Several papers caught my eye this week; I'll be brief, particularly since I haven't had time to read them in detail. Now that our paper is in and our search is nearing the end, I'll have more time soon. Maybe I'll even get time to work on my book. Anyway....
cond-mat/0702246 - Capelle et al., Energy gaps and interaction blockade in confined quantum systems
The authors consider the general problem of interacting quantum particles confined in a harmonic potential. This could apply to electrons in a small quantum dot, or cold atoms in a magneto-optic trap. They then come up with expressions for the addition energies (how much energy is needed to add one more particle to the confined, interacting system) based on single-particle properties plus the interactions. They predict phenomena analogous to Coulomb blockade for other interacting systems, including some kind of Van der Waals blockade for trapped atoms.
cond-mat/0702259 - Kornyushin, An introduction to the polaron and bipolaron theoretical concepts
This looks like a nice pedagogical derivation of polarons and bipolarons. Should be good for students.
cond-mat/0702332 - Wu et al., Shot noise with interaction effects in single walled carbon nanotubes
This is a typically nice piece of experimental work from the Helsinki group. They've measured shot noise in carbon nanotube devices, and while they have seen interesting quantum coherence effects (Fabry-Perot electronic resonances as have been observed in dc conduction in these systems), they do not see any clear signs of Luttinger liquid physics.
cond-mat/0702348 - Phillips, Mottness
This is a longer article by Phil Phillips on his ideas about the properties and excitations of Mott insulators - materials that are insulating not because their bands are all full, but because strong electron-electron interactions lock the carriers in place. Interesting ideas explained in a compelling way, though theorists have been arguing about this stuff (in particular, the role or lack thereof of Mott physics in, e.g., the normal state of the high Tc compounds) for some time. Prof. Phillips is also the best dressed scientist I've ever met, bar none.