Science is hard. Sometimes science is just hard enough that you can feel the answer a few feet away, but you cannot reach it. For three years we were struggling to understand beautiful and complex behavior of quantum dots in which nuclear spins influence the electron spins. The kind of data we were staring at is shown below:
Months and years were going by, and no progress could be made. Until last month we saw this on the cover of Nature Nanotechnology:
These amazing nanostructures are nanoflowers. We first thought that this was nanocabbage, but after reading the paper we had to concur. The authors carefully compared their structures with images of roses and made the stunning similarity abundantly obvious.
Now, what does this have to do with nuclear spins in quantum dots? Well, after looking at nanoflowers we finally had our Eureka moment! We applied the same data analysis technique, and everything became clear:
Our results were originally intended for a topical journal, but given their revolutionary character, we will definitely go for something more front-and-center.