Modern nanotechnology allows one to scale down various important devices (sensors, chips, fibers, etc.) and thus opens up new horizons for their applications. The efficiency of most of them is based on fundamental physical phenomena, such as transport of wave excitations and resonances. Short propagation distances make phase-coherent processes of waves important. Often the scattering of waves involves propagation along different paths and, as a consequence, results in interference phenomena, where constructive interference corresponds to resonant enhancement and destructive interference to resonant suppression of the transmission. Recently, a variety of experimental and theoretical work has revealed such patterns in different physical settings. The purpose of this review is to relate resonant scattering to Fano resonances, known from atomic physics. One of the main features of the Fano resonance is its asymmetric line profile. The asymmetry originates from a close coexistence of resonant transmission and resonant reflection and can be reduced to the interaction of a discrete (localized) state with a continuum of propagation modes. The basic concepts of Fano resonances are introduced, their geometrical and/or dynamical origin are explained, and theoretical and experimental studies of light propagation in photonic devices, charge transport through quantum dots, plasmon scattering in Josephson-junction networks, and matter-wave scattering in ultracold atom systems, among others are reviewed.
Ever since its discovery the notion of Berry phase has permeated through all branches of physics. Over the past three decades it was gradually realized that the Berry phase of the electronic wave function can have a profound effect on material properties and is responsible for a spectrum of phenomena, such as polarization, orbital magnetism, various (quantum, anomalous, or spin) Hall effects, and quantum charge pumping. This progress is summarized in a pedagogical manner in this review. A brief summary of necessary background is given and a detailed discussion of the Berry phase effect in a variety of solid-state applications. A common thread of the review is the semiclassical formulation of electron dynamics, which is a versatile tool in the study of electron dynamics in the presence of electromagnetic fields and more general perturbations. Finally, a requantization method is demonstrated that converts a semiclassical theory to an effective quantum theory. It is clear that the Berry phase should be added as an essential ingredient to our understanding of basic material properties.
The anomalous Hall effect (AHE) occurs in solids with broken time-reversal symmetry, typically in a ferromagnetic phase, as a consequence of spin-orbit coupling. Experimental and theoretical studies of the AHE are reviewed, focusing on recent developments that have provided a more complete framework for understanding this subtle phenomenon and have, in many instances, replaced controversy by clarity. Synergy between experimental and theoretical works, both playing a crucial role, has been at the heart of these advances. On the theoretical front, the adoption of the Berry-phase concepts has established a link between the AHE and the topological nature of the Hall currents. On the experimental front, new experimental studies of the AHE in transition metals, transition-metal oxides, spinels, pyrochlores, and metallic dilute magnetic semiconductors have established systematic trends. These two developments, in concert with first-principles electronic structure calculations, strongly favor the dominance of an intrinsic Berry-phase-related AHE mechanism in metallic ferromagnets with moderate conductivity. The intrinsic AHE can be expressed in terms of the Berry-phase curvatures and it is therefore an intrinsic quantum-mechanical property of a perfect crystal. An extrinsic mechanism, skew scattering from disorder, tends to dominate the AHE in highly conductive ferromagnets. The full modern semiclassical treatment of the AHE is reviewed which incorporates an anomalous contribution to wave-packet group velocity due to momentum-space Berry curvatures and correctly combines the roles of intrinsic and extrinsic (skew-scattering and side-jump) scattering-related mechanisms. In addition, more rigorous quantum-mechanical treatments based on the Kubo and Keldysh formalisms are reviewed, taking into account multiband effects, and demonstrate the equivalence of all three linear response theories in the metallic regime. Building on results from recent experiment and theory, a tentative global view of the AHE is proposed which summarizes the roles played by intrinsic and extrinsic contributions in the disorder strength versus temperature plane. Finally outstanding issues and avenues for future investigation are discussed.
All our former experience with application of quantum theory seems to say that what is predicted by quantum formalism must occur in the laboratory. But the essence of quantum formalism entanglement, recognized by Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen, and Schrodinger-waited over 70 years to enter laboratories as a new resource as real as energy. This holistic property of compound quantum systems, which involves nonclassical correlations between subsystems, has potential for many quantum processes, including canonical ones: quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation, and dense coding. However, it appears that this new resource is complex and difficult to detect. Although it is usually fragile to the environment, it is robust against conceptual and mathematical tools, the task of which is to decipher its rich structure. This article reviews basic aspects of entanglement including its characterization, detection, distillation, and quantification. In particular, various manifestations of entanglement via Bell inequalities, entropic inequalities, entanglement witnesses, and quantum cryptography are discussed, and some interrelations are pointed out. The basic role of entanglement in quantum communication within a distant laboratory paradigm is stressed, and some peculiarities such as the irreversibility of entanglement manipulations are also discussed including its extremal form-the bound entanglement phenomenon. The basic role of entanglement witnesses in detection of entanglement is emphasized.
