Fish-Eye Lens May Entangle Pairs of Atoms

September 6, 2018

Fig. 1 from J. Perczel et al., Phys. Rev. A (2018)

Nearly 150 years ago, the physicist James Maxwell proposed that a circular lens that is thickest at its center, and that gradually thins out at its edges, should exhibit some fascinating optical behavior. Namely, when light is shone through such a lens, it should travel around in perfect circles, creating highly unusual, curved paths of light.


Reprogrammable Braille

July 25, 2018

Dimples are formed on an inverted plastic fruit bowl by poking the dimple location with a simple stylus, in much the same way that the pages of a traditional Braille book are printed. [Credit: L. Mahadevan/Harvard SEAS*]

When "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was translated into Braille, it spanned 1,000 pages over 14 volumes of thick Braille paper. Tolstoy’s War and Peace weighs in at 21 volumes. But what if there was a way to store whole books in just a few pages of Braille?


Magnetostatic Twists in Room-Temperature Skyrmions

July 23, 2018

Fig. 2: Reconstruction of the magnetic stray field components.*

Magnetic skyrmions are two-dimensional non-collinear spin textures characterized by an integer topological number. Room-temperature skyrmions were recently found in magnetic multilayer stacks, where their stability was largely attributed to the interfacial Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction. The strength of this interaction and its role in stabilizing the skyrmions is not yet well understood, and imaging of the full spin structure is needed to address this question.