Volume 5 - April-June 2009
Story 1 - 7/4/2009
at the Nanoscale
How would you measure the temperature of a nanoscopic object? How would you build a nano-thermometer? A new technique offers a solution.
Story 2 - 11/5/2009
Spying on Quantum Gases
A detective can only guess what mafia clans discuss inside their hideout. In a similar way, scientists usually only have indirect access to the behavior of trapped ultracold atomic gases. A novel microscopy technique now offers the possibility to directly observe what is happening inside the trap.
Story 3 - 26/5/2009
The Ice Age of Microfluidics
The vision of shrinking a full lab into a chip is gradually becoming a reality. Now the possibility to dynamically generate microchannels with a laser spot in a slab of ice opens new possibilities towards a reconfigurable lab-on-a-chip.
Story 4 - 9/6/2009
Another Brick in the Nanowall
Scientists, just as nano-architects would, are exploring different ways to design nanostructures with fine control over shape and position. A brand-new approach now allows one to build 2D nanowalls up by laying them down brick by brick.
Story 5 - 26/6/2009 - THE VIEWPOINT by Yaroslav Kartashov
Optical Lattice Solitons:
Guiding and Routing Light at Will
Optical solitons are localized nonlinear excitations, which exist due to the mutual balance of diffraction and nonlinearity (in the case of spatial solitons) or dispersion and nonlinearity (in the case of temporal solitons). Moreover, they can propagate undistorted over indefinitely long distances. Being nonlinear objects, solitons may interact with each other, sometimes elastically, as if they were mechanical particles, or inelastically, when several solitons may merge together or give birth to new solitons after interaction. In the case of spatial solitons, the transverse modulation of the refractive index of the nonlinear material drastically affects their properties and affords new tools for the control of soliton propagation dynamics. Here, we review some possibilities for soliton control offered by periodic lattices and lattices produced by nondiffracting light beams.
Story 6 - 29/6/2009
Forging Quantum Teams
A rowing team consists of a given number of athletes; adding or subtracting one would make it impossible for the team to compete. Recent experiments have shown that conditions exist under which quantum particles can also team up in a controlled number.