Viewpoints

Free-Falling Interferometry

Free-Falling Interferometry

February 25, 2013

Markus Arndt

Atom interferometry in free fall demonstrates fundamental quantum physics and a new level of technology readiness for future experiments in space.

Simplest Water Cluster Leaves Behind its Spectral Fingerprint

Simplest Water Cluster Leaves Behind its Spectral Fingerprint

February 25, 2013

Richard J. Saykally

Water dimers have been detected in room-temperature water vapor, a key step toward understanding their effect on solar absorption and chemistry in the atmosphere.

Little Earthquakes in the Lab

Little Earthquakes in the Lab

February 19, 2013

Ian Main

Laboratory-scale experiments reveal a profound statistical similarity between the fracture of heterogeneous materials and earthquakes.

Holey Intrinsic Photoconductivity

Holey Intrinsic Photoconductivity

February 19, 2013

Guido Pupillo and Fabio Mezzacapo

A new experiment reveals the different dynamics of particles and holes in ultracold fermionic gases in an optical lattice, opening the way to investigate condensed matter transport phenomena such as photoconductivity via quantum optical systems.

Synopses

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Like Prefers Like, Except in a Virus

February 28, 2013

A statistical model favors an unexpected mechanism for avoiding duplicated genetic material in certain viruses.

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Star-Shaped Waves

February 28, 2013

Vertical shaking of a liquid-filled container can generate a standing wave pattern of stars and polygons.

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Tweezers Work Well Under Pressure

February 28, 2013

The use of optical tweezers in a high-pressure experiment allows a more direct measurement of water viscosity in extreme conditions.

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Why the Solar Wind Blows Hot and Cold

February 28, 2013

A new model shows that the nonuniform heating of ions in the solar wind may be explained by resonant interactions with a particular type of plasma wave.

Focus

Rainbow Pattern May Allow Laser Damage Monitoring

Rainbow Pattern May Allow Laser Damage Monitoring

March 1, 2013

Intense light pulses that can precisely sculpt solid materials also generate dazzling rainbow patterns that reveal information about the surface.

A Better View Underground

A Better View Underground

February 22, 2013

A new technique allows improved acoustic imaging of oil deposits and other underground structures and may also work for medical imaging.

Notes from the Editors

A Different Kind of Impact Factor

A Different Kind of Impact Factor

December 19, 2012

Applied science is taking off in New York, and physics skills are in demand.