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phase transitions

520px illustration for higgs fakes
condensed matter physics

Elusive Higgs-Like State Created in Exotic Materials

Two teams of physicists have created the “Higgs mode” – a link between particle physics and the physics of matter. The work could help researchers understand the strange behavior of deeply quantum systems.

520px illustration of classification of phases
condensed matter physics

Physicists Aim to Classify All Possible Phases of Matter

A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.

Michael Assis folding a large, beige sheet or Miura-ori
statistical physics

The Atomic Theory of Origami

By reimagining the kinks and folds of origami as atoms in a lattice, researchers are uncovering strange behavior hiding in simple structures.

School of Fish

Swirling Bacteria Linked to the Physics of Phase Transitions

The new experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms.


Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

The subtle mechanics of densely packed cells may help explain why some cancerous tumors stay put while others break off and spread through the body.

statistical physics

At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law

A potent theory has emerged explaining a mysterious statistical law that arises throughout physics and mathematics.


Solid or Liquid? Physicists Redefine States of Matter

Glass and other strange materials have long confounded textbook definitions of what it means to be solid. Now, two groups of physicists propose a new solution to the riddle.