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How Swarming Insects Act Like Fluids
By studying a swarm of flying midges as though it were a fluid, physicists have learned how collective behaviors might stabilize a group against environmental disruptions.
When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré
What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?
What’s the Magic Behind Graphene’s ‘Magic’ Angle?
A new theoretical model may help explain the shocking onset of superconductivity in stacked, twisted carbon sheets.
With a Simple Twist, a ‘Magic’ Material Is Now the Big Thing in Physics
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.
A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism
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.
How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts
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.
The Physics of Glass Opens a Window Into Biology
The physicist Lisa Manning studies the dynamics of glassy materials to understand embryonic development and disease.
‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence
Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.
Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists
At super-low temperatures, a crystal called samarium hexaboride behaves in an unexplained, imagination-stretching way.