My blogging has been sparse of late because of several colliding deadlines and constraints (NSF report due; review article due; APS meeting coming up; impending travel; visits of prospective graduate students; the ever-present book; teaching; impending move of my whole lab to the new Brockman Hall for Physics). This doesn't mean that there aren't interesting things going on out there in condensed matter physics (and physic in general) - just that I've been extraordinarily busy.
To tide you over, here are a handful of interesting links.
This is an amazing video made entirely from shots of Saturn and its moons taken by the Cassini spacecraft. It looks like something out of Hollywood, but is a zillion times more fascinating because it's real - no cgi here.
This older preprint (I'll revise the link when the paper comes out in PRL next week) puts forward the argument that the pseudospin degree of freedom of electrons in graphene does actually correspond to a real half-integer angular momentum. Surprising - I need to think about this more.
This experiment is extremely slick. The authors are able to use the magnetic field gradient from a sharp magnetic scanned probe tip to interact w/ individual nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond (which have an unpaired electron spin). This is basically magnetic resonance imaging of single electron spins.
This paper shows a clear implementation of an idea that is increasingly popular: using the plasmon properties of metal nanostructures to enhance solar energy harvesting. Essentially the evanescent optical fields from the metal nanoparticles trap the light near the interface where, in this case, the photochemistry is happening.