International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

Women’s Day was originally conceived at the turn of the 20th century and used in many countries as a focal point for the women’s suffrage movement, and other equal rights for women. 8th of March became a national holiday in the Soviet Union in 1917 after women gained suffrage there. It was recognised by the United Nations in 1977 and continues to be celebrated around the world in different ways. Today we commemorate the lives of three inspiring women physicists.  Read more

Light and matter in sync

Illustration of the electron-laser interaction, inspired by Pink Floyd’s cover art of Dark Side of the Moon. Each electron is coherently split into a wide energy spectrum (depicted by the rainbow colors). The laser light (red) has to be coupled at a precise angle to achieve the strong interaction, in which the electron simultaneously absorbs and emits hundreds of photons from the laser.

In 1934, Pavel Cherenkov discovered that when charged particles surpass the speed of light in matter, they generate an electromagnetic shockwave. A well-known analogue for this phenomenon is a sonic boom – shockwaves of sound generated when jet planes surpass the speed of sound in air. This new understanding of light–matter interactions led Cherenkov to share the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ilya Frank and Igor Tamm for his experiment and their theory. The Vavilov–Cherenkov effect has been studied extensively since then and besides being of fundamental science importance, it has led to applications in particle identification, medical imaging, quantum cascade lasers, optical frequency combs, laser-driven particle acceleration, and other areas of nonlinear optics and nanophotonics  … Read more

A number of pictures

A number of pictures

The October issue of Nature Physics marks the journal’s 15th anniversary, complete with a cover on which four experimental images are arranged in such a way to form the number ‘15’. Here Nina Meinzer tells the story of how the images that make the cover were created.  Read more

Five inspiring women

Five inspiring women

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), was an English mathematician and is regarded as the first person to recognise the potential of computing power and programming. Since 2009, the second Tuesday of October has been commemorated as Ada Lovelace day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Here we celebrate the stories of five pioneering physicists.  Read more

Achieving a Bose–Einstein Condensate from my living room during lockdown

Dr Amruta Gadge adjusting a laser pre lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown which led to the closure of many labs around the world, Dr. Amruta Gadge, a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Systems and Devices group at the University of Sussex*, made headlines for remotely setting up a Bose–Einstein condensate from her living room. Here, she tells us her story.  Read more

Return to the lab

Return to the lab

As coronavirus restrictions have been easing over the past few months, increasing numbers of researchers are starting to return to labs and begin experimental work again. Nature Reviews Physics organised a photo competition, inviting submissions of photos which depict lab-life in the era of COVID-19.  Read more