2019 Impact factor 4.389
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Author contribution statement

Authors submitting to the EPJ Open journals EPJ DS, EPJ TI, EPJ QT and EPJ NBP are asked to give details of how each author contributed to the work reported in the publication, and their statement becomes visible at the end of the paper. This practice is relatively new in physics journals. As the size and internationality of scientific collaborations has grown, the number of co-authors on each paper has increased. In many cases the conventions about authors listing developed in certain fields or countries are often insufficient and in some cases collide with each other. On the other hand, academics face mounting pressure to be more transparent about their work and to provide quantitative metrics of their contribution to science and society, beyond the number of citations to their papers. A further important consideration is ethics. Inclusion of authors who have not participated in the work reported is unethical, as is the exclusion of names who have actually given a contribution. Such disputes over authorship do arise, accompanied by unwieldy arguments, which journal editors find difficult to resolve. The request for a statement detailing each author’s contribution is meant to heighten awareness of all these issues when submitting a paper. From now on EPJ B, D and E will start requesting an author contribution statement for multi-authored papers.

EPJ B Highlight - Winner and losers of the EU funding challenge

A representative Minimum Spanning Tree of the network of countries involved in the FP7 accepted proposals, which captures the backbone of interactions between the countries. © M.Tsouchnika et al.

Successfully attracting EU funding could depend on the nature of the research consortium

The European Union has a well-oiled funding mechanism in the form of grants given to research consortia. These are essentially made up of collaborating academic and industry-based research organisations. Understanding which type of consortium work receives funding could help future applicants. And it could also bring further transparency on how public funds are spent. Now, Maria Tsouchnika and Panos Argyrakis from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, have brought valuable insights into the structure of research consortia that are most likely to attract EU funding, in a paper published in EPJ B.

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EPJ E Highlight - Biomimetic dew harvesters

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A preserved specimen of the Tenebrionind beetle (Physasterna cribripes) was used for this study, displaying the insect’s mechanisms of dew harvesting. © J.M. Guadarrama-Cetina et al.

Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could help to improve drinking water collection in dew condensers mimicking the nanostructure of the beetle’s back

Insects are full of marvels—and this is certainly the case with a beetle from the Tenebrionind family, found in the extreme conditions of the Namib desert. Now, a team of scientists has demonstrated that such insects can collect dew on their backs—and not just fog as previously thought. This is made possible by the wax nanostructure on the surface of the beetle’s elytra. These findings by José Guadarrama-Cetina, then working at ESPCI ParisTech, France—on leave from the University of Navarra, in Spain—and colleagues were recently published in EPJ E. They bring us a step closer to harvesting dew to make drinking water from the humidity in the air. This, the team hopes, can be done by improving the water yield of man-made dew condensers that mimick the nanostructure on the beetle’s back.

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EPJ B Highlight - When noise gets electrons moving

Realisations of harmonic noise. © D. V. Makarov et al.

A new study demonstrates the existence of a counter-intuitive current, induced by the sound-based equivalent of a laser, with applications in novel microscopic semiconductor devices

Studying the motion of electrons in a disordered environment is no simple task, mainly because given the effect occurring at the scale of interest—referred to as quantum scale—these electrons are otherwise impossible to examine, due to the presence of incidental phenomena. Often, understanding such effects requires a quantum simulator designed to expose them in a different physical setup. This is precisely the approach adopted by Denis Makarov and Leonid Kon’kov from the Victor I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute in Vladivostok in a new study published in EPJ B. They relied on a simulator of electronic motion subjected to noise stemming from a flux of sound waves. These findings could lead to semi-conductor devices of a new kind, operated through acoustic radiations.

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EPJ B Colloquium - Tensor network theory

Entropy of a 1d MERA: the number of links to cut in order to disconnect the L physical indices in the block form the rest of the system grows logarithmically with L, hence S(L) = O(log L). This is an example of an area-law in holographic space.

Tensor Network (TN) states are a new language, based on entanglement, for quantum many-body states. Román Orús, in a new EPJ B Colloquium, reviews four theoretical developments in TN states for strongly correlated systems.