This article reviews the basic theoretical aspects of graphene, a one-atom-thick allotrope of carbon, with unusual two-dimensional Dirac-like electronic excitations. The Dirac electrons can be controlled by application of external electric and magnetic fields, or by altering sample geometry and/or topology. The Dirac electrons behave in unusual ways in tunneling, confinement, and the integer quantum Hall effect. The electronic properties of graphene stacks are discussed and vary with stacking order and number of layers. Edge (surface) states in graphene depend on the edge termination (zigzag or armchair) and affect the physical properties of nanoribbons. Different types of disorder modify the Dirac equation leading to unusual spectroscopic and transport properties. The effects of electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions in single layer and multilayer graphene are also presented.
Rydberg atoms with principal quantum number n >> 1 have exaggerated atomic properties including dipole-dipole interactions that scale as n(4) and radiative lifetimes that scale as n(3). It was proposed a decade ago to take advantage of these properties to implement quantum gates between neutral atom qubits. The availability of a strong long-range interaction that can be coherently turned on and off is an enabling resource for a wide range of quantum information tasks stretching far beyond the original gate proposal. Rydberg enabled capabilities include long-range two-qubit gates, collective encoding of multiqubit registers, implementation of robust light-atom quantum interfaces, and the potential for simulating quantum many-body physics. The advances of the last decade are reviewed, covering both theoretical and experimental aspects of Rydberg-mediated quantum information processing.
The distribution of quantum states over long distances is limited by photon loss. Straightforward amplification as in classical telecommunications is not an option in quantum communication because of the no-cloning theorem. This problem could be overcome by implementing quantum repeater protocols, which create long-distance entanglement from shorter-distance entanglement via entanglement swapping. Such protocols require the capacity to create entanglement in a heralded fashion, to store it in quantum memories, and to swap it. One attractive general strategy for realizing quantum repeaters is based on the use of atomic ensembles as quantum memories, in combination with linear optical techniques and photon counting to perform all required operations. Here the theoretical and experimental status quo of this very active field are reviewed. The potentials of different approaches are compared quantitatively, with a focus on the most immediate goal of outperforming the direct transmission of photons.
Intense ultrashort light pulses comprising merely a few wave cycles became routinely available by the turn of the millennium. The technologies underlying their production and measurement as well as relevant theoretical modeling have been reviewed in the pages of Reviews of Modern Physics (Brabec and Krausz, 2000). Since then, measurement and control of the subcycle field evolution of few-cycle light have opened the door to a radically new approach to exploring and controlling processes of the microcosm. The hyperfast-varying electric field of visible light permitted manipulation and tracking of the atomic-scale motion of electrons. Striking implications include controlled generation and measurement of single attosecond pulses of extreme ultraviolet light as well as trains of them, and real-time observation of atomic-scale electron dynamics. The tools and techniques for steering and tracing electronic motion in atoms, molecules, and nanostructures are now becoming available, marking the birth of attosecond physics. In this article these advances are reviewed and some of the expected implications are addressed.
Statistical physics has proven to be a fruitful framework to describe phenomena outside the realm of traditional physics. Recent years have witnessed an attempt by physicists to study collective phenomena emerging from the interactions of individuals as elementary units in social structures. A wide list of topics are reviewed ranging from opinion and cultural and language dynamics to crowd behavior, hierarchy formation, human dynamics, and social spreading. The connections between these problems and other, more traditional, topics of statistical physics are highlighted. Comparison of model results with empirical data from social systems are also emphasized.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is the first quantum information task to reach the level of mature technology, already fit for commercialization. It aims at the creation of a secret key between authorized partners connected by a quantum channel and a classical authenticated channel. The security of the key can in principle be guaranteed without putting any restriction on an eavesdropper's power. This article provides a concise up-to-date review of QKD, biased toward the practical side. Essential theoretical tools that have been developed to assess the security of the main experimental platforms are presented (discrete-variable, continuous-variable, and distributed-phase-reference protocols).
