Physica Scripta is published by the IOP on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the Science Academies and the Physical Societies of the Nordic Countries.
Our Topical Issue based on the 14th International Conference on Plasma-Facing Materials and Components for Fusion Applications has now been published online. All the papers from the conference will be free to read until the end of May 2014.
20th Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics
Proceedings of the CEWQO20 meeting, held in Stockholm, Sweden in June 2013, have been published as a Topical Issue of Physica Scripta. These papers will be free to read until the end of May 2014.
Selected papers from FN&MT-2013
Selected papers from the International Conference on Functional Materials and Nanotechnologies, held in April 2013 in Estonia, have been published in a special section of Physica Scripta. These articles will be free to read online until the end of April 2014.
Invited comments on integrability
A set of five invited comments have been published on the subject of Integrability: mathematical methods for solving solitary waves theory. The articles will be free to read online until the end of April 2014.
Highlights of 2013
Physica Scripta proudly presents the Highlights of 2013 collection. These articles published in 2013 cover a broad spectrum of physics research selected based on the number of citations, the number of downloads, or their scientific impact.
Physica Scripta has also published a teaching paper on the Higgs boson, The Higgs bridge by Roland Allen, intended for lecturers and students alike. This article will be free to read until the end of March 2014. Click here for a list of our teaching papers, known as Comments.
In the last 30 days
J E Hirsch 2013 Phys. Scr. 88 035704
Conventional Hubbard models do not take into account the fact that the wavefunction of an electron in an atomic orbital expands when a second electron occupies the orbital. Dynamic Hubbard models have been proposed to describe this physics. These models reflect the fact that electronic materials are generically not electron–hole symmetric, and they give rise to superconductivity driven by lowering of kinetic energy when the electronic energy band is almost full, with higher transition temperatures resulting when the ions are negatively charged. We show that the charge distribution in dynamic Hubbard models can be highly inhomogeneous in the presence of disorder, and that a finite system will expel negative charge from the interior to the surface, and that these tendencies are largest in the parameter regime where the models give rise to highest superconducting transition temperatures. High T c cuprate materials exhibit charge inhomogeneity and they exhibit tunneling asymmetry, a larger tendency to emit electrons rather than holes in normal–insulating–superconducting tunnel junctions. We propose that these properties, as well as their high T c, are evidence that they are governed by the physics described by dynamic Hubbard models. Below the superconducting transition temperature the models considered here describe a negatively charged superfluid and positively charged quasiparticles, unlike the situation in conventional Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer superconductors where quasiparticles are charge neutral on average. We examine the temperature dependence of the superfluid and quasiparticle charges and conclude that spontaneous electric fields should be observable in the interior and in the vicinity of superconducting materials described by these models at sufficiently low temperatures. We furthermore suggest that the dynamics of the negatively charged superfluid and positively charged quasiparticles in dynamic Hubbard models can provide an explanation for the Meissner effect observed in high T c and low T c superconducting materials.
Hitoshi Murayama 2013 Phys. Scr. 2013 014025
I was asked to discuss future experimental programs even though I am a theorist. As a result, I present my own personal views on where the field is, and where it is going, based on what I myself have been working on. In particular, I discuss why we need expeditions into high energies to find clues to where the relevant energy scale is for dark matter, baryon asymmetry and neutrino mass. I also argue that the next energy frontier machine should be justified on the basis of what we know, namely the mass of the Higgs boson, so that we will learn what energy we should aim at once we nail the Higgs sector. Finally, I make remarks on dark energy.
Garry Robinson and Ian Robinson 2013 Phys. Scr. 88 018101
In this paper the differential equations which govern the motion of a spherical projectile rotating about an arbitrary axis in the presence of an arbitrary ‘wind’ are developed. Three forces are assumed to act on the projectile: (i) gravity, (ii) a drag force proportional to the square of the projectile's velocity and in the opposite direction to this velocity and (iii) a lift or ‘Magnus’ force also assumed to be proportional to the square of the projectile's velocity and in a direction perpendicular to both this velocity and the angular velocity vector of the projectile. The problem has been coded in Matlab and some illustrative model trajectories are presented for ‘ball-games’, specifically golf and cricket, although the equations could equally well be applied to other ball-games such as tennis, soccer or baseball.
