Physical Review Letters (Phys Rev Lett)

Publisher: American Physical Society, American Physical Society

Journal description

Physical Review Letters is charged with providing rapid publication of short reports of important fundamental research in all fields of physics.

Current impact factor: 7.51

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 7.512
2013 Impact Factor 7.728
2012 Impact Factor 7.943
2011 Impact Factor 7.37
2010 Impact Factor 7.621
2009 Impact Factor 7.328
2008 Impact Factor 7.18
2007 Impact Factor 6.944
2006 Impact Factor 7.072
2005 Impact Factor 7.489
2004 Impact Factor 7.218
2003 Impact Factor 7.035
2002 Impact Factor 7.323
2001 Impact Factor 6.668
2000 Impact Factor 6.462
1999 Impact Factor 6.095
1998 Impact Factor 6.017
1997 Impact Factor 6.14
1996 Impact Factor 6.477
1995 Impact Factor 6.297
1994 Impact Factor 6.626
1993 Impact Factor 7.111
1992 Impact Factor 7.375

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 7.36
Cited half-life 8.80
Immediacy index 2.53
Eigenfactor 0.94
Article influence 3.45
Website Physical Review Letters website
Other titles Physical review letters online, PRL online
ISSN 1079-7114
OCLC 31492939
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

American Physical Society

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • On author's personal website, employer's website or institutional repository
    • Author's post-print on open repository
    • Publisher's version/PDF may be used
    • Link to publisher version required
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Publisher last contacted on 29/02/2012
    • Publisher last reviewed on 27/10/2014
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The forces between two single molecules brought into contact, and their connection with charge transport through the molecular junction, are studied here using non contact AFM, STM, and density functional theory simulations. A carbon monoxide molecule approaching an acetylene molecule (C2H2) initially feels weak attractive electrostatic forces, partly arising from charge reorganization in the presence of molecular . We find that the molecular contact is chemically passive, and protects the electron tunneling barrier from collapsing, even in the limit of repulsive forces. However, we find subtle conductance and force variations at different contacting sites along the C2H2 molecule attributed to a weak overlap of their respective frontier orbitals.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(13):136101. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.136101
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    ABSTRACT: We report on microwave emission from linear parallel arrays of underdamped Josephson junctions, which are described by the Frenkel-Kontorova (FK) model. Electromagnetic radiation is detected from the arrays when biased on current singularities (steps) appearing at voltages V_{n}=Φ_{0}(nc[over ¯]/L), where Φ_{0}=2.07×10^{-15} Wb is the magnetic flux quantum, and c[over ¯], L, and n are, respectively, the speed of light in the transmission line embedding the array, L its physical length, and n an integer. The radiation, detected at fundamental frequency c[over ¯]/2L when biased on different singularities, indicates shuttling of bunched 2π kinks (magnetic flux quanta). Resonance of flux-quanta motion with the small-amplitude oscillations induced in the arrays gives rise to fine structures in the radiation spectrum, which are interpreted on the basis of the FK model describing the resonance. The impact of our results on design and performances of new digital circuit families is discussed.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):107002. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.107002
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    ABSTRACT: Singlet excitons in π-stacked molecular crystals can split into two triplet excitons in a process called singlet fission that opens a route to carrier multiplication in photovoltaics. To resolve controversies about the mechanism of singlet fission, we have developed a first principles nonadiabatic quantum dynamical model that reveals the critical role of molecular stacking symmetry and provides a unified picture of coherent versus thermally activated singlet fission mechanisms in different acenes. The slip-stacked equilibrium packing structure of pentacene derivatives is found to enhance ultrafast singlet fission mediated by a coherent superexchange mechanism via higher-lying charge transfer states. By contrast, the electronic couplings for singlet fission strictly vanish at the C_{2h} symmetric equilibrium π stacking of rubrene. In this case, singlet fission is driven by excitations of symmetry-breaking intermolecular vibrations, rationalizing the experimentally observed temperature dependence. Design rules for optimal singlet fission materials therefore need to account for the interplay of molecular π-stacking symmetry and phonon-induced coherent or thermally activated mechanisms.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):107401. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.107401
