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In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The cosmic/galactic chemical evolutions have been modeled with the early metal enrichment by Type II supernovae (SNe II) and the delayed enrichment of Fe by Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). However, the exact nature of SN Ia progenitors have been obscure. Here we present the currently most plausible scenario of the progenitor binary systems of SNe Ia. This scenario involves strong winds from accreting white dwarfs, which introduces important metallicity effects, namely, low-metallicity inhibition of SNe Ia. Resultant predictions for the Galactic/cosmic chemical evolution and the cosmic SNe Ia rate are presented. Another importance of identifying the SN Ia progenitors lies in the use of SNe Ia as a “standard candle” to determine cosmological parameters. To examine whether the “evolution” of SNe Ia with redshift and metallicity is significant, we discuss how the metallicity affects the properties of the C+O white dwarfs such as the C/O ratio, and find the metallicity dependence is rather weak.
An elongated ERO with R - K′ = 7.5 behind the cluster A851 at z=0.4 was found to lie at z = 1.5 both by the photometric redshift and by a cross correlation method of its H-band SED with local E/SO spectra. the luminosity profile is well represented by a seeing convolved exponential disk, and the lack of redshifted H-alpha emission indicates that it has a dynamically relaxed disk with an old stellar population. Gravitational lensing of the cluster is not strong enough to stretch the image and cannot convert the de Vaucouleurs law into an exponential law.
We are using the VSOP space VLBI mission to observe a complete sample of Pearson-Readhead survey sources at 4.8 GHz to determine core brightness temperatures and pc-scale jet properties. To date we have imaged 27 of the 31 objects in our sample. Our preliminary results show that the majority of objects contain strong core components that remain unresolved on baselines of 30,000 km. The brightness temperatures of several cores significantly exceed 1012 K, which is indicative of highly relativistically beamed emission. We also find that core brightness temperature is correlated with intraday variability in compact AGNs.
Outskirts of spiral galaxies, including our own, and dwarf irregular galaxies are known to have a different environment from the solar neighborhood, e.g., low metallicities ( ~ − 1 dex). Among them, the outer Galaxy is the closest and hence is so far the only site suitable for population studies of resolved stars on the same basis as solar neighborhood. We have obtained NIR images of young clusters in the outer Galaxy, using the Subaru 8.2-m telescope, and clearly resolved cluster members with mass detection limits of ~ 0.1 M⊙. Based on the fitting of K-band luminosity functions (KLFs) for four clusters, we found that the initial mass function (IMF) in the outer Galaxy is consistent with that in the solar neighborhood in terms of the high-mass slope and IMF peak. Upcoming observations with a higher spatial resolution and sensitivity, using JWST, TMT, etc., will allow us to extend spatially-resolved studies of the IMF to Local Group galaxies.
We report the results of new survey of star-forming regions in the outer Galaxy at Galactocentric radius of more than 13.5 kpc, where the environment is significantly different from that in the solar neighborhood.
Investigation into the phenomenon of resistive switching, a reversible change in electrical resistance by the application of a voltage bias, has given rise to the device fabrication, DC electrical testing, and cross sectional TEM/EELS characterization of nanoscale resistive switching devices. Typically, resistive switching devices are composed of a thin oxide layer between two conductive electrodes where applied bias can alter the resistance states. In a cross-bar array, nonlinearity of device I-V relation is a highly desirable characteristic that helps to mitigate the sneak path current leakage issue. Negative differential resistance (NDR) switching behavior offers such nonlinearity and has been observed in TaOx nanoscale devices utilizing certain electrode materials. To investigate this phenomenon, nanodevices were fabricated by sputtering TaOx onto TiN nanovias capped Nb electrodes. Cross sectional TEM/EELS were performed to reveal the physical and chemical changes in these devices to explore possible origins of nonlinear behavior when these top electrode materials are utilized with TaOx films.
Resistive switching, a reversible change in electrical resistance of a dielectric layer through the application of a voltage bias, has propelled a field of research to form improved non-volatile memory device. Tantalum oxide has been investigated as the dielectric component of resistive switching devices as a leading candidate for a few years. Presented here is a structural and chemical investigation of TaOx devices with 55nm in diameter in the virgin, forming on, and switched off (reset) states for comparison using cross sectional TEM techniques including HRTEM, and EELS to gain further understanding of this material system. The nanodevices imaged in this study were switched below 100µA. Unique features found in this study are in agreement with previous hypotheses made by various researchers based on X-ray fluorescence microscopy of micron-scale devices, indicating a variation in oxygen concentration around the switching area.