Spin about an arbitrary axis allows for the treatment of situations where, for example, the spin has a component about the direction of travel. In the case of a cricket ball the subtle behaviour of so-called ‘drift’, particularly ‘late drift’, and also ‘dip’, which may be produced by a slow bowler's off or leg-spin, are investigated. It is found that the trajectories obtained are broadly in accord with those observed in practice. We envisage that this paper may be useful in two ways: (i) for its inherent scientific value as, to the best of our knowledge, the fundamental equations derived here have not appeared in the literature and (ii) in cultivating student interest in the numerical solution of differential equations, since so many of them actively participate in ball-games, and they will be able to compare their own practical experience with the overall trends indicated by the numerical results.
As the paper presents equations which can be further extended, it may be of interest to research workers. However, since only the most basic principles of fundamental mechanics are employed, it should be well within the grasp of first year university students in physics and engineering and, with the guidance of teachers, good final year secondary school students. The trajectory results included may be useful to sporting personnel with no formal training in physics.
Sukang Bae et al 2012 Phys. Scr. 2012 014024
Since the first isolation of graphene in 2004 by mechanical exfoliation from graphite, many people have tried to synthesize large-scale graphene using various chemical methods. In particular, there has been a great number of advances in the synthesis of graphene using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on metal substrates such as Ni and Cu. Recently, a method to synthesize ultra-large-scale (~30 inch) graphene films using roll-to-roll transfer and chemical doping processes was developed that shows excellent electrical and physical properties suitable for practical applications on a large scale. Considering the outstanding scalability/processibility of roll-to-roll and CVD methods as well as the extraordinary flexibility/conductivity of graphene films, we expect that transparent graphene electrodes can replace indium tin oxide in the near future.
Roland E Allen 2014 Phys. Scr. 89 018001
The particle recently discovered at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva is almost certainly a Higgs boson, the long-sought completion of the Standard Model of particle physics. But this discovery, an achievement by more than 6000 scientists (including students), is actually much more than a mere capstone of the Standard Model. It instead represents a bridge from the Standard Model to exciting discoveries of the future, at higher energies or in other experiments, and to the properties of matter at very low temperatures. The mere existence of a particle with zero spin implies a need for new physics, with the most likely candidate being supersymmetry, which requires that every known particle has a superpartner yet to be discovered. And phenomena similar to the Higgs are seen in superconducting metals and superfluid gases at low temperatures, which extend down to a millionth or even a billionth of a degree Kelvin. So the discovery of a Higgs boson has a central place in our attempts both to achieve a true understanding of Nature and to harness Nature in practical applications.
K S Novoselov and A H Castro Neto 2012 Phys. Scr. 2012 014006
Graphene is just one example of a large class of two-dimensional crystals. These crystals can either be extracted from layered three-dimensional materials or grown artificially by several different methods. Furthermore, they present physical properties that are unique because of the low dimensionality and their special crystal structure. They have potential for semiconducting behavior, magnetism, superconductivity, and even more complex many-body phenomena. Two-dimensional crystals can also be assembled in three-dimensional heterostructures that do not exist in nature and have tailored properties, opening an entirely new chapter in condensed matter research.
Klaus Blaum et al 2013 Phys. Scr. 2013 014017
Atomic physics techniques for the determination of ground-state properties of radioactive isotopes are very sensitive and provide accurate masses, binding energies, Q-values, charge radii, spins and electromagnetic moments. Many fields in nuclear physics benefit from these highly accurate numbers. They give insight into details of the nuclear structure for a better understanding of the underlying effective interactions, provide important input for studies of fundamental symmetries in physics, and help to understand the nucleosynthesis processes that are responsible for the observed chemical abundances in the Universe. Penning-trap and storage-ring mass spectrometry as well as laser spectroscopy of radioactive nuclei have now been used for a long time but significant progress has been achieved in these fields within the last decade. The basic principles of laser spectroscopic investigations, Penning-trap and storage-ring mass measurements of short-lived nuclei are summarized and selected physics results are discussed.
Abdul-Majid Wazwaz 2014 Phys. Scr. 89 038001
In recent decades, substantial experimental research efforts have been devoted to linear and nonlinear physical phenomena. In particular, studies of integrable nonlinear equations in solitary waves theory have attracted intensive interest from mathematicians, with the principal goal of fostering the development of new methods, and physicists, who are seeking solutions that represent physical phenomena and to form a bridge between mathematical results and scientific structures. The aim for both groups is to build up our current understanding and facilitate future developments, develop more creative results and create new trends in the rapidly developing field of solitary waves.
