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condensed matter physics

Art for "A Potent Explanation Emerges for Graphene’s Magic Angle"
Abstractions blog

What’s the Magic Behind Graphene’s ‘Magic’ Angle?

May 28, 2019

A new theoretical model may help explain the shocking onset of superconductivity in stacked, twisted carbon sheets.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

May 8, 2019

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

Art for "Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct"
mathematical physics

Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct

May 6, 2019

Mathematicians have found that materials conduct electricity when electrons follow a universal mathematical pattern.

Art for "With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Has Quietly Become the Biggest Thing in Physics"
quantum physics

With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Is Now the Big Thing in Physics

April 30, 2019

The stunning emergence of a new type of superconductivity with the mere twist of a carbon sheet has left physicists giddy, and its discoverer nearly overwhelmed.

quantum physics

Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

March 20, 2019

One of the first quantum simulators has produced a puzzling phenomenon: a row of atoms that repeatedly pops back into place.

mathematical physics

A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism

January 24, 2019

People have known about magnets since ancient times, but the physics of ferromagnetism remains a mystery. Now a familiar puzzle is getting physicists closer to the answer.

In Theory

How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts

December 20, 2018

Throughout nature, throngs of relatively simple elements can self-organize into behaviors that seem unexpectedly complex. Scientists are beginning to understand why and how these phenomena emerge without a central organizing entity.

A still from an animated illustration of electrons dispersing through a cuprate sample.
condensed matter physics

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals

November 19, 2018

Experiments suggest that exotic superconducting materials share a “strange metal” state characterized by a quantum speed limit that somehow acts as a fundamental organizing principle.

EMBRYO TAIL IN TRANSITION
Abstractions blog

‘Traffic Jams’ of Cells Help to Sculpt Embryos

September 27, 2018

By measuring mechanical forces inside an embryo for the first time, researchers have shown how a physical “jamming” mechanism assists development.