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Luís Carlos joins the EPJ Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Luís Carlos

The Scientific Advisory Committee of EPJ is delighted to welcome Prof. Luís Carlos as the new representative for the Portuguese Physical Society.

Luís D. Carlos is a full professor at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, where he works in the field of optical materials, luminescence nanothermometry and applications of organic-inorganic hybrids in luminescent solar concentrators, solid-state lighting, and integrated optics

EPJ QT Highlight - Quantum control for advanced technology: Past and present

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A new review lays out a roadmap for quantum technologies. Credit: Robert Lea

Quantum devices are a promising technological advance for the future, but this will hinge on the application of quantum optimal control top real-world devices. A new review looks at the status of the field as it stands.

One of the cornerstones of the implementation of quantum technology is the creation and manipulation of the shape of external fields that can optimise the performance of quantum devices. Known as quantum optimal control, this set of methods comprises a field that has rapidly evolved and expanded over recent years.

A new review paper published in EPJ Quantum Technology and authored by Christiane P. Koch, Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems and Fachbereich Physik, Freie Universität Berlin along with colleagues from across Europe assesses recent progress in the understanding of the controllability of quantum systems as well as the application of quantum control to quantum technologies. As such, it lays out a potential roadmap for future technology.

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EPJ TI Highlight - QEMMS: Improving measurements of the kilogram

The QEMMS mechanism

Currently in development by NIST, QEMMS will allow researchers to measure macroscopic masses, based on quantum principles. New analysis shows how an optimised design of this device could significantly reduce the errors associated with current approaches to mass measurement.

Until 2018, the SI unit of mass, the kilogram, was defined as the mass of a real object: the International Prototype Kilogram, kept in a secure facility in the outskirts of Paris. On November 16, 2018, the kilogram was given a new, internationally-accepted definition, based on three defining constants: the speed of light, the Planck constant, and the hyperfine transition frequency of caesium. One of the methods to measure a mass based on the new definition is a device named the Kibble balance.

Despite the current precision of this device’s measurements, its components can be improved to reduce sources of uncertainties. Through new research published in EPJ Techniques and Instrumentation, Darine Haddad and colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) show how a new, optimised approach to the Kibble balance’s design could further improve its accuracy.

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EPJ ST Highlight - Chaotic circuit exhibits unprecedented equilibrium properties

Mapping chaotic oscillations.

Mathematical derivations have unveiled a chaotic, memristor-based circuit in which different oscillating phases can co-exist along 6 possible lines.

Unlike ordinary electronic circuits, chaotic circuits can produce oscillating electrical signals which never repeat over time – but nonetheless, display underlying mathematical patterns. To expand the potential applications of these circuits, previous studies have designed systems in which multiple oscillating phases can co-exist along mathematically-defined ‘lines of equilibrium.’ In new research published in EPJ ST, a team led by Janarthanan Ramadoss at the Chennai Institute of Technology, India, designed a chaotic circuit with six distinct lines of equilibrium – more than have ever been demonstrated previously.

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EPJ B Highlight - Bringing consistency to methods of 2D material analysis

A sheet of 2D material-graphene-curved to create a nanotube. Credit: Michael Ströck (CC by SA 3.0)

New research introduces a more cohesive approach to the functional renormalization group — a key tool in the analysis of 2D materials

In materials science, the term “2D materials” refers to crystalline solids that consist of a single layer of atoms, with arguably the most famous example being graphene — a material made of a single layer of carbon atoms. These materials are promising for a wide range of applications including in sophisticated electronics and quantum computing thanks to their unique quantum properties.

One of the most promising methods of investigating these materials, and specifically their temperature instabilities, and for investigating quantum many-body phenomena is the functional renormalisation group (FRG). Yet, despite significant efforts, no systematic and comprehensive cohesion exists for different momentum space FRG implementations.

A new paper published in EPJ B and authored by Jacob Beyer, Institute for Theoretical Solid State Physics, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, alongside Jonas B. Hauck, and Lennart Klebl of the university’s Institute for Theory of Statistical Physics lays out a potential groundwork for achieving consistency across FRG methods.

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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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Editors-in-Chief
B. Fraboni and G. García López
I wish to congratulate the production staff for the precision in reproducing the text and the equations and formulas. It is not so frequent, nowadays.

Loris Ferrari, Università di Bologna, Italy

ISSN: 2190-5444 (Electronic Edition)

© Società Italiana di Fisica and
Springer-Verlag