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EPJ ST Highlight - The fascinating ways animals navigate

Desert ant Cataglyphis returns directly to its nest after finding food.

Many animals – from birds to whales to zebras – find their way across great distances using a variety of environmental factors.

The Arctic Tern migrates an extraordinarily long way – from pole to pole. And while this bird is unique in the distance it traverses, its excellent sense of direction is shared by many other animals that use a variety of environmental factors to optimise their routes. In a new review paper in EPJ ST, Roswitha and Wolfgang Wiltschko from the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, outline how animals use internal compasses to navigate and the mechanisms they are likely to use to determine the direction of their destination. These can be applied when developing effective navigation systems for robots.

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EPJ Applied Physics presents Review of EELS over the last 50 years by Christian Colliex

‘In this special volume, we are deeply honored to publish an extensive review, by Christian Colliex, of the development of Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)… We warmly thank Dr. Colliex for this contribution that will undoubtably become a major reference for researchers in the electron microscopy and materials science community.’
Damien Jacob, Suzanne Giorgio and Virginie Serin

From early to present and future achievements of EELS in the TEM
By Christian Colliex

EPJ D Highlight - Investigating the temperature of large biomolecules in ion-storage rings with jellyfish protein

To study temperature in ion-storage rings, researchers used a model of a biomolecule found in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. Credit: Sierra Blakely [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:Aequorea4.jpg]

New research introduces a simple way to determine the temperature of a stored biomolecule and assess how it changes over time

The range of applications for ultracold molecular systems has grown impressively over recent years to include interstellar chemistry, spectroscopy, and arguably most excitingly, quantum computing.

One way of cooling molecules is by trapping them in cooled ion traps to which the molecules are thermalised before being injected or by injecting them into a room temperature storage ring and then cooling it. To do this effectively, researchers need a method to determine the temperature of molecular ions in an ion-storage ring.

New research published in EPJ D introduces a relatively simple new way to determine the temperature of stored biomolecular ions produced by electrospray ionization, and measure the time evolution of the temperature. The research is authored by Anne P. Rasmussen, Ricky Teiwes, and Lars H. Andersen of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Denmark, along with Dilara A. Farkhutdinova, and Anastasia V. Bochenkova of Lomonosov of the Moscow State University chemistry department, Russia.

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EPJ ST: Franck Lépine new Editor on board

The publishers of The European Physical Journal Special Topics are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Franck Lépine as new Editor in the board.

Franck Lépine is a CNRS research director at ILM (France) where he leads, since 2013, a pluridisciplinary group working on the "structure and dynamics of molecules". His current field of interest is attosecond science.

After a PhD in physics concerning "imaging atomic wavefunction and understanding the concept of temperature in small atomic clusters", Franck Lépine joined the FOM-AMOLF institute where he worked on ultrafast dynamics and the emerging field of attosecond physics. In 2005 He joined CNRS in Lyon and developed a research program on photoionization and ultrafast attosecond dynamics in complex molecules. He was involved in the development of the ELI-ALPS institute (Hungary), where he led the "strong field and attosecond physics" department.

Since 2016, he is the director of the French Network for ultrafast science (GDR UP) that brings together the French community interested in ultrafast phenomena. He co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, including several review articles in the field of attosecond science.

EPJ D Highlight - Investigating positron scattering from giant molecular targets

Positron scattering from a carbon 60 molecule. Positrons can be an important probe of the quantum properties of larger molecules. Credit: Robert Lea.

New research looks at positron scattering from rare gas atoms encapsulated in carbon 60 to investigate quantum properties that can’t be tested with electrons.

Particle scattering is an important test of the quantum properties of atoms and larger molecules. While electrons have historically dominated these experiments, their positively charged antimatter counterparts — positrons — can be used in promising applications when the negatively charged particles aren’t suitable.

