Physical Review Letters

Physical Review Letters (PRL), established in 1958, is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society. As also confirmed by various measurement standards, which include the Journal Citation Reports impact factor and the journal h-index proposed by Google Scholar, many physicists and other scientists consider Physical Review Letters to be one of the most prestigious journals in the field of physics.[1][2][3]

PRL is published as a print journal, and is in electronic format, online and CD-ROM. Its focus is rapid dissemination of significant, or notable, results of fundamental research on all topics related to all fields of physics. This is accomplished by rapid publication of short reports, called "Letters". Papers are published and available electronically one article at a time. When published in such a manner, the paper is available to be cited by other work. The Lead Editor is Hugues Chaté. The Managing Editor is Reinhardt B. Schuhmann.[1][4]

Physical Review Letters
Edited byHugues Chaté
Reinhardt B. Schuhmann
Robert Garisto
Samindranath Mitra
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency52 per year
Standard abbreviations
Phys. Rev. Lett.
ISSN0031-9007 (print)
1079-7114 (web)
OCLC no.1715834

Scope and organizational format

Physical Review Letters is an internationally read physics journal, describing a diverse readership. Advances in physics, as well as cross disciplinary developments, are disseminated weekly, via this publication. Topics covered by this journal are also the explicit titles for each section of the journal. Sections are delineated (in the table of contents) as follows:[1][5][6]

Worthy of note is a section at the front of the table of contents which consists of articles that are highlighted for their particular importance and interest. This section contains articles suggested by the editors of the journal or which have been covered by the site "Physics" (formerly Physical Review Focus).[5][6]

Historical overview

On May 20, 1899, 36 physicists gathered to establish the American Physical Society at Columbia University, in the City of New York. These 36 decided that the mission of the APS would be "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics". In the beginning the dissemination of physics knowledge took place only through quarterly scientific meetings. In 1913, the APS took over the operation of Physical Review, already in existence since 1893. Hence, journal publication also became an important goal, second only to its original mission. During the late 1950s, the then editor Sam Goudsmit collected, organized and published Letters to the Editor of Physical Review into a new standalone journal. This established the Physical Review Letters, Volume 1, Issue 1 was published on July 1, 1958 (see archives link). As the years passed the research fields in physics multiplied, and so did the number of submissions. Consequently, Physical Review was divided into five separate sections after December 1969 into Physical Review A, B, C, D and E, which are distinct from Physical Review Letters.[7][8]

Abstracting, indexing, and impact factor

Physical Review Letters is rated an impact factor of 8.839 for 2017, and it is indexed in the following bibliographic databases:[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "About Physical Review Letters". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
  2. ^ Bollen, J.; Rodriguez, M. A.; Van de Sompel, H. (2006). "Journal Status". Scientometrics. 69 (3): 669–87. arXiv:cs/0601030. doi:10.1007/s11192-006-0176-z. The Prestigious Journal category reveals a collection of highly esteemed Physics journals: Journal of Applied Physics, Physical Review E, Physical Review Letters, and the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials to name a few.
  3. ^ "English - Google Scholar Metrics". Google Scholar. 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015. According to Google Scholar, PRL is the journal with the 9th journal h-index among all scientific journals
  4. ^ "Physical Review Letters Staff". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  5. ^ a b "Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 102 (17). 1 May 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 105 (1). 2 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Society History". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  8. ^ "Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 1 (1). 1 July 1958. Retrieved 2010-07-09.

External links

Antimatter tests of Lorentz violation

High-precision experiments could reveal

small previously unseen differences between the behavior

of matter and antimatter.

This prospect is appealing to physicists because it may

show that nature is not Lorentz symmetric.


Atomtronics is an emerging sub-field of ultracold atomic physics which encompasses a broad range of topics featuring guided atomic matter waves. The systems typically include components analogous to those found in electronic or optical systems, such as beam splitters and transistors. Applications range from studies of fundamental physics to the development of practical devices.

Belle experiment

The Belle experiment was a particle physics experiment conducted by the Belle Collaboration, an international collaboration of more than 400 physicists and engineers, at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The experiment ran from 1999 to 2010.The Belle detector was located at the collision point of the asymmetric-energy electron–positron collider, KEKB. Belle at KEKB together with the BaBar experiment at the PEP-II accelerator at SLAC were known as the B-factories as they collided electrons with positrons at the center-of-momentum energy equal to the mass of the ϒ(4S) resonance which decays to pairs of B mesons.

