We have grown an atom-thin, ordered, two-dimensional multi-phase film in situ through germanium molecular beam epitaxy using a gold (111) surface as a substrate. Its growth is similar to the formation of silicene layers on silver (111) templates. One of the phases, forming large domains, as observed in scanning tunneling microscopy, shows a clear, nearly flat, honeycomb structure. Thanks to thorough synchrotron radiation core-level spectroscopy measurements and advanced density functional theory calculations we can identify it as a root 3 x root 3 R(30 degrees) germanene layer in conjunction with a root 7 x root 7 R(19.1 degrees) Au(111) supercell, presenting compelling evidence of the synthesis of the germanium-based cousin of graphene on gold.
We review the collider phenomenology of neutrino physics and the synergetic aspects at energy, intensity and cosmic frontiers to test the new physics behind the neutrino mass mechanism. In particular, we focus on seesaw models within the minimal setup as well as with extended gauge and/or Higgs sectors, and on supersymmetric neutrino mass models with seesaw mechanism and with R-parity violation. In the simplest type-I seesaw scenario with sterile neutrinos, we summarize and update the current experimental constraints on the sterile neutrino mass and its mixing with the active neutrinos. We also discuss the future experimental prospects of testing the seesaw mechanism at colliders and in related low-energy searches for rare processes, such as lepton flavor violation and neutrinoless double beta decay. The implications of the discovery of lepton number violation at the Large Hadron Collider for leptogenesis are also studied.
Kwant is a Python package for numerical quantum transport calculations. It aims to be a user-friendly, universal, and high-performance toolbox for the simulation of physical systems of any dimensionality and geometry that can be described by a tight-binding model. Kwant has been designed such that the natural concepts of the theory of quantum transport (lattices, symmetries, electrodes, orbital/spin/electron-hole degrees of freedom) are exposed in a simple and transparent way. Defining a new simulation setup is very similar to describing the corresponding mathematical model. Kwant offers direct support for calculations of transport properties (conductance, noise, scattering matrix), dispersion relations, modes, wave functions, various Green's functions, and out-of-equilibrium local quantities. Other computations involving tight-binding Hamiltonians can be implemented easily thanks to its extensible and modular nature.
We elaborate on the proposal that the observed acceleration of the Universe is the result of the backreaction of cosmological perturbations, rather than the effect of a negative-pressure dark-energy fluid or a modification of general relativity. Through the effective Friedmann equations describing an inhomogeneous Universe after smoothing, we demonstrate that acceleration in our local Hubble patch is possible even if fluid elements do not individually undergo accelerated expansion. This invalidates the no-go theorem that there can be no acceleration in our local Hubble patch if the Universe only contains irrotational dust. We then study perturbatively the time behaviour of general-relativistic cosmological perturbations, applying, where possible, the renormalization group to regularize the dynamics. We show that an instability occurs in the perturbative expansion involving sub-Hubble modes. Whether this is an indication that acceleration in our Hubble patch originates from the backreaction of cosmological perturbations on observable scales requires a fully non-perturbative approach.
Silicene is a monolayer of silicon atoms forming a two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb lattice and shares almost all the remarkable properties of graphene. The low-energy structure of silicene is described by Dirac electrons with relatively large spin-orbit interactions owing to its buckled structure. A key observation is that the band structure can be controlled by applying an electric field to a silicene sheet. In particular, the gap closes at a certain critical electric field. Examining the band structure of a silicene nanoribbon, we show that a topological phase transition occurs from a topological insulator to a band insulator with an increase of electric field. We also show that it is possible to generate helical zero modes anywhere in a silicene sheet by adjusting the electric field locally to this critical value. The region may act as a quantum wire or a quantum dot surrounded by topological and/or band insulators. We explicitly construct the wave functions for some simple geometries based on the low-energy effective Dirac theory. These results are also applicable to germanene, which is a 2D honeycomb structure of germanium.
