Differently from passive Brownian particles, active particles, also known as self-propelled Brownian particles or microswimmers and nanoswimmers, are capable of taking up energy from their environment and converting it into directed motion. Because of this constant flow of energy, their behavior can be explained and understood only within the framework of nonequilibrium physics. In the biological realm, many cells perform directed motion, for example, as a way to browse for nutrients or to avoid toxins. Inspired by these motile microorganisms, researchers have been developing artificial particles that feature similar swimming behaviors based on different mechanisms. These man-made micromachines and nanomachines hold a great potential as autonomous agents for health care, sustainability, and security applications. With a focus on the basic physical features of the interactions of self-propelled Brownian particles with a crowded and complex environment, this comprehensive review will provide a guided tour through its basic principles, the development of artificial self-propelling microparticles and nanoparticles, and their application to the study of nonequilibrium phenomena, as well as the open challenges that the field is currently facing.
Topological materials have become the focus of intense research in recent years, since they exhibit fundamentally new physical phenomena with potential applications for novel devices and quantum information technology. One of the hallmarks of topological materials is the existence of protected gapless surface states, which arise due to a nontrivial topology of the bulk wave functions. This review provides a pedagogical introduction into the field of topological quantum matter with an emphasis on classification schemes. Both fully gapped and gapless topological materials and their classification in terms of nonspatial symmetries, such as time reversal, as well as spatial symmetries, such as reflection, are considered. Furthermore, the classification of gapless modes localized on topological defects is surveyed. The classification of these systems is discussed by use of homotopy groups, Clifford algebras, K theory, and nonlinear sigma models describing the Anderson (de) localization at the surface or inside a defect of the material. Theoretical model systems and their topological invariants are reviewed together with recent experimental results in order to provide a unified and comprehensive perspective of the field. While the bulk of this article is concerned with the topological properties of noninteracting or mean-field Hamiltonians, a brief overview of recent results and open questions concerning the topological classifications of interacting systems is also provided.
This paper gives the 2014 self-consistent set of values of the constants and conversion factors of physics and chemistry recommended by the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA). These values are based on a least-squares adjustment that takes into account all data available up to 31 December 2014. Details of the data selection and methodology of the adjustment are described. The recommended values may also be found at physics.nist.gov/constants.
"Quantum sensing" describes the use of a quantum system, quantum properties, or quantum phenomena to perform a measurement of a physical quantity. Historical examples of quantum sensors include magnetometers based on superconducting quantum interference devices and atomic vapors or atomic clocks. More recently, quantum sensing has become a distinct and rapidly growing branch of research within the area of quantum science and technology, with the most common platforms being spin qubits, trapped ions, and flux qubits. The field is expected to provide new opportunities-especially with regard to high sensitivity and precision-in applied physics and other areas of science. This review provides an introduction to the basic principles, methods, and concepts of quantum sensing from the viewpoint of the interested experimentalist.
The first-principles band theory paradigm has been a key player not only in the process of discovering new classes of topologically interesting materials, but also for identifying salient characteristics of topological states, enabling direct and sharpened confrontation between theory and experiment. This review begins by discussing underpinnings of the topological band theory, which involve a layer of analysis and interpretation for assessing topological properties of band structures beyond the standard band theory construct. Methods for evaluating topological invariants are delineated, including crystals without inversion symmetry and interacting systems. The extent to which theoretically predicted properties and protections of topological states have been verified experimentally is discussed, including work on topological crystalline insulators, disorder and interaction driven topological insulators (TIs), topological superconductors, Weyl semimetal phases, and topological phase transitions. Successful strategies for new materials discovery process are outlined. A comprehensive survey of currently predicted 2D and 3D topological materials is provided. This includes binary, ternary, and quaternary compounds, transition metal and f-electron materials, Weyl and 3D Dirac semimetals, complex oxides, organometallics, skutterudites, and antiperovskites. Also included is the emerging area of 2D atomically thin films beyond graphene of various elements and their alloys, functional thin films, multilayer systems, and ultrathin films of 3D TIs, all of which hold exciting promise of wide-ranging applications. This Colloquium concludes by giving a perspective on research directions where further work will broadly benefit the topological materials field.
