Atomic and molecular physics

Atomic and molecular physics it the study of the properties, dynamics and interactions of the basic (but not fundamental) building blocks of matter. A crucial component of this is understanding the behaviour of the electrons that surround the atomic nucleus; these dynamics dominate the way atoms and molecules interact with their environment.

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News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Interacting quantum systems are difficult to formulate theoretically, but Nikolai Bogoliubov offered a workaround more than 70 years ago that has stood the test of time. Now, correlations that are a crucial feature of his theory have been observed.

    • S. S. Hodgman
    •  & A. G. Truscott
  • News & Views |

    Laser-cooled ions have been used to substantially lower the temperature of a proton located several centimetres away. This technique could be useful in ultraprecise measurements of the properties of antimatter particles.

    • Manas Mukherjee
    Nature 596, 490-491
  • News & Views |

    Supersolids are exotic materials whose constituent particles can simultaneously form a crystal and flow without friction. The first 2D supersolid has been produced using ultracold gases of highly magnetic atoms.

    • Bruno Laburthe-Tolra
    Nature 596, 348-349
  • News & Views |

    The two-fluid model of superfluids predicts a second, quantum mechanical form of sound. Ultracold atom experiments have now measured second sound in the unusual two-dimensional superfluid described by the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless transition.

    • Sandro Stringari
    Nature Physics 17, 770-771