Viewpoints

Dark Matter May Play Role in Extinctions

Dark Matter May Play Role in Extinctions

April 21, 2014

Daisuke Nagai

An increased likelihood of life-threatening comet impacts could occur when the Sun passes through a possible dark matter disk in the Galaxy.

Neutrons Knock at the Cosmic Door

Neutrons Knock at the Cosmic Door

April 16, 2014

Wolfgang P. Schleich and Ernst Rasel

The quantum behavior of a neutron bouncing in the gravitational field of the Earth can improve what we know about dark energy and dark matter.

“Snowflake Crystal” Traps Light and Sound

April 14, 2014

Florian Marquardt

Experimentalists trap optical and acoustic oscillations together in a two dimensional structure that will make it easier to study their coupled behavior.

Controlling a Molecule's Fate

Controlling a Molecule’s Fate

April 7, 2014

Jian Wu

By selecting the intensity and duration of an ultrashort laser pulse, researchers are able to control the breakup of a molecule through the relation between its electrons and nuclei.

Synopses

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Amber Does Not Act Its Age

April 22, 2014

110-million-year-old amber samples surprisingly retain the same thermodynamic properties as much younger amorphous solids.

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Measuring Entanglement Among Many Particles

April 17, 2014

Multiparticle entanglement has been difficult to characterize, but a new method provides a way to assess this with measurements of the total spin.

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The Key to Thin-Film Solar-Cell Efficiency

April 16, 2014

The combination of atomic imaging and new calculations explains the large photovoltaic efficiency of thin-film cadmium-telluride solar cells.

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Bird Flocks Shatter on Impact

April 15, 2014

Simulations show that flocks hitting a wall disintegrate like brittle solids rather than splash like fluid drops.

Focus

Voter Model Works for US Elections

Voter Model Works for US Elections

April 18, 2014

A computer simulation of individual voter behavior matches statistical measures of data from 30 years of US presidential elections.

Stopping Sound with Foam

Stopping Sound with Foam

April 11, 2014

Liquid foams can completely block ultrasound transmission of some frequencies, suggesting that foams are metamaterials that could be used for acoustic insulation.

Notes from the Editors

Snapshots from the March Meeting—No-Photon Lasers, Hyperbolic Metamaterials, and More

Snapshots from the March Meeting—No-Photon Lasers, Hyperbolic Metamaterials, and More

March 17, 2014

Some 10,000 physicists descended on Denver, Colorado, for the 2014 APS March Meeting. Here’s a taste of the scientific findings presented this year.