It has recently been shown that in every spatial dimension there exist precisely five distinct classes of topological insulators or superconductors. Within a given class, the different topological sectors can be distinguished, depending on the case, by a Z or a Z(2) topological invariant. This is an exhaustive classification. Here we construct representatives of topological insulators and superconductors for all five classes and in arbitrary spatial dimension d, in terms of Dirac Hamiltonians. Using these representatives we demonstrate how topological insulators (superconductors) in different dimensions and different classes can be related via 'dimensional reduction' by compactifying one or more spatial dimensions (in 'Kaluza-Klein'-like fashion). For Z-topological insulators (superconductors) this proceeds by descending by one dimension at a time into a different class. The Z(2)-topological insulators (superconductors), on the other hand, are shown to be lower-dimensional descendants of parent Z-topological insulators in the same class, from which they inherit their topological properties. The eightfold periodicity in dimension d that exists for topological insulators (superconductors) with Hamiltonians satisfying at least one reality condition (arising from time-reversal or charge-conjugation/particle-hole symmetries) is a reflection of the eightfold periodicity of the spinor representations of the orthogonal groups SO(N) (a form of Bott periodicity). Furthermore, we derive for general spatial dimensions a relation between the topological invariant that characterizes topological insulators and superconductors with chiral symmetry (i.e., the winding number) and the Chern-Simons invariant. For lower-dimensional cases, this formula relates the winding number to the electric polarization (d = 1 spatial dimensions) or to the magnetoelectric polarizability (d = 3 spatial dimensions). Finally, we also discuss topological field theories describing the spacetime theory of linear responses in topological insulators (superconductors) and study how the presence of inversion symmetry modifies the classification of topological insulators (superconductors).
We have shown experimentally, in a real-world setting, that it is possible to use two beams of incoherent radio waves, transmitted on the same frequency but encoded in two different orbital angular momentum states, to simultaneously transmit two independent radio channels. This novel radio technique allows the implementation of, in principle, an infinite number of channels in a given, fixed bandwidth, even without using polarization, multiport or dense coding techniques. This paves the way for innovative techniques in radio science and entirely new paradigms in radio communication protocols that might offer a solution to the problem of radio-band congestion.
This introductory review on plasma health care is intended to provide the interested reader with a summary of the current status of this emerging field, its scope, and its broad interdisciplinary approach, ranging from plasma physics, chemistry and technology, to microbiology, biochemistry, biophysics, medicine and hygiene. Apart from the basic plasma processes and the restrictions and requirements set by international health standards, the review focuses on plasma interaction with prokaryotic cells (bacteria), eukaryotic cells (mammalian cells), cell membranes, DNA etc. In so doing, some of the unfamiliar terminology-an unavoidable by-product of interdisciplinary research-is covered and explained. Plasma health care may provide a fast and efficient new path for effective hospital (and other public buildings) hygiene-helping to prevent and contain diseases that are continuously gaining ground as resistance of pathogens to antibiotics grows. The delivery of medically active 'substances' at the molecular or ionic level is another exciting topic of research through effects on cell walls (permeabilization), cell excitation (paracrine action) and the introduction of reactive species into cell cytoplasm. Electric fields, charging of surfaces, current flows etc can also affect tissue in a controlled way. The field is young and hopes are high. It is fitting to cover the beginnings in New Journal of Physics, since it is the physics (and non-equilibrium chemistry) of room temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas that have made this development of plasma health care possible.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) systems often rely on polarization of light for encoding, thus limiting the amount of information that can be sent per photon and placing tight bounds on the error rates that such a system can tolerate. Here we describe a proof-of-principle experiment that indicates the feasibility of high-dimensional QKD based on the transverse structure of the light field allowing for the transfer of more than 1 bit per photon. Our implementation uses the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons and the corresponding mutually unbiased basis of angular position (ANG). Our experiment uses a digital micro-mirror device for the rapid generation of OAM and ANG modes at 4 kHz, and a mode sorter capable of sorting single photons based on their OAM and ANG content with a separation efficiency of 93%. Through the use of a seven-dimensional alphabet encoded in the OAM and ANG bases, we achieve a channel capacity of 2.05 bits per sifted photon. Our experiment demonstrates that, in addition to having an increased information capacity, multilevel QKD systems based on spatial-mode encoding can be more resilient against intercept-resend eavesdropping attacks.