The notion of the integrability of certain partial differential equations occupies an important role in current and future trends, but a unified rigorous definition of the integrability of differential equations still does not exist. For example, an integrable model in the Painlevé sense may not be integrable in the Lax sense. The Painlevé sense indicates that the solution can be represented as a Laurent series in powers of some function that vanishes on an arbitrary surface with the possibility of truncating the Laurent series at finite powers of this function. The concept of Lax pairs introduces another meaning of the notion of integrability. The Lax pair formulates the integrability of nonlinear equation as the compatibility condition of two linear equations. However, it was shown by many researchers that the necessary integrability conditions are the existence of an infinite series of generalized symmetries or conservation laws for the given equation. The existence of multiple soliton solutions often indicates the integrability of the equation but other tests, such as the Painlevé test or the Lax pair, are necessary to confirm the integrability for any equation.
In the context of completely integrable equations, studies are flourishing because these equations are able to describe the real features in a variety of vital areas in science, technology and engineering. In recognition of the importance of solitary waves theory and the underlying concept of integrable equations, a variety of powerful methods have been developed to carry out the required analysis. Examples of such methods which have been advanced are the inverse scattering method, the Hirota bilinear method, the simplified Hirota method, the Bäcklund transformation method, the Darboux transformation, the Pfaffian technique, the Painlevé analysis, the generalized symmetry method, the subsidiary ordinary differential equation method, the coupled amplitude-phase formulation, the sine–cosine method, the sech–tanh method, the mapping and deformation approach and many new other methods.
The inverse scattering method, viewed as a nonlinear analogue of the Fourier transform method, is a powerful approach that demonstrates the existence of soliton solutions through intensive computations. At the center of the theory of integrable equations lies the bilinear forms and Hirota's direct method, which can be used to obtain soliton solutions by using exponentials. The Bäcklund transformation method is a useful invariant transformation that transforms one solution into another of a differential equation. The Darboux transformation method is a well known tool in the theory of integrable systems. It is believed that there is a connection between the Bäcklund transformation and the Darboux transformation, but it is as yet not known.
Archetypes of integrable equations are the Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equation, the modified KdV equation, the sine-Gordon equation, the Schrödinger equation, the Vakhnenko equation, the KdV6 equation, the Burgers equation, the fifth-order Lax equation and many others. These equations yield soliton solutions, multiple soliton solutions, breather solutions, quasi-periodic solutions, kink solutions, homo-clinic solutions and other solutions as well.
The couplings of linear and nonlinear equations were recently discovered and subsequently received considerable attention. The concept of couplings forms a new direction for developing innovative construction methods. The recently obtained results in solitary waves theory highlight new approaches for additional creative ideas, promising further achievements and increased progress in this field.
We are grateful to all of the authors who accepted our invitation to contribute to this comment section.
A S Fokas and S De Lillo 2014 Phys. Scr. 89 038004
So-called inverse scattering provides a powerful method for analyzing the initial value problem for a large class of nonlinear evolution partial differential equations which are called integrable. In the late 1990s, the first author, motivated by inverse scattering, introduced a new method for analyzing boundary value problems. This method provides a unified treatment for linear, linearizable and integrable nonlinear partial differential equations. Here, this method, which is often referred to as the unified transform, is illustrated for the following concrete cases: the heat equation on the half-line; the nonlinear Schrödinger equation on the half-line; Burger's equation on the half-line; and Burger's equation on a moving boundary.
B Grammaticos and A Ramani 2014 Phys. Scr. 89 038002
In this paper we present a review of results on discrete Painlevé equations. We begin with an introduction which serves as a refresher on the continuous Painlevé equations. Next, in the first, main part of the paper, we introduce the discrete Painlevé equations, the various methods for their derivation, and their properties as well as their classification scheme. Along the way we present a brief summary of the two major discrete integrability detectors and of Quispel–Roberts–Thompson mapping, which plays a primordial role in the derivation of discrete Painlevé equations. The second part of the paper is more technical and focuses on the presentation of new results on what are called asymmetric discrete Painlevé equations.