Laser-driven plasma-based accelerators, which are capable of supporting fields in excess of 100 GV/m, are reviewed. This includes the laser wakefield accelerator, the plasma beat wave accelerator, the self-modulated laser wakefield accelerator, plasma waves driven by multiple laser pulses, and highly nonlinear regimes. The properties of linear and nonlinear plasma waves are discussed, as well as electron acceleration in plasma waves. Methods for injecting and trapping plasma electrons in plasma waves are also discussed. Limits to the electron energy gain are summarized, including laser pulse diffraction, electron dephasing, laser pulse energy depletion, and beam loading limitations. The basic physics of laser pulse evolution in underdense plasmas is also reviewed. This includes the propagation, self-focusing, and guiding of laser pulses in uniform plasmas and with preformed density channels. Instabilities relevant to intense short-pulse laser-plasma interactions, such as Raman, self-modulation, and hose instabilities, are discussed. Experiments demonstrating key physics, such as the production of high-quality electron bunches at energies of 0.1-1 GeV, are summarized.
Wetting phenomena are ubiquitous in nature and technology. A solid substrate exposed to the environment is almost invariably covered by a layer of fluid material. In this review, the surface forces that lead to wetting are considered, and the equilibrium surface coverage of a substrate in contact with a drop of liquid. Depending on the nature of the surface forces involved, different scenarios for wetting phase transitions are possible; recent progress allows us to relate the critical exponents directly to the nature of the surface forces which lead to the different wetting scenarios. Thermal fluctuation effects, which can be greatly enhanced for wetting of geometrically or chemically structured substrates, and are much stronger in colloidal suspensions, modify the adsorption singularities. Macroscopic descriptions and microscopic theories have been developed to understand and predict wetting behavior relevant to microfluidics and nanofluidics applications. Then the dynamics of wetting is examined. A drop, placed on a substrate which it wets, spreads out to form a film. Conversely, a nonwetted substrate previously covered by a film dewets upon an appropriate change of system parameters. The hydrodynamics of both wetting and dewetting is influenced by the presence of the three-phase contact line separating "wet" regions from those that are either dry or covered by a microscopic film only. Recent theoretical, experimental, and numerical progress in the description of moving contact line dynamics are reviewed, and its relation to the thermodynamics of wetting is explored. In addition, recent progress on rough surfaces is surveyed. The anchoring of contact lines and contact angle hysteresis are explored resulting from surface inhomogeneities. Further, new ways to mold wetting characteristics according to technological constraints are discussed, for example, the use of patterned surfaces, surfactants, or complex fluids.
Effective field theory allows for a systematic and model-independent derivation of the forces between nucleons in harmony with the symmetries of quantum chromodynamics. The foundations of this approach are reviewed and its application for light nuclei at various resolution scales is discussed. The extension of this approach to many-body systems is sketched.
Within the past 20 years or so, there has occurred an explosion of interest in the magnetic behavior of pyrochlore oxides of the type A(2)(3+)B(2)(4+)O(7), where A is a rare-earth ion and B is usually a transition metal. Both the A and B sites form a network of corner-sharing tetrahedra which is the quintessential framework for a geometrically frustrated magnet. In these systems the natural tendency to form long-range ordered ground states in accord with the third law of thermodynamics is frustrated, resulting in some novel short-range ordered alternatives, such as spin glasses, spin ices, and spin liquids, and much new physics. This article attempts to review the myriad of properties found in pyrochlore oxides, mainly from a materials perspective, but with an appropriate theoretical context.
In systems possessing spatial or dynamical symmetry breaking, Brownian motion combined with unbiased external input signals, deterministic and random alike, can assist directed motion of particles at submicron scales. In such cases, one speaks of "Brownian motors." In this review the constructive role of Brownian motion is exemplified for various physical and technological setups, which are inspired by the cellular molecular machinery: the working principles and characteristics of stylized devices are discussed to show how fluctuations, either thermal or extrinsic, can be used to control diffusive particle transport. Recent experimental demonstrations of this concept are surveyed with particular attention to transport in artificial, i.e., nonbiological, nanopores, lithographic tracks, and optical traps, where single-particle currents were first measured. Much emphasis is given to two- and three-dimensional devices containing many interacting particles of one or more species; for this class of artificial motors, noise rectification results also from the interplay of particle Brownian motion and geometric constraints. Recently, selective control and optimization of the transport of interacting colloidal particles and magnetic vortices have been successfully achieved, thus leading to the new generation of microfluidic and superconducting devices presented here. The field has recently been enriched with impressive experimental achievements in building artificial Brownian motor devices that even operate within the quantum domain by harvesting quantum Brownian motion. Sundry akin topics include activities aimed at noise-assisted shuttling other degrees of freedom such as charge, spin, or even heat and the assembly of chemical synthetic molecular motors. This review ends with a perspective for future pathways and potential new applications.