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    ABSTRACT: Ceramics are strong, but their low fracture toughness prevents extended engineering applications. In particular, boron carbide (B_{4}C), the third hardest material in nature, has not been incorporated into many commercial applications because it exhibits anomalous failure when subjected to hypervelocity impact. To determine the atomistic origin of this brittle failure, we performed large-scale (∼200 000 atoms/cell) reactive-molecular-dynamics simulations of shear deformations of B_{4}C, using the quantum-mechanics-derived reactive force field simulation. We examined the (0001)/⟨101[over ¯]0⟩ slip system related to deformation twinning and the (011[over ¯]1[over ¯])/⟨1[over ¯]101⟩ slip system related to amorphous band formation. We find that brittle failure in B_{4}C arises from formation of higher density amorphous bands due to fracture of the icosahedra, a unique feature of these boron based materials. This leads to negative pressure and cavitation resulting in crack opening. Thus, to design ductile materials based on B_{4}C we propose alloying aimed at promoting shear relaxation through intericosahedral slip that avoids icosahedral fracture.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):105501. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.105501
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    ABSTRACT: Breaking time-reversal symmetry (TRS) in the absence of a net bias can give rise to directed steady-state nonequilibrium transport phenomena such as ratchet effects. Here we present, theoretically and experimentally, the concept of a Lissajous rocking ratchet based on breaking TRS. Our system is a semiconductor quantum dot with periodically modulated dot-lead tunnel barriers. Broken TRS gives rise to single electron tunneling current. Its direction is fully controlled by exploring frequency and phase relations between the two barrier modulations. The concept of Lissajous ratchets can be realized in a large variety of different systems, including nanoelectrical, nanoelectromechanical, or superconducting circuits. It promises applications based on a detailed on-chip comparison of radio-frequency signals.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):106801.
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    ABSTRACT: Neurons communicate with each other dynamically; how such communications lead to consciousness remains unclear. Here, we present a theoretical model to understand the dynamic nature of sensory activity and information integration in a hierarchical network, in which edges are stochastically defined by a single parameter p representing the percolation probability of information transmission. We validate the model by comparing the transmitted and original signal distributions, and we show that a basic version of this model can reproduce key spectral features clinically observed in electroencephalographic recordings of transitions from conscious to unconscious brain activities during general anesthesia. As p decreases, a steep divergence of the transmitted signal from the original was observed, along with a loss of signal synchrony and a sharp increase in information entropy in a critical manner; this resembles the precipitous loss of consciousness during anesthesia. The model offers mechanistic insights into the emergence of information integration from a stochastic process, laying the foundation for understanding the origin of cognition.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):108103. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.108103
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new test of the validity of the Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) metric, based on comparing the distance from redshift 0 to z_{1} and from z_{1} to z_{2} to the distance from 0 to z_{2}. If the Universe is described by the FLRW metric, the comparison provides a model-independent measurement of spatial curvature. The test relies on geometrical optics, it is independent of the matter content of the Universe and the applicability of the Einstein equation on cosmological scales. We apply the test to observations, using the Union2.1 compilation of supernova distances and Sloan Lens ACS Survey galaxy strong lensing data. The FLRW metric is consistent with the data, and the spatial curvature parameter is constrained to be -1.22<Ω_{K0}<0.63, or -0.08<Ω_{K0}<0.97 with a prior from the cosmic microwave background and the local Hubble constant, though modeling of the lenses is a source of significant systematic uncertainty.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):101301.
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    ABSTRACT: Broadband atmospheric phase spectra are acquired with a phase-sensitive dual-frequency-comb spectrometer by implementing adaptive compensation for the strong decoherence from atmospheric turbulence. The compensation is possible due to the pistonlike behavior of turbulence across a single spatial-mode path combined with the intrinsic frequency stability and high sampling speed associated with dual-comb spectroscopy. The atmospheric phase spectrum is measured across 2 km of air at each of the 70 000 comb teeth spanning 233 cm^{-1} across hundreds of near-infrared rovibrational resonances of CO_{2}, CH_{4}, and H_{2}O with submilliradian uncertainty, corresponding to a 10^{-13} refractive index sensitivity. Trace gas concentrations extracted directly from the phase spectrum reach 0.7 ppm uncertainty, demonstrated here for CO_{2}. While conventional broadband spectroscopy only measures intensity absorption, this approach enables measurement of the full complex susceptibility even in practical open path sensing.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):103901. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.103901