Recent progress on nonlinear properties of parity-time (PT)-symmetric systems is comprehensively reviewed in this article. PT symmetry started out in non-Hermitian quantum mechanics, where complex potentials obeying PT symmetry could exhibit all-real spectra. This concept later spread out to optics, Bose-Einstein condensates, electronic circuits, and many other physical fields, where a judicious balancing of gain and loss constitutes a PT-symmetric system. The natural inclusion of nonlinearity into these PT systems then gave rise to a wide array of new phenomena which have no counterparts in traditional dissipative systems. Examples include the existence of continuous families of nonlinear modes and integrals of motion, stabilization of nonlinear modes above PT-symmetry phase transition, symmetry breaking of nonlinear modes, distinctive soliton dynamics, and many others. In this article, nonlinear PT-symmetric systems arising from various physical disciplines are presented, nonlinear properties of these systems are thoroughly elucidated, and relevant experimental results are described. In addition, emerging applications of PT symmetry are pointed out.
The dynamical behavior of open quantum systems plays a key role in many applications of quantum mechanics, examples ranging from fundamental problems, such as the environment-induced decay of quantum coherence and relaxation in many-body systems, to applications in condensed matter theory, quantum transport, quantum chemistry, and quantum information. In close analogy to a classical Markovian stochastic process, the interaction of an open quantum system with a noisy environment is often modeled phenomenologically by means of a dynamical semigroup with a corresponding time-independent generator in Lindblad form, which describes a memoryless dynamics of the open system typically leading to an irreversible loss of characteristic quantum features. However, in many applications open systems exhibit pronounced memory effects and a revival of genuine quantum properties such as quantum coherence, correlations, and entanglement. Here recent theoretical results on the rich non-Markovian quantum dynamics of open systems are discussed, paying particular attention to the rigorous mathematical definition, to the physical interpretation and classification, as well as to the quantification of quantum memory effects. The general theory is illustrated by a series of physical examples. The analysis reveals that memory effects of the open system dynamics reflect characteristic features of the environment which opens a new perspective for applications, namely, to exploit a small open system as a quantum probe signifying nontrivial features of the environment it is interacting with. This Colloquium further explores the various physical sources of non-Markovian quantum dynamics, such as structured environmental spectral densities, nonlocal correlations between environmental degrees of freedom, and correlations in the initial system-environment state, in addition to developing schemes for their local detection. Recent experiments addressing the detection, quantification, and control of non-Markovian quantum dynamics are also briefly discussed.
Antiferromagnetic materials could represent the future of spintronic applications thanks to the numerous interesting features they combine: they are robust against perturbation due to magnetic fields, produce no stray fields, display ultrafast dynamics, and are capable of generating large magnetotransport effects. Intense research efforts over the past decade have been invested in unraveling spin transport properties in antiferromagnetic materials. Whether spin transport can be used to drive the antiferromagnetic order and how subsequent variations can be detected are some of the thrilling challenges currently being addressed. Antiferromagnetic spintronics started out with studies on spin transfer and has undergone a definite revival in the last few years with the publication of pioneering articles on the use of spin-orbit interactions in antiferromagnets. This paradigm shift offers possibilities for radically new concepts for spin manipulation in electronics. Central to these endeavors are the need for predictive models, relevant disruptive materials, and new experimental designs. This paper reviews the most prominent spintronic effects described based on theoretical and experimental analysis of antiferromagnetic materials. It also details some of the remaining bottlenecks and suggests possible avenues for future research. This review covers both spin-transfer-related effects, such as spin-transfer torque, spin penetration length, domain-wall motion, and "magnetization" dynamics, and spin-orbit related phenomena, such as (tunnel) anisotropic magnetoresistance, spin Hall, and inverse spin galvanic effects. Effects related to spin caloritronics, such as the spin Seebeck effect, are linked to the transport of magnons in antiferromagnets. The propagation of spin waves and spin superfluids in antiferromagnets is also covered.
