2016 Impact factor 1.288
Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics

News / Highlights / Colloquium

EPJ D Highlight - Fusion helped by collision science

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The ITER fusion reactor’s inner wall containing beryllium among other constituents. © ITER Organisation

Understanding the mechanisms of electron-molecule collisions could help predict the operations inside the fusion chamber of the ITER reactor

An international team of physicists has calculated the efficiency of a reaction involving an incoming electron kicking out an electron from the metal beryllium (Be) or its hydrogen compound molecules, in an article just published in EPJ D. The efficiency, which partly depends on the electron’s incoming speed, is encapsulated in a quantity referred to as electron-impact ionisation cross sections (EICS). Electron-molecule interactions matter because they occur in a broad range of applications from the simplest like fluorescent lamps to the most complex, for example, in ionised matter found in plasmas such as latest generation screens, the outer space of the universe, and in fusion reactors.

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EPJ D Highlight - May the force be with the atomic probe

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The ratio between the interaction potentials in the bulk and surface models showing that the difference is largest when the atom-surface distance is matched to the screening length. © E.Eizner, B. Horovitz, and C. Henkel

New models suggest devising means of probing a surface at a sub-micrometric level as this will help us understand how electrons’ diffusion affects long-range attractive forces

Theoretical physicist Elad Eizner from Ben Gurion University, Israel, and colleagues created models to study the attractive forces affecting atoms located at a wide range of distances from a surface, in the hundreds of nanometers range. Their results, just published in EPJ D, show that these forces depend on electron diffusion, regardless of whether the surface is conducting or not. Ultimately, these findings could contribute to designing minimally invasive surface probes.

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EPJ D Colloquium – An accurate method to measure scattering non-perturbatively

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Comparison of the experiment and simulation laser induced fluorescence spectrum of hydroxyl. © Qing Xiong

Atomic and molecular collisions occurring at low impact energies and for neutral targets need adequate methods for accurately measuring their scattering properties. Such measures are fundamental to the description of the dynamics of plasmas and provide insight into the long-range Coulomb interactions between charged particles. In the last twenty years many novel non-perturbative approaches have been applied. The time-dependent close-coupling (TDCC) approach, discussed in this EPJD Review, differs fundamentally from previous non-perturbative approaches in that it solves the time-dependent, rather than time-independent, Schr¨odinger equation. This Review provides a detailed description of the application of the time-dependent close-coupling approach to ionising collisions of electrons, photons and ions with small atoms and molecules.

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EPJ D Highlight - Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment

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Comparison of the experiment and simulation laser induced fluorescence spectrum of hydroxyl. © Qing Xiong

Significant progress made in evaluating the density of active species used in medical applications of plasma physics could improve the accuracy of treatment

An international team of scientists working at the Plasma Technology research unit at Ghent University, Belgium, has determined for the first time the absolute density of active substances called radicals found in a state of matter known as plasma, in a study just published in EPJ D. These findings could have important implications for medicine—for example, for stimulating tissue regeneration, or to induce a targeted antiseptic effect in vivo without affecting neighbouring tissues.

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EPJ D Highlight - Plasma screens enhanced as disorder strikes

plasma screen
© FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Study looks at ways to improve the quality of matter akin to that found in plasma screens by dissolving its self-organised hexagonal filament structures made of electric discharge.

A new study improves our understanding of plasma sources, a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionised and which are used for example in plasma display panels. These results revealed by physicists from the University of Greifswald, Germany, Robert Wild and Lars Stollenwerk, and are about to be published in EPJD.

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EPJ D Highlight - Hi-fi single photons

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Quantum Optics, © Lab. Kastler Brossel

A trade-off between photon source settings and detector specific requirements allows the generation of high-fidelity single photons.

Many quantum technologies—such as cryptography, quantum computing and quantum networks—hinge on the use of single photons. While she was at the Kastler Brossel Laboratory (affiliated with the Pierre and Marie Curie University, École Normale Supérieure and CNRS) in Paris, France, Virginia d’Auria and her colleagues identified the extent to which photon detector characteristics shape the preparation of a photon source designed to reliably generate single photons. In a paper just published

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EPJ D - Disentangling information from photons

Image: © Peter Nguyen | iStockphoto

Study describes greater chances of accessing more reliable information on applications in quantum computing and cryptography.

Theoretical physicist Filippo Miatto and colleagues from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, have found a new method of reliably assessing the information contained in photon pairs used for applications in cryptography and quantum computing. The findings, published in EPJD, are so robust that they enable access to the information even when the measurements on photon pairs are imperfect.

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EPJ D - Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams

A Chinese team has performed simulations to help understand the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves that are used to reconfigure optical beams.

Researchers have designed the first theoretical model that describes the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves, referred to as dark photovoltaic spatial solitons.

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EPJ D - Largest ever gas mix caught in ultra-freeze trap

Towards a better understanding of subatomic particles using a new cold-atom setup

A team of scientists have made it easier to study atomic or subatomic-scale properties of the building blocks of matter (which also include protons, neutrons and electrons) known as fermions by slowing down the movement of a large quantity of gaseous atoms at ultra-low temperature. This is according to a study recently published in EPJ D as part of a cold quantum matter special issue, by researchers from the Paris-based École Normale Supérieure and the Non-Linear Institute at Nice Sophia-Antipolis University in France.

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EPJ D - Instant nanodots grow on silicon to form sensing array

New methods for creating 3D nanostructures deposited on an array of regularly spaced indentations on the surface of silicon films opens the door for innovative nanosensors

Scientists have shown that it is now possible to simultaneously create highly reproductive three-dimensional silicon oxide nanodots on micrometric scale silicon films in only a few seconds. Xavier Landreau and his colleagues at the University of Limoges, France, demonstrated in their paper published in EPJ D that they were able to create a square array of such nanodots, using regularly spaced nanoindents on the deposition layer, that could ultimately find applications as biosensors for genomics or bio-diagnostics.

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Editors-in-Chief
V. Buzek, H. Kersten and A.V. Solov'yov
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Tian Tian

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

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

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