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Like a perpetual motion machine, a time crystal forever cycles between states without consuming energy. Physicists claim to have built this new phase of matter inside a quantum computer.
Animals sculpt the optical properties of their tissues at the nanoscale to give themselves “structural colors.” New work is piecing together how they do it.
To tame urban traffic, the computer scientist Carlos Gershenson finds that letting transportation systems adapt and self-organize often works better than trying to predict and control them.
At the molecular level, glass looks like a liquid. But an artificial neural network has picked up on hidden structure in its molecules that may explain why glass is rigid like a solid.
One hundred years after it was proposed, the Ising model is used to understand everything from magnets to brains.
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.
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.
A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.
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