Big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) describes the production of the lightest nuclides via a dynamic interplay among the four fundamental forces during the first seconds of cosmic time. A brief overview of the essentials of this physics is given, and new calculations presented of light-element abundances through Li-6 and Li-7, with updated nuclear reactions and uncertainties including those in the neutron lifetime. Fits are provided for these results as a function of baryon density and of the number of neutrino flavors N-nu. Recent developments are reviewed in BBN, particularly new, precision Planck cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements that now probe the baryon density, helium content, and the effective number of degrees of freedom N-eff. These measurements allow for a tight test of BBN and cosmology using CMB data alone. Our likelihood analysis convolves the 2015 Planck data chains with our BBN output and observational data. Adding astronomical measurements of light elements strengthens the power of BBN. A new determination of the primordial helium abundance is included in our likelihood analysis. New D/H observations are now more precise than the corresponding theoretical predictions and are consistent with the standard model and the Planck baryon density. Moreover, D/H now provides a tight measurement of N-nu when combined with the CMB baryon density and provides a 2 sigma upper limit N. < 3.2. The new precision of the CMB and D/H observations together leaves D/H predictions as the largest source of uncertainties. Future improvement in BBN calculations will therefore rely on improved nuclear cross-section data. In contrast with D/H and He-4, Li-7 predictions continue to disagree with observations, perhaps pointing to new physics. This paper concludes with a look at future directions including key nuclear reactions, astronomical observations, and theoretical issues.
This is an introductory review of the physics of quantum spin liquid states. Quantum magnetism is a rapidly evolving field, and recent developments reveal that the ground states and low-energy physics of frustrated spin systems may develop many exotic behaviors once we leave the regime of semiclassical approaches. The purpose of this article is to introduce these developments. The article begins by explaining how semiclassical approaches fail once quantum mechanics become important and then describe the alternative approaches for addressing the problem. Mainly spin-1/2 systems are discussed, and most of the time is spent in this article on one particular set of plausible spin liquid states in which spins are represented by fermions. These states are spin-singlet states and may be viewed as an extension of Fermi liquid states to Mott insulators, and they are usually classified in the category of so-called SU(2), U(1), or Z(2) spin liquid states. A review is given of the basic theory regarding these states and the extensions of these states to include the effect of spin-orbit coupling and to higher spin (S > 1/2) systems. Two other important approaches with strong influences on the understanding of spin liquid states are also introduced: (i) matrix product states and projected entangled pair states and (ii) the Kitaev honeycomb model. Experimental progress concerning spin liquid states in realistic materials, including anisotropic triangular-lattice systems [kappa-(ET)(2)Cu-2(CN)(3) and EtMe3Sb[Pd(dmit)(2)](2)], kagome-lattice system [ZnCu3(OH)(6)Cl-2], and hyperkagome lattice system (Na4Ir3O8), is reviewed and compared against the corresponding theories.
This article reviews the theory of electron-phonon interactions in solids from the point of view of ab initio calculations. While the electron-phonon interaction has been studied for almost a century, predictive nonempirical calculations have become feasible only during the past two decades. Today it is possible to calculate from first principles many materials properties related to the electron-phonon interaction, including the critical temperature of conventional superconductors, the carrier mobility in semiconductors, the temperature dependence of optical spectra in direct and indirect-gap semiconductors, the relaxation rates of photoexcited carriers, the electron mass renormalization in angle-resolved photoelectron spectra, and the nonadiabatic corrections to phonon dispersion relations. In this article a review of the theoretical and computational framework underlying modern electron-phonon calculations from first principles as well as landmark investigations of the electron-phonon interaction in real materials is given. The first part of the article summarizes the elementary theory of electron-phonon interactions and their calculations based on density-functional theory. The second part discusses a general field-theoretic formulation of the electron-phonon problem and establishes the connection with practical first-principles calculations. The third part reviews a number of recent investigations of electron-phonon interactions in the areas of vibrational spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, transport, and superconductivity.
