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EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Breakthrough Optics- and Complex Systems-based Technologies of Modulation of Drainage and Clearing Functions of the Brain

Guest Editors: Jürgen Kurths, Thomas Penzel, Valery Tuchin, Teemu Myllylä, Ruikang Wang, Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya

The treatment of brain diseases during sleep is a pioneering trend in modern medicine. This is due to new discoveries in the science of lymphatic "vessels-vacuums" that clean the brain during deep sleep. Today, sleep is considered as a novel biomarker and a promising therapeutic target for brain diseases associated with the drainage system injuries and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, depression, brain trauma and intracranial hemorrhages. This issue presents multi-disciplinary approaches, including nonlinear signal processing analysis, maсhine learning technologies, modeling of the brain drainage system, optical methods, brave and innovative ideas and very promising experimental and clinical results focusing on the study of therapeutic and diagnostic properties of sleep as well as the development of novel strategies for the modulation of restorative sleep functions.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 13 May 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Web of Conferences Highlight - ESSENA11: 11th European Summer School on Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics

More than 70 participants from 15 countries attended ESSENA11, in Catania, in June 2022.

The European Summer School on Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics has run for more than 2 decades and brings together nuclear physicists and astrophysicists from major universities, laboratories and research facilities. It has been organized jointly by the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (Catania) and the Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “E. Majorana” of the Catania University.

It is an opportunity to present novel work across the full range of both theoretical and experimental activities covering all novel aspects ranging from cosmology to stellar physics as well as nuclear aspects, methods and instruments related to investigations of nuclear reactions important for nuclear astrophysics.

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Quentin Glorieux joins the EPJ Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Quentin Glorieux

The Scientific Advisory Committee of EPJ is delighted to welcome Professor Quentin Glorieux, as the new representative for the French Physical Society.

Quentin Glorieux is Associate Professor at Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, and fellow member of Institut Universitaire de France (IUF). His expertise covers a broad range of topics from nanooptics to quantum gases and superfluidity. In the last years, his experimental work focus on Quantum Fluids of Light to simulate many-body physics and analogue gravity with light in various platforms (from exciton-polaritons in microcavities to non-linear propagation of light in atomic vapors.)

EPJ ST issue: Trends in Recurrence Analysis of Dynamical Systems

More than a decade has passed since the publication of the special issue “20 Years of Recurrence Plots: Perspectives for a Multi-purpose Tool of Nonlinear Data Analysis” in the European Physical Journal—Special Topics (EPJST). The hope for further developments inspired by the interesting contributions in this special issue was fully realized. We see an amazing development in the field of recurrence plots (RPs), recurrence quantification analysis (RQA), and recurrence networks. Recurrence analysis is not just one method; it has emerged as an entire framework with many extensions, special recurrence definitions, and specifically designed methods and tools. It has found spreading applications in diverse and growing scientific fields. Recurrence analysis has become a widely accepted concept, even referred to in studies that are actually not using it as a method, but rather using it as a reference or alternative tool. It continues to be an active area of research and development today. An attempt to provide an overview of the most significant technical developments of this recurrence-plot-based framework in the past decade is included in this special issue.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 8 May 2023. For further information read the Editorial by Norbert Marwan, Charles L. Webber & Andrzej Rysak ”Trends in recurrence analysis of dynamical systems” Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 232, 1–3 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjs/s11734-023-00766-z.

EPJ Plus Highlight - Better simulations of neutron scattering

Estimating neutron scattering after a collision

A new simulation approach named eTLE aims to improve the precision of a primary tool for estimating neutron behaviours in 3D space. This study examines the approach in detail – validating its reliability in predicting the scattering of neutrons in crystalline media.

