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Concept: Interference


Since the 1990s, the modulational instability has commonly been used to explain the occurrence of rogue waves that appear from nowhere in the open ocean. However, the importance of this instability in the context of ocean waves is not well established. This mechanism has been successfully studied in laboratory experiments and in mathematical studies, but there is no consensus on what actually takes place in the ocean. In this work, we question the oceanic relevance of this paradigm. In particular, we analyze several sets of field data in various European locations with various tools, and find that the main generation mechanism for rogue waves is the constructive interference of elementary waves enhanced by second-order bound nonlinearities and not the modulational instability. This implies that rogue waves are likely to be rare occurrences of weakly nonlinear random seas.

Concepts: Oceanography, Wave, 2000s music groups, Theory, Ocean, Interference, Rogue wave


Multiple scattering limits the contrast in optical imaging of thick specimens. Here, we present gradient light interference microscopy (GLIM) to extract three-dimensional information from both thin and thick unlabeled specimens. GLIM exploits a special case of low-coherence interferometry to extract phase information from the specimen, which in turn can be used to measure cell mass, volume, surface area, and their evolutions in time. Because it combines multiple intensity images that correspond to controlled phase shifts between two interfering waves, gradient light interference microscopy is capable of suppressing the incoherent background due to multiple scattering. GLIM can potentially become a valuable tool for in vitro fertilization, where contrast agents and fluorophores may impact the viability of the embryo. Since GLIM is implemented as an add-on module to an existing inverted microscope, we anticipate that it will be adopted rapidly by the biological community.Challenges in biological imaging include labeling, photobleaching and phototoxicity, as well as light scattering. Here, Nguyen et al. develop a quantitative phase method that uses low-coherence interferometry for label-free 3D imaging in scattering tissue.

Concepts: Biology, Optics, Medical imaging, Scattering, In vitro fertilisation, Wave, Phase, Interference


We describe a magnetic field sensor based on a spin wave interferometer. Its sensing element consists of a magnetic cross junction with four micro-antennas fabricated at the edges. Two of these antennas are used for spin wave excitation while two other antennas are used for detection of the inductive voltage produced by the interfering spin waves. Two waves propagating in the orthogonal arms of the cross may accumulate significantly different phase shifts depending on the magnitude and direction of the external magnetic field. This phenomenon is utilized for magnetic field sensing. The sensitivity attains its maximum under the destructive interference condition, where a small change in the external magnetic field results in a drastic increase of the inductive voltage, as well as in the change of the output phase. We report experimental data obtained for a micrometer scale Y3Fe2(FeO4)3 cross structure. The change of the inductive voltage near the destructive interference point exceeds 40 dB per 1 Oe. The phase of the output signal exhibits a π-phase shift within 1 Oe. The data are collected at room temperature. Taking into account the low thermal noise in ferrite structures, we estimate that the maximum sensitivity of the spin wave magnetometer may exceed attotesla.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Diffraction, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Wave, Phase, Interference, Superposition principle


Here we report the case of a 70-year-old woman who committed suicide by cyanide poisoning. During resuscitation cares, she underwent an antidote treatment by hydroxocobalamin. Postmortem investigations showed marked bright pink discolouration of organs and fluids, and a lethal cyanide blood concentration of 43mg/L was detected by toxicological investigation. Discolouration of hypostasis and organs has widely been studied in forensic literature. In our case, we interpreted the unusual pink coloration as the result of the presence of hydroxocobalamin. This substance is a known antidote against cyanide poisoning, indicated because of its efficiency and poor adverse effects. However, its main drawback is to interfere with measurements of many routine biochemical parameters. We have tested the potential influence of this molecule in some routine postmortem investigations. The results are discussed.

Concepts: Death, Matter, Chemistry, Toxicology, Color, Poison, Interference, Cyanide poisoning


The loading effect induced by the contact between a parabolic duralumin tip and a free glass plate is investigated using Lamb waves and an optical heterodyne interferometric probe. The instrument detects 1-MHz impulse symmetric S0 and antisymmetric A(0) Lamb wave trains launched in 1-mmthick B270-type glass. Strain-optic modeling is carried out to explain optical measurement through the transparent medium and the loading effect of the tip. Three-wave optical interference modeling is also developed to explain the presence of fringes of equal thickness in C-scans of both modes propagating in a plate that has a 1.1-mrad wedge. Results show that through-glass probing inverts by a factor of ¿3.1 the signal that is normally returned by the interferometer at a free-air surface for the S(0) Lamb mode. Fringes of equal thickness reveal the spatial extension of the mechanical loading. Through-glass probing on A(0) produces about the same signal as in a free-air measurement configuration. This mode appears to be more appropriate for the evaluation of the loading effect of the tip. For this parabolic tip, we observe an A0 attenuation of about 50% in the contact area.