This review discusses how low-energy valence excitations created by swift electrons can render information on the optical response of structured materials with unmatched spatial resolution. Electron microscopes are capable of focusing electron beams on subnanometer spots and probing the target response either by analyzing electron energy losses or by detecting emitted radiation. Theoretical frameworks suited to calculate the probability of energy loss and light emission (cathodoluminescence) are reconsidered and compared with experimental results. More precisely, a quantum-mechanical description of the interaction between the electrons and the sample is discussed, followed by a powerful classical dielectric approach that can be applied in practice to more complex systems. The conditions are assessed under which classical and quantum-mechanical formulations are equivalent. The excitation of collective modes such as plasmons is studied in bulk materials, planar surfaces, and nanoparticles. Light emission induced by the electrons is shown to constitute an excellent probe of plasmons, combining subnanometer resolution in the position of the electron beam with nanometer resolution in the emitted wavelength. Both electron energy-loss and cathodoluminescence spectroscopies performed in a scanning mode of operation yield snapshots of plasmon modes in nanostructures with fine spatial detail as compared to other existing imaging techniques, thus providing an ideal tool for nanophotonics studies.
Interference with atomic and molecular matter waves is a rich branch of atomic physics and quantum optics. It started with atom diffraction from crystal surfaces and the separated oscillatory fields technique used in atomic clocks. Atom interferometry is now reaching maturity as a powerful art with many applications in modern science. In this review the basic tools for coherent atom optics are described including diffraction by nanostructures and laser light, three-grating interferometers, and double wells on atom chips. Scientific advances in a broad range of fields that have resulted from the application of atom interferometers are reviewed. These are grouped in three categories: (i) fundamental quantum science, (ii) precision metrology, and (iii) atomic and molecular physics. Although some experiments with Bose-Einstein condensates are included, the focus of the review is on linear matter wave optics, i.e., phenomena where each single atom interferes with itself.
Fluctuation theorems (FTs), which describe some universal properties of nonequilibrium fluctuations, are examined from a quantum perspective and derived by introducing a two-point measurement on the system. FTs for closed and open systems driven out of equilibrium by an external time-dependent force, and for open systems maintained in a nonequilibrium steady state by nonequilibrium boundary conditions, are derived from a unified approach. Applications to fermion and boson transport in quantum junctions are discussed. Quantum master equations and Green's functions techniques for computing the energy and particle statistics are presented.
The dynamics and stability of thin liquid films have fascinated scientists over many decades: the observations of regular wave patterns in film flows down a windowpane or along guttering, the patterning of dewetting droplets, and the fingering of viscous flows down a slope are all examples that are familiar in daily life. Thin film flows occur over a wide range of length scales and are central to numerous areas of engineering, geophysics, and biophysics; these include nanofluidics and microfluidics, coating flows, intensive processing, lava flows, dynamics of continental ice sheets, tear-film rupture, and surfactant replacement therapy. These flows have attracted considerable attention in the literature, which have resulted in many significant developments in experimental, analytical, and numerical research in this area. These include advances in understanding dewetting, thermocapillary- and surfactant-driven films, falling films and films flowing over structured, compliant, and rapidly rotating substrates, and evaporating films as well as those manipulated via use of electric fields to produce nanoscale patterns. These developments are reviewed in this paper and open problems and exciting research avenues in this thriving area of fluid mechanics are also highlighted.
This Colloquium analyzes the interaction of light with two-dimensional periodic arrays of particles and holes. The enhanced optical transmission observed in the latter and the presence of surface modes in patterned metal surfaces is thoroughly discussed. A review of the most significant discoveries in this area is presented first. A simple tutorial model is then formulated to capture the essential physics involved in these phenomena, while allowing analytical derivations that provide deeper insight. Comparison with more elaborated calculations is offered as well. Finally, hole arrays in plasmon-supporting metals are compared to perforated perfect conductors, thus assessing the role of plasmons in these types of structures through analytical considerations. The developments that have been made in nanophotonics areas related to plasmons in nanostructures, extraordinary optical transmission in hole arrays, complete resonant absorption and emission of light, and invisibility in structured metals are illustrated in this Colloquium in a comprehensive, tutorial fashion.