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Powerful stellar explosions may have caused mass extinctions on Earth and could also have prevented life from appearing on other planets until 5 billion years ago—and then only in the outskirts of galaxies.
A laser-driven particle accelerator, delivering a beam of electrons with a record-breaking energy of 4.2 giga-electron-volts, could lead to compact x-ray lasers or high-energy colliders.
The injection of spins into a high-mobility two-dimensional electron gas is unexpectedly efficient, suggesting that new theories may be needed to describe spin transport in such systems.
A new technique in matter-wave interferometry using laser light to fragment molecules may open the door to interference demonstrations with large bio-molecules or nanoclusters.
A universal law for the interaction of pedestrians in a crowd, based on a walker’s ability to anticipate collisions, leads to accurate simulations of a variety of crowd conditions.
The seemingly erratic motion of insects in a swarm exhibits the correlated behavior of particles near the critical point of a phase transition.
Qubits based on trapped ions can be prepared and manipulated with record-breaking accuracy, offering a promising scalable platform for quantum computing.
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.
The polarization of an intense laser beam can theoretically be controlled by mixing it with a second beam in a plasma.