The Belle detector was a hermetic multilayer particle detector with large solid angle coverage, vertex location with precision on the order of tens of micrometres (provided by a silicon vertex detector), good distinction between pions and kaons in the momenta range from 100 MeV/c to few GeV/c (provided by a Cherenkov detector), and a few-percent precision electromagnetic calorimeter (made of CsI(Tl) scintillating crystals).

The Belle II experiment is an upgrade of Belle that was approved in June 2010. It is currently being commissioned, and is anticipated to start operation in 2018. Belle II is located at SuperKEKB (an upgraded KEKB accelerator) which is intended to provide a factor 40 larger integrated luminosity.

Chameleon particle

The chameleon is a hypothetical scalar particle that couples to matter more weakly than gravity, postulated as a dark energy candidate. Due to a non-linear self-interaction, it has a variable effective mass which is an increasing function of the ambient energy density—as a result, the range of the force mediated by the particle is predicted to be very small in regions of high density (for example on Earth, where it is less than 1mm) but much larger in low-density intergalactic regions: out in the cosmos chameleon models permit a range of up to several thousand parsecs. As a result of this variable mass, the hypothetical fifth force mediated by the chameleon is able to evade current constraints on equivalence principle violation derived from terrestrial experiments even if it couples to matter with a strength equal or greater than that of gravity. Although this property would allow the chameleon to drive the currently observed acceleration of the universe's expansion, it also makes it very difficult to test for experimentally.

Collective motion

Collective motion is defined as the spontaneous emergence of ordered movement in a system consisting of a large number of self-propelled agents. It can be observed in everyday life, for example in flocks of birds, schools of fish, herds of animals and also in crowds and car traffic. It also appears at the microscopic level: in colonies of bacteria, motility assays and artificial self-propelled particles. The scientific community is trying to understand the universality of this phenomenon. In particular it is intensively investigated in statistical physics and in the field of active matter. Experiments on animals, biological and synthesized self-propelled particles, simulations and theories are conducted in parallel to study these phenomena. One of the most famous models that describes such behavior is the Vicsek model introduced by Tamás Vicsek et al. in 1995.

Composite fermion

A composite fermion is the topological bound state of an electron and an even number of quantized vortices, sometimes visually pictured as the bound state of an electron and, attached, an even number of magnetic flux quanta. Composite fermions were originally envisioned in the context of the fractional quantum Hall effect, but subsequently took on a life of their own, exhibiting many other consequences and phenomena.

Vortices are an example of topological defect, and also occur in other situations. Quantized vortices are found in type II superconductors, called Abrikosov vortices. Classical vortices are relevant to the Berezenskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless transition in two-dimensional XY model.

Frank Wilczek

Frank Anthony Wilczek (; born May 15, 1951) is an American theoretical physicist, mathematician and a Nobel laureate. He is currently the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Founding Director of T. D. Lee Institute and Chief Scientist Wilczek Quantum Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Distinguished Origins Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) and full Professor at Stockholm University.Wilczek, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Future of Life Institute.

Gerald Guralnik

Gerald Stanford "Gerry" Guralnik (; September 17, 1936 – April 26, 2014) was the Chancellor’s Professor of Physics at Brown University. In 1964 he co-discovered the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson with C. R. Hagen and Tom Kibble (GHK). As part of Physical Review Letters' 50th anniversary celebration, the journal recognized this discovery as one of the milestone papers in PRL history. While widely considered to have authored the most complete of the early papers on the Higgs theory, GHK were controversially not included in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.In 2010, Guralnik was awarded the American Physical Society's J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics for the "elucidation of the properties of spontaneous symmetry breaking in four-dimensional relativistic gauge theory and of the mechanism for the consistent generation of vector boson masses".Guralnik received his BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958 and his PhD degree from Harvard University in 1964. He went to Imperial College London as a postdoctoral fellow supported by the National Science Foundation and then became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. In the fall of 1967 Guralnik went to Brown University and frequently visited Imperial College and Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was a staff member from 1985 to 1987. While at Los Alamos, he did extensive work on the development and application of computational methods for lattice QCD.

Guralnik died of a heart attack at age 77 in 2014.


