About EPJ

The European Physical Journal (EPJ) is a series of peer-reviewed journals covering the whole spectrum of physics and related interdisciplinary subjects. EPJ is committed to high scientific quality in publishing and is indexed in all main citation databases.

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Johan Åkerman joins the EPJ Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Johan Åkerman

The Scientific Advisory Committee of EPJ is delighted to welcome Dr. Johan Åkerman as the new representative for the Swedish Physical Society.

Johan Åkerman is the head of the Applied Spintronics Group at the Physics Department of University of Gothenburg. His expertise is in spintronic devices, such as magnetic tunnel junctions and MRAM, and more recently with spin torque and spin Hall nano-oscillators for microwave and spin wave signal generation, neuromorphic computing, and Ising Machines. He is one of the founding members of the Global Young Academy and the Swedish Young Academy, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

EPJ H Highlight - Fermi’s ground-breaking figure

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Fermi’s radial wave function

How the radial wave function transformed physics

One way to better understand an atom is to shoot a particle at it and infer the atom’s properties based on how the particle bounces off it. In the mid-1930s, the physicist Enrico Fermi showed that one measurable number – the scattering length – illuminated everything that could be known about an electron scattering off an atom, or a neutron scattering off a nucleus. In a new paper in EPJ H: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Physics, Chris Gould from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, USA, explains how Fermi’s simple sketch of a radial wave function laid the groundwork for a better understanding of low energy scattering phenomena, and led in turn to the concept of the pseudopotential, widely used in many areas of physics, including ultracold atom research and studies of qubits in realisations of quantum computers.

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EPJ ST Highlight - Tiny animal hairs could act as sensitive compass needles

Stereocilia bundles in the inner ear.

Statistical mechanics shows that some animals may be able to perceive Earth’s magnetic field with bundles of microscopic hairs in their inner ears.

The exact mechanisms animals use to sense the direction of Earth’s magnetic field have long remained a mystery. One leading theory suggests that this ability is tied to bundles of microscopic hair cells in the inner ears. Through new research published in EPJ ST, Kirill Kavokin at St Petersburg State University, Russia, uses statistical analysis to show that just around 100 of these hair cells could act as effective biological compass needles, allowing animals to accurately sense the magnetic field surrounding them.

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