Concepts: Diffraction, Optical fiber, Wave, Phase, Interference, Superposition principle, Optical heterodyne detection, Short films


The daily productivity of a clinical laboratory depends on the large number of interferences that affect analytical accuracy. Obviously, they have always been considered as a very important aspect to keep accuracy under control. Nevertheless, we wondered if this aspect would be beneficial. In this article, we propose a method for finding monoclonal gammopathies that are based on the fact that the presence of paraprotein in the sample may interfere with routine laboratory assays, specifically, with the quantification of uric acid and conjugated bilirubin.

Concepts: Scientific method, Ammonia, Diagnosis, Greek loanwords, Uric acid, Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, Medical laboratory, Interference


Sperm are propelled by bending waves traveling along their flagellum. For steering in gradients of sensory cues, sperm adjust the flagellar waveform. Symmetric and asymmetric waveforms result in straight and curved swimming paths, respectively. Two mechanisms causing spatially asymmetric waveforms have been proposed: an average flagellar curvature and buckling. We image flagella of human sperm tethered with the head to a surface. The waveform is characterized by a fundamental beat frequency and its second harmonic. The superposition of harmonics breaks the beat symmetry temporally rather than spatially. As a result, sperm rotate around the tethering point. The rotation velocity is determined by the second-harmonic amplitude and phase. Stimulation with the female sex hormone progesterone enhances the second-harmonic contribution and, thereby, modulates sperm rotation. Higher beat frequency components exist in other flagellated cells; therefore, this steering mechanism might be widespread and could inspire the design of synthetic microswimmers.

Concepts: Spermatozoon, Flagellum, Wave, Acoustics, Sound, Interference, Just intonation, Electronic tuner


Electromagnetic (EM) tracking systems are highly susceptible to field distortion. The interference can cause measurement errors up to a few centimeters in clinical environments, which limits the reliability of these systems. Unless corrected for, this measurement error imperils the success of clinical procedures. It is therefore fundamental to dynamically calibrate EM tracking systems and compensate for measurement error caused by field distorting objects commonly present in clinical environments. We propose to combine a motion model with observations of redundant EM sensors and compensate for field distortions in real-time. We employ a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technique to accurately estimate the pose of the tracked instrument while creating the field distortion map. We conducted experiments with 6 degrees-of-freedom motions in the presence of field distorting objects in research and clinical environments. We applied our approach to improve the EM tracking accuracy and compared our results to a conventional sensor fusion technique. Using our approach, the maximum tracking error was reduced by 67% for position measurements and by 64% for orientation measurements. Currently, clinical applications of EM trackers are hampered by the adverse distortion effects. Our approach introduces a novel method for dynamic field distortion compensation, independent from pre-operative calibrations or external tracking devices, and enables reliable EM navigation for potential applications.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Error, Test method, Calibration, Observational error, Distortion, Interference


Bradford assay is one of most common method for measuring the protein concentration. However, some pharmaceutical excipients, such as detergents, interfere with Bradford assay at even low concentrations. Protein precipitation can be used to overcome sample incompatibility with protein quantitation. But, the rate of protein recovery caused by acetone precipitation is only about 70%. In this study, we found that sucrose could not only increase the rate of protein recovery after 1-hour acetone precipitation, but also didn’t interfere with Bradford assay. So, we developed a method for rapid protein quantitation in protein drug even if it contained interfering substances.

Concepts: Interference


Efficient interfaces between photons and quantum emitters form the basis for quantum networks and enable optical nonlinearities at the single-photon level. We demonstrate an integrated platform for scalable quantum nanophotonics based on silicon-vacancy (SiV) color centers coupled to diamond nanodevices. By placing SiV centers inside diamond photonic crystal cavities, we realize a quantum-optical switch controlled by a single color center. We control the switch using SiV metastable states and observe optical switching at the single-photon level. Raman transitions are used to realize a single-photon source with a tunable frequency and bandwidth in a diamond waveguide. By measuring intensity correlations of indistinguishable Raman photons emitted into a single waveguide, we observe a quantum interference effect resulting from the superradiant emission of two entangled SiV centers.

Concepts: Photon, Optics, Light, Laser, Wave, Wavelength, Photonics, Interference