In particle physics hexaquarks are a large family of hypothetical particles, each particle consisting of six quarks or antiquarks of any flavours. Six constituent quarks in any of several combinations could yield a colour charge of zero; for example a hexaquark might contain either six quarks, resembling two baryons bound together (a dibaryon), or three quarks and three antiquarks. Once formed, dibaryons are predicted to be fairly stable by the standards of particle physics. In 1977 Robert Jaffe proposed that a possibly stable H dibaryon with the quark composition udsuds could notionally result from the combination of two uds hyperonsA number of experiments have been suggested to detect dibaryon decays and interactions. In the 1990s several candidate dibaryon decays were observed but they were not confirmed.There is a theory that strange particles such as hyperons and dibaryons could form in the interior of a neutron star, changing its mass–radius ratio in ways that might be detectable. Accordingly, measurements of neutron stars could set constraints on possible dibaryon properties. A large fraction of the neutrons in a neutron star could turn into hyperons and merge into dibaryons during the early part of its collapse into a black hole. These dibaryons would very quickly dissolve into quark–gluon plasma during the collapse, or go into some currently unknown state of matter.

In 2014 a potential dibaryon was detected at the Jülich Research Center at about 2380 MeV. The particle existed for 10−23 seconds and was named d*(2380).

Hughes–Drever experiment

Hughes–Drever experiments (also clock comparison-, clock anisotropy-, mass isotropy-, or energy isotropy experiments) are spectroscopic tests of the isotropy of mass and space. Although originally conceived of as a test of Mach's principle, it is now understood to be an important test of Lorentz invariance. As in Michelson–Morley experiments, the existence of a preferred frame of reference or other deviations from Lorentz invariance can be tested, which also affects the validity of the equivalence principle. Thus these experiments concern fundamental aspects of both special and general relativity. Unlike Michelson–Morley type experiments, Hughes–Drever experiments test the isotropy of the interactions of matter itself, that is, of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The accuracy achieved makes this kind of experiment one of the most accurate confirmations of relativity (see also Tests of special relativity).

Modern searches for Lorentz violation

Modern searches for Lorentz violation are scientific studies that look for deviations from Lorentz invariance or symmetry, a set of fundamental frameworks that underpin modern science and fundamental physics in particular. These studies try to determine whether violations or exceptions might exist for well-known physical laws such as special relativity and CPT symmetry, as predicted by some variations of quantum gravity, string theory, and some alternatives to general relativity.

Lorentz violations concern the fundamental predictions of special relativity, such as the principle of relativity, the constancy of the speed of light in all inertial frames of reference, and time dilation, as well as the predictions of the standard model of particle physics. To assess and predict possible violations, test theories of special relativity and effective field theories (EFT) such as the Standard-Model Extension (SME) have been invented. These models introduce Lorentz and CPT violations through spontaneous symmetry breaking caused by hypothetical background fields, resulting in some sort of preferred frame effects. This could lead, for instance, to modifications of the dispersion relation, causing differences between the maximal attainable speed of matter and the speed of light.

Both terrestrial and astronomical experiments have been carried out, and new experimental techniques have been introduced. No Lorentz violations could be measured thus far, and exceptions in which positive results were reported have been refuted or lack further confirmations. For discussions of many experiments, see Mattingly (2005). For a detailed list of results of recent experimental searches, see Kostelecký and Russell (2008–2013). For a recent overview and history of Lorentz violating models, see Liberati (2013).

Physical Review

Physical Review is an American peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1893 by Edward Nichols. It publishes original research as well as scientific and literature reviews on all aspects of physics. It is published by the American Physical Society (APS). The journal is in its third series, and is split in several sub-journals each covering a particular field of physics. It has a sister journal, Physical Review Letters, which publishes shorter articles of broader interest.

Self-organized criticality

In physics, self-organized criticality (SOC) is a property of dynamical systems that have a critical point as an attractor. Their macroscopic behavior thus displays the spatial and/or temporal scale-invariance characteristic of the critical point of a phase transition, but without the need to tune control parameters to a precise value, because the system, effectively, tunes itself as it evolves towards criticality.

The concept was put forward by Per Bak, Chao Tang and Kurt Wiesenfeld ("BTW") in a paper

published in 1987 in Physical Review Letters, and is considered to be one of the mechanisms by which complexity arises in nature. Its concepts have been enthusiastically applied across fields as diverse as geophysics, physical cosmology, evolutionary biology and ecology, bio-inspired computing and optimization (mathematics), economics, quantum gravity, sociology, solar physics, plasma physics, neurobiology and others.

SOC is typically observed in slowly driven non-equilibrium systems with a large number of degrees of freedom and strongly nonlinear dynamics. Many individual examples have been identified since BTW's original paper, but to date there is no known set of general characteristics that guarantee a system will display SOC.