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    ABSTRACT: A gap in understanding the link between continuum theories of ion transport in ionic liquids and the underlying microscopic dynamics has hindered the development of frameworks for transport phenomena in these concentrated electrolytes. Here, we construct a continuum theory for ion transport in ionic liquids by coarse graining a simple exclusion process of interacting particles on a lattice. The resulting dynamical equations can be written as a gradient flow with a mobility matrix that vanishes at high densities. This form of the mobility matrix gives rise to a charging behavior that is different to the one known for electrolytic solutions, but which agrees qualitatively with the phenomenology observed in experiments and simulations.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(10):106101. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.106101
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    ABSTRACT: We derive a simple set of nonlinear, (1+1)-dimensional partial differential equations that describe the dynamical evolution of black strings and branes to leading order in the expansion in the inverse of the number of dimensions D. These equations are easily solved numerically. Their solution shows that thin enough black strings are unstable to developing inhomogeneities along their length, and at late times they asymptote to stable nonuniform black strings. This proves an earlier conjecture about the end point of the instability of black strings in a large enough number of dimensions. If the initial black string is very thin, the final configuration is highly nonuniform and resembles a periodic array of localized black holes joined by short necks. We also present the equations that describe the nonlinear dynamics of anti-de Sitter black branes at large D.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(9):091102.
  • M Ablikim · M N Achasov · X C Ai · O Albayrak · M Albrecht · D J Ambrose · A Amoroso · F F An · Q An · J Z Bai · [...] · K J Zhu · S Zhu · X L Zhu · Y C Zhu · Y S Zhu · Z A Zhu · J Zhuang · L Zotti · B S Zou · J H Zou
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    ABSTRACT: We report an observation of the process J/ψ→γX(1835)→γK_{S}^{0}K_{S}^{0}η at low K_{S}^{0}K_{S}^{0} mass with a statistical significance larger than 12.9σ using a data sample of 1.31×10^{9} J/ψ events collected with the BESIII detector. In this region of phase space the K_{S}^{0}K_{S}^{0} system is dominantly produced through the f_{0}(980). By performing a partial wave analysis, we determine the spin parity of the X(1835) to be J^{PC}=0^{-+}. The mass and width of the observed X(1835) are 1844±9(stat)_{-25}^{+16}(syst) MeV/c^{2} and 192_{-17}^{+20}(stat)_{-43}^{+62}(syst) MeV, respectively, which are consistent with the results obtained by BESIII in the channel J/ψ→γπ^{+}π^{-}η^{'}.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(9):091803.
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    ABSTRACT: We report the formation and observation of an electron liquid in Sr_{2-x}La_{x}TiO_{4}, the quasi-two-dimensional counterpart of SrTiO_{3}, through reactive molecular-beam epitaxy and in situ angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. The lowest lying states are found to be comprised of Ti 3d_{xy} orbitals, analogous to the LaAlO_{3}/SrTiO_{3} interface and exhibit unusually broad features characterized by quantized energy levels and a reduced Luttinger volume. Using model calculations, we explain these characteristics through an interplay of disorder and electron-phonon coupling acting cooperatively at similar energy scales, which provides a possible mechanism for explaining the low free carrier concentrations observed at various oxide heterostructures such as the LaAlO_{3}/SrTiO_{3} interface.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(9):096405.
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    ABSTRACT: We study numerically a model for active suspensions of self-propelled repulsive particles, for which a stable phase separation into a dilute and a dense phase is observed. We exploit the fact that for nonsquare boxes a stable "slab" configuration is reached, in which interfaces align with the shorter box edge. Evaluating a recent proposal for an intensive active swimming pressure, we demonstrate that the excess stress within the interface separating both phases is negative. The occurrence of a negative tension together with stable phase separation is a genuine nonequilibrium effect that is rationalized in terms of a positive stiffness, the estimate of which agrees excellently with the numerical data. Our results challenge effective thermodynamic descriptions and mappings of active Brownian particles onto passive pair potentials with attractions.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2015; 115(9):098301.