Stellar populations of elliptical galaxies were studied extensively in the recent past (eg., Arimoto & Yoshii 1987; Buzzoni et al. 1992; Worthey 1994; Kodama & Arimoto 1997). However, colours and line-strengths analysed by these approaches came mainly from central regions of galaxies and possible variations of stellar population structure within a galaxy were entirely ignored. Kodama & Arimoto (1997) recently show that a colour-magnitude (CM) relation of ellipticals in Coma cluster (Bower, Lucey, & Ellis 1992), and the CM relation of cluster ellipticals in general, should originate from a difference in mean stellar metallicities, as suggested by Arimoto & Yoshii (1987), and cannot be due to an increase of mean stellar age towards luminous galaxies as claimed by Worthey (1994). It is quite often stated that any theory of galaxy formation should explain the origin of CM relation, or in other words, the mass (luminosity) - metallicity relation of elliptical galaxies. However, one should not forget the fact that the CM relation is defined only for stars in the central regions of galaxies; it is possible that the CM relation itself is an observational artifact, since ellipticals show in general radial gradients of metallic-line strengthes, decreasing from a centre towards outer regions (eg., Faber 1977; Davies, Sadler, & Peletier 1993; Gonzalez 1993; Carollo & Danziger 1994). Indeed, Gorgas & Gonzalez (1996) found that ellipticals with larger central Mg2 indices tend to have steeper Mg2 gradient, which suggests that global metallicities of ellipticals are perphaps universal and are independent of galaxy luminosities.
Astronomical telescopes continue to demand high-endurance high-reflectivity silver mirrors that can withstand years of exposure in earth-based observatory environments. The University of California Observatories Astronomical Coatings Lab has undertaken development of protected silver coatings suitable for telescope mirrors that maintain high reflectivity at wavelengths from 340 nm through the mid-infrared spectrum. We present promising results of enhanced corrosion barriers using plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of aluminum oxide (AlOx) as a top barrier layer. Novel coating recipes developed with ion-assisted electron beam deposition (IAEBD) of materials including yttrium fluoride and oxides of yttrium, tantalum, and silicon are used to compare the endurance of physical vapor deposition-grown barriers with PEALD-grown barriers of similar thickness. Samples of these mirror coatings were covered with conformal layers of AlOx deposited by PEALD using trimethylaluminum as a metal precursor and plasma-activated oxygen as an oxidant gas. Samples of coating recipes with and without PEALD oxide undergo aggressive high temperature/high humidity (HTHH) environmental testing in which samples are exposed to an environment of 80% humidity at 80°C for ten days in a simple test set-up. HTHH testing show visible results suggesting that the PEALD oxide offers enhanced robust protection against chemical corrosion and moisture from an accelerated aging environment. Mirror samples are further characterized by reflectivity/absorption before and after deposition of oxide coatings. AlOx is suitable for many applications and has been the initial material choice for this study.
A range of optical and optoelectronic applications would benefit from high refractive index (n), dense and transparent films that guide, concentrate and couple light. However, materials with high n usually have a high optical extinction coefficient (κ) which keeps these materials from being suitable for optical components that require long optical paths. We studied titanium hafnium oxide alloy films to obtain high refractive index (n>2) with minimum optical extinction coefficients (κ < 10−5) over the visible and near IR spectrum (380-930 nm). Titanium hafnium oxide alloys were deposited using pulsed DC reactive magnetron sputtering with and without RF substrate bias on silicon dioxide. For a given deposition condition intended for a specific titanium/hafnium molar fraction ratio, the ion energy of deposition species was explicitly controlled by varying the RF substrate bias. Spectroscopic ellipsometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the films. It appears that applying RF substrate bias reduces the nanocrystalline size, changes the surface morphology and increases the refractive index while maintaining comparable titanium/hafnium cation molar fraction. Precise control of the nanostructure of ternary metal oxides can alter their macroscopic properties, resulting in improved optical films.
Preparation of a sigma-CrFe single-phase specimen was achieved by arc melting of pure Fe and Cr, cold rolling, and subsequent annealing at 973 K or 1073 K in vacuum. Cold rolling before annealing is effective for the annealing-induced formation of sigma-CrFe from the bcc solid-solution phase. The phase stability and the structural change from sigma-CrFe to a bcc solid-solution phase under fast electron irradiation were investigated by in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation in the temperature range between 22 K and 473 K by using an ultra-high voltage electron microscope (UHVEM). The phase transition of sigma-CrFe by fast electron irradiation was found to occur at a particular temperature.