This article reviews static and dynamic interfacial effects in magnetism, focusing on interfacially driven magnetic effects and phenomena associated with spin-orbit coupling and intrinsic symmetry breaking at interfaces. It provides a historical background and literature survey, but focuses on recent progress, identifying the most exciting new scientific results and pointing to promising future research directions. It starts with an introduction and overview of how basic magnetic properties are affected by interfaces, then turns to a discussion of charge and spin transport through and near interfaces and how these can be used to control the properties of the magnetic layer. Important concepts include spin accumulation, spin currents, spin-transfer torque, and spin pumping. An overview is provided to the current state of knowledge and existing review literature on interfacial effects such as exchange bias, exchange-spring magnets, the spin Hall effect, oxide heterostructures, and topological insulators. The article highlights recent discoveries of interface-induced magnetism and noncollinear spin textures, nonlinear dynamics including spin-transfer torque and magnetization reversal induced by interfaces, and interfacial effects in ultrafast magnetization processes.
A new scientific frontier opened in 2009 with the start of operations of the world's first x-ray free-electron laser (FEL), the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. LCLS provides femtosecond pulses of x rays (270 eV to 11.2 keV) with very high peak brightness to access new domains of ultrafast x-ray science. This article presents the fundamental FEL physics and outlines the LCLS source characteristics along with the experimental challenges, strategies, and instrumentation that accompany this novel type of x-ray source. The main part of the article reviews the scientific achievements since the inception of LCLS in the five primary areas it serves: atomic, molecular, and optical physics; condensed matter physics; matter in extreme conditions; chemistry and soft matter, and biology.
A review is given of various theoretical approaches for the equation of state (EoS) of dense matter, relevant for the description of core-collapse supernovae, compact stars, and compact star mergers. The emphasis is put on models that are applicable to all of these scenarios. Such EoS models have to cover large ranges in baryon number density, temperature, and isospin asymmetry. The characteristics of matter change dramatically within these ranges, from a mixture of nucleons, nuclei, and electrons to uniform, strongly interacting matter containing nucleons, and possibly other particles such as hyperons or quarks. As the development of an EoS requires joint efforts from many directions, different theoretical approaches are considered and relevant experimental and observational constraints which provide insights for future research are discussed. Finally, results from applications of the discussed EoS models are summarized.
The technique of stimulated Raman adiabatic passage (STIRAP), which allows efficient and selective population transfer between quantum states without suffering loss due to spontaneous emission, was introduced in 1990 by Gaubatz et al.. Since then STIRAP has emerged as an enabling methodology with widespread successful applications in many fields of physics, chemistry, and beyond. This article reviews the many applications of STIRAP emphasizing the developments since 2001, the time when the last major review on the topic was written (Vitanov, Fleischhauer et al.). A brief introduction into the theory of STIRAP and the early applications for population transfer within three-level systems is followed by the discussion of several extensions to multilevel systems, including multistate chains and tripod systems. The main emphasis is on the wide range of applications in atomic and molecular physics (including atom optics, cavity quantum electrodynamics, formation of ultracold molecules, etc.), quantum information (including single-and two-qubit gates, entangled-state preparation, etc.), solid-state physics (including processes in doped crystals, nitrogen-vacancy centers, superconducting circuits, semiconductor quantum dots and wells), and even some applications in classical physics (including waveguide optics, polarization optics, frequency conversion, etc.). Promising new prospects for STIRAP are also presented (including processes in optomechanics, precision experiments, detection of parity violation in molecules, spectroscopy of core-nonpenetrating Rydberg states, population transfer with x-ray pulses, etc.).
