Best from science journals: A new state of light

Here are some of the most interesting research papers to have appeared in top science journals last week.

April 07, 2021 03:28 pm | Updated December 02, 2021 10:53 pm IST

On the right is a microscope objective used to observe and analyse the light emerging from the resonator. Credit: Gregor Hübl/University of Bonn

On the right is a microscope objective used to observe and analyse the light emerging from the resonator. Credit: Gregor Hübl/University of Bonn

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Light it up

Published in Science

Bose-Einstein condensate is a state of matter that occurs at extremely low temperatures. A new study has shown a previously unknown phase transition in the Bose-Einstein condensate. "The overdamped phase we observed corresponds to a new state of the light field, so to speak," says lead author Fahri Emre Öztürk in a release. The team writes that this can find applications in transmitting quantum-encrypted messages.


Ancient innovation

Published in Nature

About 105 thousand years ago, humans lived in coastal southern Africa as well as in the Kalahari basin about 600 km inland. A study on the collection of objects such as calcite crystals and ostrich eggshells from the Basin showed that the early humans who lived inland were as innovative as those who lived near the coast. The authors write that the shells may have been used for water storage and the crystals found a role in rituals.

Face vs brain shape

Published in Nature Genetics

By studying the various genes in our body, an international team has identified 76 overlapping genetic locations that shape both our face and our brain. But the team writes that this overlap is almost completely unrelated to that individual’s behavioural-cognitive traits. So it will be impossible to tell the risk of developing a neuropsychiatric disorder just by looking at a person’s face.

Cool physics

Published in Nature


Using special laser techniques, researchers from the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have successfully shown the cooling of antimatter. “With this technique, we can address long-standing mysteries like: How does antimatter respond to gravity? Can antimatter help us understand symmetries in physics?. These answers may fundamentally alter our understanding of our Universe,” says Dr. Takamasa Momose, a physicist at the University of British Columbia and one of the authors of the paper in a release.

Antarctic meteor

Published in Science Advances

About 430 thousand years ago, an asteroid at least 100 m in size, burst on top of Antarctica says a new study. A study on seventeen spherules found on the summit of Walnumfjellet in the Sør Rondane Mountains helped the researchers tell this story. “This study has implications for the identification and inventory of large cosmic events on Earth,” adds the paper.

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