Transverse spatial modes of light offer a large state- space with interesting physical properties. For exploiting these special modes in future long-distance experiments, the modes will have to be transmitted over turbulent free-space links. Numerous recent lab-scale experiments have found significant degradation in the mode quality after transmission through simulated turbulence and consecutive coherent detection. Here, we experimentally analyze the transmission of one prominent class of spatial modes-orbital-angular momentum (OAM) modes-through 3 km of strong turbulence over the city of Vienna. Instead of performing a coherent phase-dependent measurement, we employ an incoherent detection scheme, which relies on the unambiguous intensity patterns of the different spatial modes. We use a pattern recognition algorithm (an artificial neural network) to identify the characteristic mode patterns displayed on a screen at the receiver. We were able to distinguish between 16 different OAM mode superpositions with only a similar to 1.7% error rate and to use them to encode and transmit small grayscale images. Moreover, we found that the relative phase of the superposition modes is not affected by the atmosphere, establishing the feasibility for performing long-distance quantum experiments with the OAM of photons. Our detection method works for other classes of spatial modes with unambiguous intensity patterns as well, and can be further improved by modern techniques of pattern recognition.
Many networks in nature, society and technology are characterized by a mesoscopic level of organization, with groups of nodes forming tightly connected units, called communities or modules, that are only weakly linked to each other. Uncovering this community structure is one of the most important problems in the field of complex networks. Networks often show a hierarchical organization, with communities embedded within other communities; moreover, nodes can be shared between different communities. Here, we present the first algorithm that finds both overlapping communities and the hierarchical structure. The method is based on the local optimization of a fitness function. Community structure is revealed by peaks in the fitness histogram. The resolution can be tuned by a parameter enabling different hierarchical levels of organization to be investigated. Tests on real and artificial networks give excellent results.
We propose an algorithm for finding overlapping community structure in very large networks. The algorithm is based on the label propagation technique of Raghavan, Albert and Kumara, but is able to detect communities that overlap. Like the original algorithm, vertices have labels that propagate between neighbouring vertices so that members of a community reach a consensus on their community membership. Our main contribution is to extend the label and propagation step to include information about more than one community: each vertex can now belong to up to v communities, where v is the parameter of the algorithm. Our algorithm can also handle weighted and bipartite networks. Tests on an independently designed set of benchmarks, and on real networks, show the algorithm to be highly effective in recovering overlapping communities. It is also very fast and can process very large and dense networks in a short time.
This paper presents a review of the current state of the art in the research field of cold and ultracold molecules. It serves as an introduction to the focus issue of New Journal of Physics on Cold and Ultracold Molecules and describes new prospects for fundamental research and technological development. Cold and ultracold molecules may revolutionize physical chemistry and few-body physics, provide techniques for probing new states of quantum matter, allow for precision measurements of both fundamental and applied interest, and enable quantum simulations of condensed-matter phenomena. Ultracold molecules offer promising applications such as new platforms for quantum computing, precise control of molecular dynamics, nanolithography and Bose-enhanced chemistry. The discussion is based on recent experimental and theoretical work and concludes with a summary of anticipated future directions and open questions in this rapidly expanding research field.
The origin of fermion mass hierarchies and mixings is one of the unresolved and most difficult problems in high-energy physics. One possibility to address the flavour problems is by extending the standard model to include a family symmetry. In the recent years it has become very popular to use non-Abelian discrete flavour symmetries because of their power in the prediction of the large leptonic mixing angles relevant for neutrino oscillation experiments. Here we give an introduction to the flavour problem and to discrete groups that have been used to attempt a solution for it. We review the current status of models in light of the recent measurement of the reactor angle, and we consider different model-building directions taken. The use of the flavons or multi-Higgs scalars in model building is discussed as well as the direct versus indirect approaches. We also focus on the possibility of experimentally distinguishing flavour symmetry models by means of mixing sum rules and mass sum rules. In fact, we illustrate in this review the complete path from mathematics, via model building, to experiments, so that any reader interested in starting work in the field could use this text as a starting point in order to obtain a broad overview of the different subject areas.
Quantum control is concerned with active manipulation of physical and chemical processes on the atomic and molecular scale. This work presents a perspective of progress in the field of control over quantum phenomena, tracing the evolution of theoretical concepts and experimental methods from early developments to the most recent advances. Among numerous theoretical insights and technological improvements that produced the present state-of-the-art in quantum control, there have been several breakthroughs of foremost importance. On the technology side, the current experimental successes would be impossible without the development of intense femtosecond laser sources and pulse shapers. On the theory side, the two most critical insights were (i) realizing that ultrafast atomic and molecular dynamics can be controlled via manipulation of quantum interferences and (ii) understanding that optimally shaped ultrafast laser pulses are the most effective means for producing the desired quantum interference patterns in the controlled system. Finally, these theoretical and experimental advances were brought together by the crucial concept of adaptive feedback control (AFC), which is a laboratory procedure employing measurement-driven, closed-loop optimization to identify the best shapes of femtosecond laser control pulses for steering quantum dynamics towards the desired objective. Optimization in AFC experiments is guided by a learning algorithm, with stochastic methods proving to be especially effective. AFC of quantum phenomena has found numerous applications in many areas of the physical and chemical sciences, and this paper reviews the extensive experiments. Other subjects discussed include quantum optimal control theory, quantum control landscapes, the role of theoretical control designs in experimental realizations and real-time quantum feedback control. The paper concludes with a perspective of open research directions that are likely to attract significant attention in the future.