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EPJ D Highlight - Atoms crystallised by light for precision measurement

Trajectories and intensities of two beam splitters. © D. Holzmann et al.

A new study focuses on the collective dynamics of illuminated atoms coupled to photons travelling in a nanofiber

Theoretical physicists have uncovered the existence of self-organised dynamics of atoms, bound by light into a crystal, with long range atom-atom interactions. These findings were recently published in EPJ D by Daniela Holzmann from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and colleagues. This approach could, among others, help to better understand the process of crystallisation in new materials, and help implement efficient photon storage and precision measurements. Applied to ultra-cold atoms, it could aid in the study of long-distance interactions in the quantum dynamics of one-dimensional non- conventional materials, referred to as exotic matter.

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EPJ B Highlight - Taming neural excitations

Spatio-temporal plots of complex space time patterns in excitable media. © C. Bachmair et al.

A theoretical study of short- and long-range effects on neural excitation pulses might one day lead to controlling harmful signals such as those in strokes

What do lasers, neural networks, and spreading epidemics have in common? They share a most basic feature whereby an initial pulse can propagate through a medium—be it physical, biological or socio-economic, respectively. The challenge is to gain a better understanding—and eventually control—of such systems, allowing them to be applied, for instance to real neural systems. This is the objective of a new theoretical study published in EPJ B by Clemens Bachmair and Eckehard Schöll from the Berlin University of Technology in Germany. Ultimately, with a better theoretical understanding, scientists aim to control such excitations in networks of neurons to prevent their detrimental effects like in stroke.

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EPJ D Colloquium - Multiscale approach to the physics of radiation damage with ions

Features, processes, and disciplines, associated with radiation therapy shown in a space–time diagram, which shows approximate temporal and spatial scales of the phenomena. The history from ionization/exciation to biological effects on the cellular level are shown in the main figure and features of ion propagation are shown in the inset.

In this EPJ D Colloquium, the authors review the multiscale approach to the assessment of biodamage that results from the irradiation of biological media with ions. This approach is explained in depth and compared to other approaches. The ion propagation processes that take place in the medium concurrent with ionisation and excitation of molecules, transport of secondary products, dynamics of the medium, and biological damage, take place on a number of different temporal, spatial and energy scales. The multiscale approach, a physical phenomenon-based analysis of the scenario that leads to radiation damage, has been designed to consider all relevant effects on a variety of scales and to enable quantitative assessment of biological damage as a result of irradiation with ions.

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EPJ D Colloquium - Laser selective spectromicroscopy of myriad single molecules: tool for far-field multicolour materials nanodiagnostics

An illustration of the principles of single-molecule spectromicroscopy

In this EPJ D Colloquium, the authors discuss the main principles, achievements and perspectives in the fields of highly-parallel luminescence spectroscopy and the imaging of single molecules (SMs) in transparent solids. Special attention is given to SM detection at low temperatures, where ultranarrow and bright zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) can be generated by emitting centres for observation.

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EPJ H Highlight - Penrose’s and Hawking’s early math award

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Find out how Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking won recognition for their work on space time singularities back in the sixties, suggesting an initial start to the universe

In 1966, it was Roger Penrose who won the prestigious Adams prize for his essay: An Analysis of the Structure of Space Time. The Adams prize—named after the British mathematician John Couch Adams—is awarded each year by the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge to a young, UK-based mathematician. At the same time, Stephen Hawking won an auxiliary to the Adams prize for an essay entitled Singularities and the Geometry of Spacetime, shortly after completing his PhD. A copy of the original submission has now been reproduced in EPJ H.

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Editors-in-Chief
L. Baudis, G. Dissertori, K. Skenderis and D. Zeppenfeld

Deputy Editors-in-Chief
D. J. Schwarz

We especially appreciate the reviewer's patience and many helpful suggestions.

Zhang-Yu Nie

ISSN: 1434-6044 (Print Edition)
ISSN: 1434-6052 (Electronic Edition)

© Società Italiana di Fisica and
Springer-Verlag