Fig 2: Squirt system and papilla structure. [Reprinted under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License: A. Concha, P. Mellado, B. Morera-Brenes, C. Sampaio Costa, L Mahadevan & J. Monge-Nájera, "Oscillation of the velvet worm slime jet by passive hydrodynamic instability," Nature Communications 6: 6292 (17 March 2015) doi:10.1038/ncomms7292.]
Figure 1: Top: conventional phase diagram of a quantum critical point (QCP) associated with an order parameter ϕ, with a superconducting dome (SC) partially overlapping the quantum critical region of the "bare" QCP of a metal. Bottom: the phase diagram obtained in this paper, with the SC dome fully overlapping the incipient regime of incoherent fermionic quasiparticles, while the quantum critical ϕ fluctuations survive into higher temperatures in the normal state. [©2015 American Physical Society]
Figure 2: 1D–Frenkel–Kontorova model accounts for the essential features of interfilament sliding friction. [From A. Ward, et al., "Solid friction between soft filaments," Nature Materials (2015). Reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Materials ©2015.]
Any macroscopic deformation of a filamentous bundle is necessarily accompanied by local sliding and/or stretching of the constituent filaments. Yet the nature of the sliding friction between two aligned filaments interacting through multiple contacts remains largely unexplored.
Professor Kang-Kuen Ni has been named one of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellows by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. They are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Figure 3: While superconductivity shows nearly steady decline, other topics such as materials show steady growth in popularity.
Grad student Michael Shulman and postdoc Marc Warner survey the state of condensed matter physics for the past nine years in a recent arXiv article. They find that the field appears to be moving increasingly away from "traditional" subjects such as superconductivity, toward those bordering with material science and engineering. (See Michael Shulman, Marc Warner, "Of Matters Condensed," arXiv:1502.03103.)