Electroweak baryogenesis (EWBG) remains a theoretically attractive and experimentally testable scenario for explaining the cosmic baryon asymmetry. We review recent progress in computations of the baryon asymmetry within this framework and discuss their phenomenological consequences. We pay particular attention to methods for analyzing the electroweak phase transition and calculating CP-violating asymmetries, the development of Standard Model extensions that may provide the necessary ingredients for EWBG, and searches for corresponding signatures at the high energy, intensity and cosmological frontiers.
We study single silicon vacancy (SiV) centres in chemical vapour deposition (CVD) nanodiamonds on iridium as well as an ensemble of SiV centres in a high-quality, low-stress CVD diamond film by using temperature-dependent luminescence spectroscopy in the temperature range 5-295 K. We investigate in detail the temperature-dependent fine structure of the zero-phonon line (ZPL) of the SiV centres. The ZPL transition is affected by inhomogeneous as well as temperature- dependent homogeneous broadening and blue shifts by about 20 cm(-1) upon cooling from room temperature to 5 K. We employ excitation power-dependent g((2)) measurements to explore the temperature-dependent internal population dynamics of single SiV centres and infer mostly temperature-independent dynamics.
We derive a systematic high-frequency expansion for the effective Hamiltonian and the micromotion operator of periodically driven quantum systems. Our approach is based on the block diagonalization of the quasienergy operator in the extended Floquet Hilbert space by means of degenerate perturbation theory. The final results are equivalent to those obtained within a different approach (Rahav et al 2003 Phys. Rev. A 68 013820), (Goldman and Dalibard 2014 Phys. Rev. X 4 031027) and can also be related to the Floquet-Magnus expansion (Casas et al 2001 J. Phys. A 34 3379). We discuss that the dependence on the driving phase, which plagues the latter, can lead to artifactual symmetry breaking. The high-frequency approach is illustrated using the example of a periodically driven Hubbard model. Moreover, we discuss the nature of the approximation and its limitations for systems of many interacting particles.
We perform a perturbative calculation of the third order optical conductivities of doped graphene, using approximations valid around the Dirac points and neglecting effects due to scattering and electron-electron interactions. In this limit analytic formulas can be constructed for the conductivities. We discuss in detail the results for third harmonic generation, the Kerr effect and two-photon carrier injection, parametric frequency conversion, and two-color coherent current injection. We find a complicated dependence on the chemical potential and photon energies. The linear dispersion causes resonances over a wide range of photon energies, and it is possible to obtain large optical nonlinearities by tuning the chemical potential.
The radiative cooling timescales at the centers of hot atmospheres surrounding elliptical galaxies, groups and clusters are much shorter than their ages. Therefore, hot atmospheres are expected to cool and to form stars. Cold gas and star formation are observed in central cluster galaxies but at levels below those expected from an unimpeded cooling flow. X-ray observations have shown that wholesale cooling is being offset by mechanical heating from radio active galactic nuclei. Feedback is widely considered to be an important and perhaps unavoidable consequence of the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes. We show that cooling x-ray atmospheres and the ensuing star formation and nuclear activity are probably coupled to a self-regulated feedback loop. While the energetics are now reasonably well understood, other aspects of feedback are not. We highlight the problems of atmospheric heating and transport processes, accretion, and nuclear activity, and we discuss the potential role of black hole spin. We discuss x-ray imagery showing that the chemical elements produced by central galaxies are being dispersed on large scales by outflows launched from the vicinity of supermassive black holes. Finally, we comment on the growing evidence for mechanical heating of distant cluster atmospheres by radio jets and its potential consequences for the excess entropy in hot halos and a possible decline in the number of distant cooling flows.