2017 Impact factor 2.240


EPJ Plus Highlight - Turbulence theory closer to high-energy physics than previously thought

Higgs event at CERN Credit: Lucas Taylor / CERN [CCBY-SA 3.0]

A new research paper finds the high-energy physics concept of 'un-naturalness' may be applicable to the study of turbulence or that of strongly correlated systems of elementary particles

Many scientists have been disappointed that no new elementary particles have been discovered at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in the wake of the Higgs boson discovery in 2012. The no-show of elusive particles that had previously been predicted by theory is only one example of a 'hole' that has recently appeared in the concept of Naturalness in theoretical physics. In simple terms, the concept states that physical parameters should depend roughly equally on all the terms used to calculate them, in terms of proportion. Sauro Succi, a theoretical physicist at the Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Rome, Italy, has now published an intriguing essay in the journal EPJ Plus in which he argues that several common natural phenomena do not operate under ‘Naturalness' at all. Rather, they can only be explained using parameters with widely separated numerical values.


EPJ H Highlight - Traveling-wave tubes: The unsung heroes of space exploration

The traveling-wave tube.

An invention from the 1950s is still being used today

What do televisions and space exploration have in common? No, we’re not talking about a cheesy physics joke; rather, this is the story of an often-overlooked piece of equipment that deserves a place in the annals of telecommunication history. Some would argue that the traveling-wave tube (TWT) has not received the recognition it deserves when it comes to the history of space travel and communications – until now. A group of researchers based at the Aix-Marseille Université in France has published a review looking into the history of TWTs, recently published in EPJ H.


EPJ B Highlight - Intelligent metamaterials behave like electrostatic chameleons

Chameleon-like behaviour.

Metashells can adapt their wave-bending behaviour based on the characteristics of the material they contain

A chameleon can flexibly change its colour to match its surroundings. And a similar phenomenon can now be seen in a new class of smart materials called metamaterials. The trouble is that these metamaterials lack the ability to respond to nearby objects due to their physical characteristics. To remedy this shortcoming, Chinese physicists have developed so-called 'metashells': hollow shells made of metamaterials and capable of carrying materials in their core. The advantage is that their physical characteristics, such as permittivity - the extent to which a material can store charge within an electrical field - change with the electromagnetic properties of the material they contain. In a recent theoretical study published in EPJ B, Liujun Xu and Jiping Huang from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, describe how they have developed an entire class of these chameleon-like metashells.


EPJ E Topical Review: Gyrotactic phytoplankton in laminar and turbulent flows: A dynamical systems approach

Biological and geophysical fluids host a sea of microorganisms many of which are motile. An often overlooked aspect of the life of such microorganisms is that the fluids where they are suspended are not still but flowing. In this brief review published in EPJ E, the authors aim to describe some of the interesting phenomena that can emerge due to the modification of the microorganisms' swimming direction by velocity gradients, which affect both the individual motion of microorganisms and their spatial distribution in dilute suspensions.


EPJ Techniques and Instrumentation Highlight - Calibration samples to measure particle identification performance in the LHCb experiment

Deep underground in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, beams of protons travel around in circles at almost the speed of light before they are collided head-on. These high-energy collisions produce large numbers of tiny, short-lived particles that quickly decay into lighter, more stable particles. Investigating these particle decays allows physicists to catch a glimpse of the early history of the universe. In new work published in EPJ Techniques and Instrumentation, Marianna Fontana and Donal Hill describe the method to create calibration samples that help determine the accuracy of the detector in the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment in identifying different particles.

Read the guest post by Donal Hill & Marianna Fontana, originally published in the SpringerOpen blog.

EPJ A Highlight - Shape stability of pasta phases: Lasagna case


Exotic non-spherical shapes of nuclear matter, so called pasta phases, are possible because of the competition between the short-ranged nuclear attraction and the long-ranged Coulomb repulsion, leading to the phenomenon of Coulomb frustration, well known in statistical mechanics. Such complex phases are expected in the inner crust of neutron stars, as well as in core-collapse supernova cores.

The authors of the EPJ A (2018) 54:215 paper examine for the first time the stability of the «lasagna» phase, consisting of periodically placed slabs, by means of exact geometrical methods. Calculations are done in the framework of the compressible liquid drop model but obtained results are universal and do not depend on model parameters like surface tension and charge density. The stability analysis is done with respect to the different types of deformations corresponding to the eigenvalues of the deformation matrix.


EPJ Data Science Highlight - Using deep learning to “see” inside homes across the world

Copyright: Pixabay License

How much does someone's living room tell about how they live? Peeking into another person's life might be just part of natural human curiosity, but the answer to this question may provide insights in a wide range of aspects of human behavior. A new study published in EPJ Data Science uses the power of machine learning to explore patterns of home decors—and what they could tell about their owners—in popular accommodation website Airbnb.

See guest post by Clio Andris and Xi Liu originally published in the SpringerOpen blog

EPJE Topical Review: how capillarity drives the movement of small objects

Moving around small objects using capillary forces is a phenomenon that has stimulated scientists trying to understand the fundamental mechanisms at play. It is also important for many industrial, technological and analytical processes, for example micro-fluidics, oil and gas displacement, mineral flotation, miniature robot and biomechanics. In this EPJ E topical review article Jianlin Liu and Shanpeng Li present a critical review of capillarity-driven migration in which many examples are presented and explained. The small objects in question are non-deformable objects, such as particles, rods, disks and metal sheets as well as soft objects, such as droplets and bubbles. The authors clarify some misunderstandings on the conventional views on these systems.


EPJ D Highlight - Electron-gun simulations explain the mechanisms of high-energy cosmic rays

The chance of photodetachment of hydrogen ions depends on the speed of the surface motion.

Model explains the mechanisms of scraping negative ions from moving surfaces under a strong electric field

When cosmic rays collide with planets or debris, they lose energy. Scientists use the collision of electrons with a moving surface to simulate this process. A new study published in EPJ D provides a rudimentary model for simulating cosmic rays’ collisions with planets by looking at the model of electrons detached from a negative ion by photons. In this work, Chinese physicists have for the first time demonstrated that they can control the dynamics of negative ion detachment via photons, or photodetachment, on a moving surface.


EPJ Plus article on microfiber pollution in the air selected for Springer Nature Grand Challenges Programme

A new study reports on microplastic fibres in the air, which can potentially enter the human body through breathing.

Microplastics (MPs) are one of the major hot topics in environmental science. Scientists have started to investigate the impact of such pollutants in different habitats, such as oceans, rivers, soils and air. Several studies have shown that MP fibers are very common in the atmosphere. They are invisible to human eye as they are smaller than 5 mm. These fibers, which derive from different sources, float freely in the air pushed by winds. A recent study, published on EPJ Plus, evaluated microfiber pollution in the air of an intercity terminal and a university campus in the Sakarya Province, Turkey.


Paolo Biscari
Thank you again for your valuable and excellent assist in improving our paper and also for your kind cooperation. We hope to have opportunities for further collaboration with your excellent journal.

Hadi Sabri, University of Tabriz, Iran

ISSN: 2190-5444 (Electronic Edition)

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