Condensed matter physics concerns itself with liquid and solid matter. It examines and explains why materials conduct heat, stick to one another, stretch and crystallize — and why they behave in odd and unexpected ways.
Nanotechnology, semiconductors and quantum computing all have roots in the field. It also concerns itself with some of the more perplexing phases of matter, such as Bose-Einstein condensates, in which atoms cooled to near absolute zero begin acting like a single entity instead of a group.
Nanoscale Views is written by Douglas Natelson, a physicist at Rice University whose research group tries to tease out the properties of nanoparticles and other super-small structures.
On a mission to explain condensed matter physics, Natelson points out developments in the field, ruminates on the day-to-day concerns of research — including how it gets paid for — and shares insights from conferences and scientific events. He gets deep into the hows and whys of his super-specific, often deeply weird field, and the result is fun to read. If you're a physics nerd — or someone who wants an unusual look at the world around you — it's worth checking out.