Tripoli-4® is a tool used by researchers to simulate the behaviours of interacting neutrons in 3D space. Recently, researchers developed a new ‘next-event estimator’ (NEE) for Tripoli-4®. Named eTLE, this approach aims to increase Tripoli-4®’s precision using Monte Carlo simulations: a class of algorithms which solve problems by repeatedly estimating the characteristics of a whole population of neutrons, by selecting random groups of individuals. Through new research published in EPJ Plus, a team led by Henri Hutinet at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission implement and validate eTLE’s reliability for the first time.

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EPJ Plus Focus Point on Tensions in Cosmology from Early to Late Universe: The Value of the Hubble Constant and the Question of Dark Energy

Guest editors: S. Capozziello, V.G. Gurzadyan

The papers included in this Focus Point collection are devoted to one of the hot topics in modern cosmology - the Hubble constant tension – claimed as a discrepancy between the descriptions of the early and late Universe. A broad range of topics are involved in the Hubble tension issue, from the sophisticated methods of observational data analysis up to dark energy models dealing with modifications of the standard cosmological model and related to the extensions of the General Relativity. The papers included in the collection are authored by known experts and groups, and reflect the diversity of approaches, both, aiming in solving the tension improving measurements and datasets and in searching for new physics capable of addressing the problem.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 3 May 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ ST Highlight - Tracking how magnetism affects animal behaviour

Behavioural testing of animal magnetic sensing in the laboratory and the wild.

We still know little about how animal behaviour changes in response to magnetic fields. A new review provides a tutorial introduction to the study of this fascinating and potentially useful phenomenon.

For over 50 years, scientists have observed that the behaviour of a wide variety of animals can be influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field. However, despite decades of research, the exact nature of this ‘magnetic sense’ remains elusive. Will Schneider and Richard Holland from Bangor University in Wales and their co-worker Oliver Lindecke from the Institute for Biology, Oldenburg, Germany have now written a comprehensive overview of this cross-disciplinary field, with an emphasis on the methodology involved. This work is now published in EPJ ST.

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EPJ B Highlight - 2D Janus materials could harvest abundant hydrogen fuel

Top and side views of the Janus monolayer

A new group of asymmetric 2D materials can readily catalyse the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen – providing a reliable source of hydrogen fuel.

Several studies have predicted that the water splitting reaction could be catalysed by certain groups of 2D materials – each measuring just a few atoms thick. One particularly promising group are named 2D Janus materials, whose two sides each feature a different molecular composition. Through new calculations detailed in EPJ B, Junfeng Ren and colleagues at Shandong Normal University in China present a new group of four 2D Janus materials, which could be especially well suited to the task.

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EPJ B Highlight - Examining heat transfer in granular materials

Heat transfer via gas and water capillaries

Heat transfer through granular materials in a humid atmosphere occurs mainly through the air in the case of larger particles, and via water capillary bridges for smaller particles.

Granular materials contain large numbers of small, discrete particles, which collectively behave like uniform media. Their thermal conductivity is crucial to understanding their overall behaviour – but so far, researchers haven’t considered how this value is affected by the surface roughness of their constituent particles. Through new analysis published in EPJ B, Bo Persson at the Peter Grünberg Institute, part of the Jülich Research Centre in Germany, has discovered that when this roughness is considered, thermal conductivity in granular materials is heavily influenced by particle sizes. These findings could help physicists to better describe a wide array of granular materials: from sand and snow, to piles of rice, coffee beans, and fertilizer.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Building a computer with a single atom

How small can a computer get? As small as an atom new research suggests. Credit: Robert Lea (created with Canva)

New research opens the horizons regarding what a “computer” can be and how small a computational unit can get

Considering a “computer” as anything that processes information by taking an input and producing an output leads to the obvious questions, what kind of objects could perform computations? And how small can a computer be? As transistors approach the limit of miniaturisation, these questions are more than mere curiosities, their answers could form the basis of a new computing paradigm.

In a new paper in EPJ Plus by Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, researcher Gerard McCaul, and his co-authors demonstrate that even one of the more basic constituents of matter — atoms — can act as a reservoir for computing where all input-output processing is optical.

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