergodicity breaking is shown to arise from the presence of special eigenstates in the many-body spectrum akin to quantum scars in chaotic systems.


Dynamic force patterns promote collective cell movements during embryonic wound repair    pp750 - 758
Teresa Zulueta-Coarasa & Rodrigo Fernandez-Gonzalez

The motor proteins and contractile forces involved in wound closure are both shown to be heterogeneously distributed around a wound. Theory suggests that this heterogeneity speeds up wound closure, as long as the proteins are mechanically regulated.


Aeolian sand sorting and megaripple formation    pp759 - 765
Marc Lämmel, Anne Meiwald, Hezi Yizhaq, Haim Tsoar, Itzhak Katra et al.

Wind-mediated ripples form on a centimetre scale in sand, and in dunes on a scale spanning tens of metres, but patterns on intermediate scales are rare. A theory now fills the gap by predicting megaripples, which resemble structures seen on Mars.


Amendments & Corrections


Publisher Correction: Topological antiferromagnetic spintronics    p766
Libor Šmejkal, Yuriy Mokrousov, Binghai Yan & Allan H. MacDonald

Publisher Correction: What’s in the box?    p766
David Abergel

Publisher Correction: Synthetic antiferromagnetic spintronics    p766
R. A. Duine, Kyung-Jin Lee, Stuart S. P. Parkin & M. D. Stiles

Publisher Correction: Amplification of intense light fields by nearly free electrons    p767
Mary Matthews, Felipe Morales, Alexander Patas, Albrecht Lindinger, Julien Gateau et al.

Author Correction: Quantum electrodynamics and the proton size    p767
Thomas Udem

Measure for Measure


The language of radioactivity    p768
Hans-Georg Menzel

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