David Lindley

David Lindley is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Virginia, and author of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science (Doubleday, 2007).

David Lindley Published November 28, 2011

Semiconductor Physics | Mesoscopics

Theorists propose an experiment to observe a “phoniton,” a novel hybrid of an electron and a quantum of vibration in a crystal lattice.

David Lindley Published March 2, 2012


Light passing through a pair of adjacent glass strips generates a slight bending in the material, causing the light to concentrate into narrow tracks. The technique works for all wavelengths of light.

David Lindley Published July 27, 2012

Quantum Physics

The 1947 discovery of a small discrepancy in hydrogen’s atomic spectrum came at just the right time to push quantum theory forward.

David Lindley Published September 21, 2012

Nanophysics | Soft Matter | Biological Physics

The atomic force microscope, introduced in 1986, provided atomic-scale pictures of surfaces, with few limitations on the type of sample.

David Lindley Published November 9, 2012

Nuclear Physics | Photonics

A theoretical proposal offers a technique for storing an x-ray photon and releasing it with its quantum properties fully intact.

David Lindley Published December 28, 2012


A proposed design for a cylindrical shell with unusual magnetic properties offers a way to concentrate magnetic field energy.

David Lindley Published February 8, 2013

Nonlinear Dynamics

The 1965 discovery of the isolated waves known as solitons—which appear in many physical systems—was a direct result of the new computer technology available for numerical simulations.

David Lindley Published April 12, 2013

Nanophysics | Chemical Physics

Placing a water molecule inside a 60-carbon-atom cage creates a structure that can be guided by an electric field.

David Lindley Published June 14, 2013

Complex Systems | Statistical Physics

A model mixing Brownian motion with purposeful movement guided by vocal signals suggests that Mongolian gazelle herds may have developed an efficient foraging strategy.

David Lindley Published July 12, 2013

Cosmology | Gravitation | Quantum Physics

Weak gravitational waves that fill the Universe are enough to disturb quantum superpositions and ensure that large objects behave according to classical physics.

David Lindley Published August 23, 2013

Metamaterials | Photonics

Periodic structures that control photons, much as semiconductors control electrons, came into being in the late 1980s, through a complex interchange between experiment and theory.

David Lindley Published October 4, 2013

Atomic and Molecular Physics | Superconductivity

A proposed experiment would trap atoms in a nanoscale magnetic field pattern produced by a superconductor—an arrangement that could perform some kinds of quantum computing.

David Lindley Published November 8, 2013

Particles and Fields

A 1964 experiment on an unusual particle showed a violation of symmetry and led to the conclusion that matter and antimatter are not quite equivalent.

David Lindley Published February 21, 2014

Astrophysics | Gravitation

A novel solution to Einstein’s gravitational equations, discovered in 1963, turned out to describe the curvature of space around every astrophysical black hole.

David Lindley Published June 19, 2014

Particles and Fields | Astrophysics | Cosmology

Several theorists discuss the next steps for testing inflation theory following the BICEP2 observations of polarization in the cosmic microwave background.

David Lindley Published August 1, 2014

Particles and Fields

High-energy collisions between electrons and protons produced the first indications, published in 1969, that smaller constituent particles lurked inside protons.

David Lindley Published September 2, 2014

Fluid Dynamics

Analysis of sea surface height measurements during a storm in North Carolina’s Outer Banks has led to the first observation of an unusual form of turbulence.

David Lindley Published October 17, 2014

Quantum Information

A technique that packs the full content of three bits of quantum information into two may be a space saver for quantum computers.

David Lindley Published October 31, 2014


In 1961, researchers showed that laser light could be converted from one color to another, the first nonlinear optical effect, which led to uses ranging from quantum optics to eye surgery.

David Lindley Published November 21, 2014

Interdisciplinary Physics | Complex Systems | Statistical Physics

An automated analysis of the words in 117 years worth of the Physical Review selects scientific memes—significant ideas that emerge and spread through the literature.

David Lindley Published December 12, 2014

Optics | Nanophysics

An array of nanometer-sized aluminum pyramids acts as a directional antenna for light, and the direction depends on wavelength.

David Lindley Published January 30, 2015

Physical Chemistry

A new experimental technique probes the dissociation of a single molecule in water and reveals more complexities than expected.

David Lindley Published February 20, 2015

Particles and Fields

A proposed detector for low-energy antineutrinos would reveal the particles’ trajectories, potentially allowing more detailed studies of Earth’s radioactivity and of nuclear reactors.