Recent Articles

Particles and Fields

Synopsis: Proton Loses Weight

The most precise measurement to date of the proton mass finds a value that is 3 standard deviations lower than previous estimates. Read More »

Complex Systems

Viewpoint: Language Boundaries Driven by Surface Tension

A new model of language evolution assumes that changes in the spatial boundaries between dialects are controlled by a surface tension effect. Read More »


Focus: Graphene Sliding on Graphene

Creating a bulge in a graphene sheet offers the first measurement of the shear forces between graphene layers, an essential factor in many graphene-based devices. Read More »

Biological Physics

Synopsis: Bacteria Never Swim Alone

Simulations and theory indicate that the “synchronized swimming” of bacteria occurs in much sparser suspensions of the microorganisms than expected. Read More »


Synopsis: A Reionization Filter for the Cosmic Microwave Background

A new method of analyzing cosmic microwave background data could isolate signatures from the so-called reionization period that occurred a few hundred million years after the big bang. Read More »

Soft Matter

Viewpoint: Active-Matter Thermodynamics Under Pressure

Experiments show that, unlike an ideal gas, an active-matter system comprised of self-propelled disks does not have a well-defined mechanical pressure. Read More »

Fluid Dynamics

Synopsis: Instant-Freeze Water

Laser pulses can turn liquid water into an exotic type of ice within a few nanoseconds. Read More »

Soft Matter

Viewpoint: Tube Model Under Tension

Results from a new method of analyzing neutron-scattering data from polymer samples under deformation may challenge the prevailing “tube model” of polymer motion. Read More »


Focus: Image—Cooperating Lasers Make Topological Defects

A circle of interacting lasers is a new model system for exploring topological defects, disordered structures that show up in a wide variety of seemingly unrelated systems. Read More »

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