2021 Impact factor 1.611
Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics

News / Highlights / Colloquium

EPJ D Highlight - Better understanding the bonds between carbon group elements

Experimental setup

Heating clusters of these elements reveals key differences

The bonds between clusters of elements in the fourteenth group of the periodic table are known to be fickle. Ranging from the nonmetal carbon, to the metalloids silicon and germanium, to the metals tin and lead, all these elements share the same configuration of valence electrons – electrons in their atoms’ outermost energy level. However, clusters formed from these elements respond differently to being excited with laser pulses. Studying the response of atomic clusters to photoexcitation as a function of the element they are composed of and their number of atoms reveals patterns that can be used to gain insight into their structure and binding mechanisms.


EPJ D Highlight - Predicting the composition of a steel alloy

Experimental setup

Austenitic steel is a potential material for nuclear fusion reactors

Producing energy on Earth through nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers the Sun, has proven to be a major challenge. The extreme conditions needed for such a reaction require the walls of a nuclear fusion device to be made of a material with a particular set of mechanical properties, including being able to withstand incredibly high temperatures and be shock- and corrosion-resistant. Austenitic steel, a non-magnetic steel with a crystalline structure, is one of the materials considered for use in nuclear fusion devices.


EPJ D Highlight - Atoms slow down more within colder blackbody radiation

The blackbody radiation curve. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-body_radiation#/media/ File:Black_body.svg

New analysis shows that atoms will encounter high frictional forces in the presence of blackbody radiation at lower temperatures. Accounting for this effect could help researchers to improve the accuracy of high-precision experiments.

Blackbody radiation (BBR) contains electromagnetic waves with characteristic spectra, which changes shape depending on the temperature of the body. When moving atoms encounter these fields, they experience a repulsive force which slows down their movement towards the source of the radiation. Through new analysis published in EPJ D, Vipul Badhan and colleagues at Guru Nanak Dev University, India, show that the influence of this ‘blackbody friction force’ (BBFF) is particularly strong at lower temperatures.


EPJ D Topical review - Theory and molecular simulations of plasma sputtering, transport and deposition processes

One shot atomistic simulations of sputtering deposition

A new Topical Review published in EPJD provides an overview of the basic theory of sputtering with recent models, focussing in particular on sputtered atom energy distribution functions. Models such as Monte-Carlo, kinetic Monte-Carlo, and classical Molecular Dynamics simulations are presented due to their ability to describe the various processes involved in sputtering, transport and deposition processes.


EPJ D Highlight - Alain Aspect: The physicist who made entanglement an experimental reality

Aspect’s 1983 thesis revolutionised quantum mechanics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_ Aspect#/media/File:Alain_Aspect_ (26341660894)_(cropped).jpg

For Einstein and other physicists of his generation, the strongly counter-intuitive features of quantum mechanics were very hard to accept, given that our intuition is based on the classical world around us. This EPJ D Topical Issue examines the discoveries, motivations, and continuing legacy of Alain Aspect: the physicist whose experiments, along with those of John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, have made that quantum entanglement, an essentially non-classical feature, is now also an experimental reality, exploited in science and technology.


EPJ D Topical Issue: Advances in Multi-Scale Modelling of Intense Electronic Excitation Processes

Guest Editors: Jorge Kohanoff, Antonio Rivera, Eduardo Oliva Gonzalo, Andrey V Solov'yov and Tzveta Apostolova

Processes occurring in a target after irradiation span many orders of magnitude in space and time, which makes them intractable within a single rigorous approach. Typically, only partial aspects related to the radiation-induced effects in matter are treated. The lack of a systematic methodology to simulate the underlying phenomena hinders advances in various fields, and poses challenges to theoreticians, simulators, and experimentalists. It is therefore important to tackle this problem from a multi-scale perspective. This is the realm of this Topical collection, published in the Eur. Phys. J. D (EJPD Topical collection), which includes articles covering a wide range of methods, namely TDDFT, time-dependent Schrödinger equation in one or two-electron approximation, radiation Monte Carlo, Boltzmann transport equation, radiation-hydrodynamics and ab initio and classical Molecular Dynamics.


EPJ D Topical Issue on Quantum Aspects of Attoscience

This collection of articles contains contributions arising from the virtual conference Quantum Battles in Attoscience. The conference attracted more than 300 attendees from 34 different countries, and has spawned a successful series of bimonthly, online seminars – the so called 'AttoFridays'.

The aim of this novel workshop format was to support constructive debate about areas of controversy in attosecond science, and the centrepiece of the conference program were the Quantum Battles - an interactive, structured debate between early career researchers from competing groups in each field. These three battles – on tunnelling, interference and imaging in intense laser fields, and analytical vs ab initio theoretical approaches – have been written up as articles for this collection and each serves as an in-depth review of the topics, and the controversies therein. Alongside these are several articles on the quantum aspects of attosecond science including decoherence and entanglement in strong or tailored fields and ultrafast dynamics in novel materials. The collection is thus unusual in that it spans fundamental atomic and quantum physics all the way up to quantum technologies.


EPJ D Colloquium - Electron scattering processes: fundamentals, challenges, advances, and opportunities

Artistic view of the electron scattering process

Perspectives of a global team of experts on recent and significant advances and challenges in the electron scattering field

Over the past several decades, significant efforts of the electron-scattering community have been devoted to achieving an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of processes that involve low-energy electron interactions with diverse targets, ranging from atoms to complex systems.


EPJD supports public lecture by Nobel Laureate William D Phillips

William D Phillips

EPJD is proud to support the forthcoming public lecture by Nobel Laureate William D Phillips on "Time, Einstein and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe". All are welcomed to join this lecture online at the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgErE2FXCgI
on October 4th 2022
6pm EEST / 5pm CET / 4pm BST / 9am EDT


EPJ D Colloquium - Overview of photo-neutralization techniques for negative ion-based neutral beam injectors in future fusion reactors

The need for safe, carbon-free and abundant sources of energy is becoming more and more pressing. While still under development, nuclear fusion can play a key role in a medium term, decarbonized energy scenario. However, in order for fusion to be commercially competitive, many sub-systems constituting the current experimental reactors need to be optimized in terms of their efficiency: in particular, DEMO and future fusion energy plants will require a substantial increase in the energy performances of the plasma heating systems.


A. Beige, J. Burgdörfer and S. Ptasinska
Thank you very much for the super-efficient handling of my manuscript.

Xin Zhang

ISSN (Print Edition): 1434-6060
ISSN (Electronic Edition): 1434-6079

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag

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