What's up in

condensed matter physics


The Man Making Rwanda Into a Hub for Physics

March 3, 2020

As the founding director of a new institute for fundamental research in Rwanda, the physicist Omololu Akin-Ojo hopes to stem the brain drain of Africa’s brightest minds.

Six looping videos of different types of snowflakes and snow crystals growing.

Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Snowflakes

December 19, 2019

Snow crystals come in two main types. The “pope” of snowflake physics has a new theory that explains why.

A view of nanoparticles in a crystalline pattern.
Abstractions blog

Strange Metal-like Bonds Discovered in Customized Crystals

September 3, 2019

While studying materials made from DNA-coated nanoparticles, researchers found a new form of this matter: lattices in which smaller particles roam like electrons in metallic bonds.

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"

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.