A new paper published in EPJ D examines the scattering of positrons from rare gas atoms stuffed inside the fullerenes — so-called “rare gas endohedrals.” The paper is authored by Km Akanksha Dubey from the Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Patna, Bihta, India, and Marcelo Ciappina, Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Shantou, China.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Exotic carbon microcrystals in meteorite dust

Images of carbon microcrystals taken with (a)) optical and (b)-d)) scanning electron microscopes.

Unusually shaped microcrystals formed of pure, graphite-like carbon were discovered in the dust of the 21st-century’s largest meteorite. They are likely to have grown in layers from complex carbon nuclei such as fullerene.

The largest meteorite observed so far this century entered the Earth’s atmosphere above Chelyabinsk in the Southern Urals, Russia on February 15, 2013. Unusually, dust from the surface of this meteorite survived its fall and is being extensively studied. This dust includes some unusually shaped microcrystals of carbon. A study of the morphology and simulations of the formation of these crystals by a consortium led by Sergey Taskaev and Vladimir Khovaylo from Chelyabinsk State University, Russia is now published in the journal EPJ Plus.

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EPJ E Colloquium - Predicting thermodiffusion in simple binary fluid mixtures

When a homogeneous mixture is subjected to a thermal gradient, the fluid components are partially separated because of the temperature gradient. This phenomenon, known since the mid-19th century, is called thermodiffusion, the Soret effect or thermophoresis. Despite its relatively small amplitude it impacts many natural systems, such as the salinity gradient in ocean or even pre-biological evolution, and can be exploited in applications ranging from the manipulation of biological macromolecules to isotope enrichment. However, despite numerous attempts by leading researchers, including some Nobel laureates, a full understanding of the microscopic origin of this subtle phenomenon is still lacking and there is no consensus on which model, among the numerous existing ones, is the most reliable to quantify it in dense phases.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Probing high-energy neutrinos with an IceCube

The IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole. Copyright: Stephen Richter, 2015. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Studying a high-energy neutrino that was observed by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole and that is believed to be intergalactic in origin has yielded some intriguing ‘new physics’ beyond the Standard Model

The subatomic particles called neutrinos, are believed to be ubiquitous throughout the Universe but are very difficult to detect. Now, Moroccan astrophysicist Salah Eddine Ennadifi and his co-workers, published a paper in EPJ Plus that describes the first known observation of intergalactic, high-energy neutrinos and probes new neutrino-related physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

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EPJ ST Highlight - How can x-ray diffraction be used for a reliable study of nanostructured materials?

X-ray diffraction in a nanostructured material.

A new overview shows how x-ray diffraction can effectively measure lattice defects responsible for the unique properties of nanostructured materials – but special care is required for the application

Owing to their unique physical properties, nanostructured materials are now at the forefront of materials science. Several different techniques can be used to characterise their microscopic features, but each of these has its pros and cons. In new research published in EPJ ST, Jenő Gubicza at ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, shows that one indirect method, named x-ray diffraction line profile analysis (XLPA) is suitable for analysing nanostructured materials, but its application and interpretation require special care for obtaining reliable conclusions.

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EPJ ST Highlight - Energy harvesting to power the Internet of Things

The design of the energy harvester, showing a vibrating magnetic array facing a planar coil.

A new paper in EPJ Special Topics shows how energy can be harvested from vibrating micromagnets to power the now ubiquitous wireless sensors in the most efficient way.

The wireless interconnection of everyday objects known as the Internet of Things depends on wireless sensor networks that need a low but constant supply of electrical energy. This can be provided by electromagnetic energy harvesters that generate electricity directly from the environment. Lise-Marie Lacroix from the Université de Toulouse, France, with colleagues from Toulouse, Grenoble and Atlanta, Georgia, USA, has used a mathematical technique, finite element simulation, to optimise the design of one such energy harvester so that it generates electricity as efficiently as possible. This work has now been published in EPJ ST.

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Editors-in-Chief
G. Dissertori, J. Monroe, D. J. Schwarz, K. Skenderis and G. Zanderighi

Thank you for the quick and efficient review process.

Tim Scanlon

ISSN: 1434-6052 (Electronic Edition)

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