2020 Impact factor 4.590
Particles and Fields

News

EPJ D Colloquium - Quantum optics with quantum dots

Maps of the wavefunctions of the first five electronic levels in the conduction band of a single InAsP/InP quantum dot, measured by by scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy

The aim of quantum information research is to harness the distinctive features of quantum physics, especially superposition and entanglement, to enhance the functionality and power of information and communication technologies. It has been a thriving interdisciplinary field of research for the last thirty years, extending from the fundamental investigation of quantum phenomena to the experimental implementation of disruptive quantum-enabled technologies.

Read more...

EPJE: Francesco Sciortino joins the EPJE board as Editor in Chief

After five years of impeccable service as Editor-in-Chief of the soft matter part, EPJ E must say thank you and goodbye to Professor Daan Frenkel, as part of the journal’s process of continuous renewal. We are delighted to announce the arrival of his successor as of January 1st 2015: Professor Francesco Sciortino of the University of Rome La Sapienza. Sciortino started his scientific career with an experimental PhD on the phase behavior of biopolymers solutions at the University of Palermo, and shortly after moved on to numerical simulation methods in which he has become a renowned expert. He has held various appointments through the years in Boston, Cagliari, Bordeaux, Western Ontario, and Paris. His research interests are varied and include: self-assembly in colloidal systems and protein solutions, bio-functionalized colloids, aggregation phenomena in colloidal systems, cluster phases and gels, thermodynamics of anomalous liquids, thermodynamics of supercooled liquids and their glass transition, percolation and phase transitions in complex liquids. We wish Francesco Sciortino great success as EPJE EiC, in connecting the journal with the soft matter community to EPJE. Daan Frenkel will continue to sit on the journal Advisory Board.

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.

Read more...

EPJ E Highlight - Biomimetic dew harvesters

alt
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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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

Deputy Editors-in-Chief
D. J. Schwarz

We thank you and the Editorial Office for the editorial work during the submission and revision of the manuscripts. We are particularly grateful to the Referee for his/her valuable work which has contributed improving the scientific content of the manuscripts.

Claudio Cremaschini and Massimo Tessarotto, Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic

ISSN: 1434-6052 (Electronic Edition)

© Società Italiana di Fisica and
Springer-Verlag