A reflection of our ultimate understanding of a complex system is our ability to control its behavior. Typically, control has multiple prerequisites: it requires an accurate map of the network that governs the interactions between the system's components, a quantitative description of the dynamical laws that govern the temporal behavior of each component, and an ability to influence the state and temporal behavior of a selected subset of the components. With deep roots in dynamical systems and control theory, notions of control and controllability have taken a new life recently in the study of complex networks, inspiring several fundamental questions: What are the control principles of complex systems? How do networks organize themselves to balance control with functionality? To address these questions here recent advances on the controllability and the control of complex networks are reviewed, exploring the intricate interplay between the network topology and dynamical laws. The pertinent mathematical results are matched with empirical findings and applications. Uncovering the control principles of complex systems can help us explore and ultimately understand the fundamental laws that govern their behavior.
X-ray free-electron lasers (x-ray FELs) give us for the first time the possibility to explore structures and dynamical processes of atomic and molecular systems at the angstrom-femtosecond space and time scales. They generate coherent photon pulses with time duration of a few to 100 fs, peak power of 10 to 100 GW, over a wavelength range extending from about 100 nm to less than 1 angstrom. Using these novel and unique capabilities new scientific results are being obtained in atomic and molecular sciences, in areas of physics, chemistry, and biology. This paper reviews the physical principles, the theoretical models, and the numerical codes on which x-ray FELs are based, starting from a single electron spontaneous undulator radiation to the FEL collective instability of a high density electron beam, strongly enhancing the electromagnetic radiation field intensity and its coherence properties. A short review is presented of the main experimental properties of x-ray FELs, and the results are discussed of the most recent research to improve their longitudinal coherence properties, increase the peak power, and generate multicolor spectra.
Quantum spin liquids form a novel class of matter where, despite the existence of strong exchange interactions, spins do not order down to the lowest measured temperature. Typically, these occur in lattices that act to frustrate the appearance of magnetism. In two dimensions, the classic example is the kagome lattice composed of corner sharing triangles. There are a variety of minerals whose transition metal ions form such a lattice. Hence, a number of them have been studied and were then subsequently synthesized in order to obtain more pristine samples. Of particular note was the report in 2005 by Dan Nocera's group of the synthesis of herbertsmithite, composed of a lattice of copper ions sitting on a kagome lattice, which indeed does not order down to the lowest measured temperature despite the existence of a large exchange interaction of 17 meV. Over the past decade, this material has been extensively studied, yielding a number of intriguing surprises that have in turn motivated a resurgence of interest in the theoretical study of the spin 1/2 Heisenberg model on a kagome lattice. This Colloquium reviews these developments and then discusses potential future directions, both experimental and theoretical, as well as the challenge of doping these materials with the hope that this could lead to the discovery of novel topological and superconducting phases.
Symmetry-protected topological (SPT) phases of matter have been interpreted in terms of anomalies, and it has been expected that a similar picture should hold for SPT phases with fermions. Here a description is given in detail of what this picture means for phases of quantum matter that can be understood via band theory and free fermions. The main examples considered are time-reversal invariant topological insulators and superconductors in two or three space dimensions. Along the way, the precise meaning of the statement that in the hulk of a 3D topological insulator, the electromagnetic theta angle is equal to n, is clarified.
Interactions induced by electromagnetic fluctuations, such as van der Waals and Casimir forces, are of universal nature present at any length scale between any types of systems. Such interactions are important not only for the fundamental science of materials behavior, but also for the design and improvement of micro- and nanostructured devices. In the past decade, many new materials have become available, which has stimulated the need for understanding their dispersive interactions. The field of van der Waals and Casimir forces has experienced an impetus in terms of developing novel theoretical and computational methods to provide new insights into related phenomena. The understanding of such forces has far reaching consequences as it bridges concepts in materials, atomic and molecular physics, condensed-matter physics, high-energy physics, chemistry, and biology. This review summarizes major breakthroughs and emphasizes the common origin of van der Waals and Casimir interactions. Progress related to novel ab initio modeling approaches and their application in various systems, interactions in materials with Dirac-like spectra, force manipulations through nontrivial boundary conditions, and applications of van der Waals forces in organic and biological matter are examined. The outlook of the review is to give the scientific community a materials perspective of van der Waals and Casimir phenomena and stimulate the development of experimental techniques and applications.