Standard Model

The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces (the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, and not including the gravitational force) in the universe, as well as classifying all known elementary particles. It was developed in stages throughout the latter half of the 20th century, through the work of many scientists around the world, with the current formulation being finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, confirmation of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have added further credence to the Standard Model. In addition, the Standard Model has predicted various properties of weak neutral currents and the W and Z bosons with great accuracy.

Although the Standard Model is believed to be theoretically self-consistent and has demonstrated huge successes in providing experimental predictions, it leaves some phenomena unexplained and falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions. It does not fully explain baryon asymmetry, incorporate the full theory of gravitation as described by general relativity, or account for the accelerating expansion of the Universe as possibly described by dark energy. The model does not contain any viable dark matter particle that possesses all of the required properties deduced from observational cosmology. It also does not incorporate neutrino oscillations and their non-zero masses.

The development of the Standard Model was driven by theoretical and experimental particle physicists alike. For theorists, the Standard Model is a paradigm of a quantum field theory, which exhibits a wide range of physics including spontaneous symmetry breaking, anomalies and non-perturbative behavior. It is used as a basis for building more exotic models that incorporate hypothetical particles, extra dimensions, and elaborate symmetries (such as supersymmetry) in an attempt to explain experimental results at variance with the Standard Model, such as the existence of dark matter and neutrino oscillations.


A tetraquark, in particle physics, is an exotic meson composed of four valence quarks. A tetraquark state has long been suspected to be allowed by quantum chromodynamics, the modern theory of strong interactions. A tetraquark state is an example of an exotic hadron which lies outside the conventional quark model classification.

Time crystal

A time crystal or space-time crystal is a structure that repeats in time, as well as in space. Normal three-dimensional crystals have a repeating pattern in space, but remain unchanged as time passes. Time crystals repeat themselves in time as well, leading the crystal to change from moment to moment. A time crystal never reaches thermal equilibrium, as it is a type of non-equilibrium matter, a form of matter proposed in 2012, and first observed in 2017. This state of matter cannot be isolated from its environment—it is an open system in non-equilibrium.

The idea of a time crystal was first described by Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek in 2012. Later work developed a more precise definition for time crystals. It was proven that they cannot exist in equilibrium. Then, in 2014 Krzysztof Sacha predicted the behaviour of discrete time crystals in a periodically-driven many-body system. and in 2016, Norman Yao et al. proposed a different way to create time crystals in spin systems. From there, Christopher Monroe and Mikhail Lukin independently confirmed this in their labs. Both experiments were published in Nature in 2017.

Timeline of particle discoveries

This is a timeline of subatomic particle discoveries, including all particles thus far discovered which appear to be elementary (that is, indivisible) given the best available evidence. It also includes the discovery of composite particles and antiparticles that were of particular historical importance.

More specifically, the inclusion criteria are:

Elementary particles from the Standard Model of particle physics that have so far been observed. The Standard Model is the most comprehensive existing model of particle behavior. All Standard Model particles including the Higgs boson have been verified, and all other observed particles are combinations of two or more Standard Model particles.

Antiparticles which were historically important to the development of particle physics, specifically the positron and antiproton. The discovery of these particles required very different experimental methods from that of their ordinary matter counterparts, and provided evidence that all particles had antiparticles—an idea that is fundamental to quantum field theory, the modern mathematical framework for particle physics. In the case of most subsequent particle discoveries, the particle and its anti-particle were discovered essentially simultaneously.

Composite particles which were the first particle discovered containing a particular elementary constituent, or whose discovery was critical to the understanding of particle physics.

Tsallis entropy

In physics, the Tsallis entropy is a generalization of the standard Boltzmann–Gibbs entropy.

Xi baryon

The Xi baryons or cascade particles are a family of subatomic hadron particles which have the symbol Ξ and may have an electric charge (Q) of +2 e, +1 e, 0, or −1 e, where e is the elementary charge. Like all conventional baryons, they contain three quarks. Xi baryons, in particular, contain one up or down quark plus two more massive quarks: either strange, charm or bottom. They are historically called the cascade particles because of their unstable state; they decay rapidly into lighter particles through a chain of decays. The first discovery of a charged Xi baryon was in cosmic ray experiments by the Manchester group in 1952. The first discovery of the neutral Xi particle was at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1959. It was also observed as a daughter product from the decay of the omega baryon (Ω−) observed at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1964. The Xi spectrum is important to nonperturbative quantum chromodynamics (QCD), such as Lattice QCD.

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