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York physicists’ pioneering global research

University of York physicists are celebrating the latest in a string of high-profile publications in prestigious journals including cover articles in Nature, Nature Photonics and Physical Review Letters.

York’s Department of Physics is at the forefront of pioneering global research and technological advancement in areas such as plasma physics and fusion, nuclear physics and condensed matter physics.

Professor Sarah Thompson, Head of the Department of Physics, said: “Our research groups play a leading role on the national and international stage, collaborating with major institutions and industries.

“Our research encompasses the theoretical and the experimental, and the recent high-profile publications reflect our determination to advance understanding of fundamental physics and underpin future technology.”

Scientists demonstrate pear-shaped atomic nuclei

Dr David Jenkins was part of an international team of physicists which showed that some atomic nuclei can assume asymmetric 'pear' shapes. The researchers’ findings, which contribute to our understanding of nuclear structure and the underlying fundamental interactions, were presented in the journal Nature.

For more details see the original news story and the journal article.

Chaos proves superior to order‌

Thomas Krauss, an Anniversary Professor in the Department of Physics, was part of a team led by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, which demonstrated that chaos can beat order - at least as far as light storage is concerned.

The researchers deformed mirrors in order to disrupt the regular light path in an optical cavity and, surprisingly, the resulting chaotic light paths allowed more light to be stored than with ordered paths. The results of the research are reported in Nature Photonics.

See the full news story and the journal article.

Scientists uncover the fundamental property of astatine, the rarest atom on Earth

Resonance Ionization Laser Ion Source of ISOLDE
A project conceived by Andrei Andreyev, an Anniversary Professor in York’s Department of Physics, and Dr Valentine Fedosseev, from CERN, led to ground-breaking experiments to investigate the atomic structure of astatine (Z=85), the rarest naturally occurring element on Earth.

For the first time, scientists accessed the ionization potential of the astatine atom, which represents the essential quantity defining chemical and physical properties of this exclusively radioactive element. The results are reported in Nature Communications.

Read more in the original news story and journal article.

Milwaukee-York researchers forward quest for quantum computing

An on-going collaboration between physicists from York and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA, is focusing on understanding, tailoring and tuning the electronic properties of topological insulators - new materials with surfaces that host a quantum state of matter – at the nanoscale.

The research, involving Dr Vlado Lazarov from York’s Department of Physics, is helping to bring quantum computing one step closer to reality. The results of their latest research are published in Physical Review Letters.

For more details see the original news story and the journal article.

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