Don Monroe

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Don Monroe is a freelance science writer in Murray Hill, New Jersey.


Focus: Nanoscale Patterning of Superconductivity

Researchers spatially vary the strength of superconductivity on a nanometer scale using a ferroelectric material on top. Read More »


Focus: Graphene Arrays Could Be Perfect Absorbers

A sheet of tiny structures, such as nanoscale graphene disks, can absorb all incident light of a specific wavelength coming from any direction, theory suggests. Read More »

Fluid Dynamics

Focus: When Does a Liquid Break Up?

A uniform stream of liquid can form one big drop or break up into many droplets. Experiments test the conditions that lead to breakup. Read More »


Focus: Scenic Route for Sound Allows Extra Control

The propagation of sound waves can be dramatically altered by forcing them to follow meandering channels, according to simulations. Read More »

Quantum Information

Focus: Quantum Information Not Lost in Translation

Researchers propose a way to transfer quantum information between ions and electronic circuits, opening up new options for quantum computation. Read More »

Biological Physics

Focus: Proteins Hook up Where Water Allows

The binding of two proteins is strongest in regions where the packing of surrounding water molecules is already disrupted. Read More »

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Focus: Detecting Quantum Motion in a Gas

Variations in density in an ultracold gas reveal sound waves of quantum origin. Read More »

Biological Physics

Focus: How Cells Regulate the Length of Filaments

Models show how the length of filaments in cells can be tightly controlled by balancing continual growth with shrinkage caused by molecular motors. Read More »

Quantum Information

Focus: Measuring the Shape of a Photon

Researchers measure the complex “shape” of individual photons, which could lead to new ways of encoding information. Read More »


Focus: Taming Light Filaments

Thin filaments of intense laser light have many potential uses but are unstable. Experiments demonstrate that they can be stabilized by sending them through glass whose properties vary periodically in space. Read More »


Focus: Connecting a Thin-Shell’s Stiffness with Its Geometry

Combining experiment and theory, two research teams uncover new connections between the shape and the rigidity of ellipsoidal shells. Read More »

Soft Matter

Focus: Tracking Rearrangements in a 2D Liquid

Charged beads floating in a plasma spontaneously form a two-dimensional liquid consisting of small, ordered regions that slide past one another and may mimic the motions in real liquids. Read More »

Particles and Fields

Focus: Ground-Based Instruments Could Detect Cosmic Wall Structures

Invisible sheetlike structures, which might pervade space and contribute to dark matter or dark energy, could be revealed as they pass by Earth-based detectors. Read More »

Fluid Dynamics

Focus: Blood Plasma is Not So Normal

Experiments show that blood plasma has elastic properties that could influence the way blood flows through small vessels. Read More »

Fluid Dynamics

Focus: Lubricant for Liquids

Tiny “ball bearings” could drastically reduce the friction between two liquids sliding past one another. Read More »

Statistical Physics

Focus: Model Suggests Link between Intelligence and Entropy

Dynamical systems that maximize their future possibilities behave in surprisingly “intelligent” ways. Read More »


Focus: Invisibility Cloak for Heat

Experimenters guide heat around a two-dimensional object without leaving a trace. Read More »

Semiconductor Physics

Focus: A New Direction for Thermoelectric Cooling

Materials in which heat flows perpendicular to an electric current could lead to better devices for cooling electronics. Read More »

Soft Matter

Focus: A Faster Liquid Crystal

A new way to rapidly switch the state of a liquid crystal could be useful for video displays and related technologies. Read More »


Focus: Accelerating Electrons with Light

In a new technique, light pulses accelerate electrons more efficiently than traditional accelerators. Read More »


Focus: Controlling Electrons Reaches a New Level

Researchers precisely time the motions of individual, energetic electrons moving in a solid. Read More »

Statistical Physics

Focus: Shake a Condensate to Spawn Dozens of Them

Violently shaking a Bose-Einstein condensate of atoms can force them to separate into many condensates, according to simulations. The results should apply to other particles as well. Read More »

Semiconductor Physics

Focus: Slowing Heat without Obstructions

Adding extra material on top of a sheet of silicon could, surprisingly, reduce its ability to transport heat, according to simulations, and this property could benefit future refrigeration or energy-generating devices. Read More »

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Focus: X rays Measure Lone Molecules

Researchers measured an atomic distance in a molecule without using a crystal, which is usually required. Instead they used a beam of isolated molecules. Read More »

Soft Matter

Focus: Granular Materials Aren’t Like Liquids, Except When They Are

Grain in a silo is supported to some extent by static friction with the walls, which couldn’t happen in a water-filled silo. But a similar granular material can behave more like water. Read More »


Focus: Using Plasma to Manipulate Light

The polarization of an intense laser beam can theoretically be controlled by mixing it with a second beam in a plasma. Read More »


Focus: Big Twist for Electron Beam

Researchers generated an electron beam with very high orbital angular momentum—potentially good for atomic-scale images of the magnetism in materials. Read More »