The correlation of stress in Silicon Carbide (SiC) crystal and frequency shift in micro- Raman spectroscopy was determined by an experimental method. We applied uniaxial stress to 4H- and 6H-SiC single crystal square bar specimen shaped with (0001) and (11-20) faces by four point bending test, under measuring the frequency shift in micro-Raman spectroscopy. The results revealed that the linearity coefficients between stress and Raman shift were -1.96 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (0001) face, -2.08 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (11-20) face and -2.70 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/6)E2 on 6H-SiC (0001) face. Determination of these coefficients has made it possible to evaluate the residual stress in SiC crystal quantitatively by micro-Raman spectroscopy. We evaluated the residual stress in SiC substrate that was grown in our laboratory by utilizing the results obtained in this study. The result of estimation indicated that the SiC substrate with a diameter of 6 inch remained residual stress as low as ±15 MPa.
Thready stripe-patterned thermo-responsive surfaces were prepared and their surface properties were characterized. Prepared 3 μm wide stripe-patterned surfaces were evaluated by observing the adhesions and detachments of three types of cells: HeLa cells (HeLas), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and NIH-3T3 cells (3T3s). Although cell adhesion and detachment in response to temperature were observed on all cells on a conventional thermo-responsive surface without patterns, the thermo-responsive surface with a 3 μm striped-pattern exhibited various cell adhesion properties. HeLas hardly adhered to the patterned surface even at 37 °C. On the other hand, although HUVECs adhered on the patterned surface at 12 h after incubation at 37 °C, the adhered HUVECs detached themselves after another 12 h incubation at 37 °C. 3T3s adhered to the patterned surface at 37 °C and detached themselves after reducing temperature to 20 °C. A mixture of HeLa, HUVEC and 3T3 was separated using their different specific cell-adhesion properties, and the composition of cells was analyzed by a flow-cytometry. As a result, the conventional thermo-responsive surface with a stripe-pattern was found to function as a cell-separating interface by using specific cell adhesion properties.
We studied physical properties of titanium hafnium oxide (TixHf1-xO2) alloy thin films deposited by pulsed DC reactive magnetron sputtering with AC substrate bias. Thin films of two end oxides, hafnium oxides (HfO2) and titanium oxides (TiO2), and their alloys TixHf1-xO2 with a range of compositions deposited with and without the substrate bias were compared to study the dependence of physical properties of the thin films on the substrate bias. Structural, chemical and optical properties of the thin films were analyzed to assess inter-relationship among these properties. Thin films deposited with the AC substrate bias consistently show much higher refractive index and significantly lower optical extinction coefficient than those of thin films deposited without the substrate bias suggesting that characteristic microstructures developed in these thin films are responsible for the differences in the optical properties.
Our nation discards more than 50% of the total input energy as waste heat in various industrial processes such as metal refining, heat engines, and cooling. If we could harness a small fraction of the waste heat through the use of thermoelectric (TE) devices while satisfying the economic demands of cost versus performance, then TE power generation could bring substantial positive impacts to our society in the forms of reduced carbon emissions and additional energy. To increase the unit-less figure of merit, ZT, single-crystal semiconductor nanowires have been extensively studied as a building block for advanced TE devices because of their predicted large reduction in thermal conductivity and large increase in power factor. In contrast, polycrystalline bulk semiconductors also indicate their potential in improving overall efficiency of thermal-to-electric conversion despite their large number of grain boundaries. To further our goal of developing practical and economical TE devices, we designed a material platform that combines nanowires and polycrystalline semiconductors which are integrated on a metallic surface. We will assess the potential of polycrystalline group III-V compound semiconductor nanowires grown on low-cost copper sheets that have ideal electrical/thermal properties for TE devices. We chose indium phosphide (InP) from group III-V compound semiconductors because of its inherent characteristics of having low surface states density in comparison to others, which is expected to be important for polycrystalline nanowires that contain numerous grain boundaries. Using metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) polycrystalline InP nanowires were grown in three-dimensional networks in which electrical charges and heat travel under the influence of their characteristic scattering mechanisms over a distance much longer than the mean length of the constituent nanowires. We studied the growth mechanisms of polycrystalline InP nanowires on copper surfaces by analyzing their chemical, optical, and structural properties in comparison to those of single-crystal InP nanowires formed on single-crystal surfaces. We also assessed the potential of polycrystalline InP nanowires on copper surfaces as a TE material by modeling based on finite-element analysis to obtain physical insights of three-dimensional networks made of polycrystalline InP nanowires. Our discussion will focus on the synthesis of polycrystalline InP nanowires on copper surfaces and structural properties of the nanowires analyzed by transmission electron microscopy that provides insight into possible nucleation mechanisms, growth mechanisms, and the nature of grain boundaries of the nanowires.
In 2011, the US Institute of Medicine updated the definition of vitamin D inadequacy to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration of 30–<50 nmol/l and of deficiency to serum 25(OH)D < 30 nmol/l. We describe the prevalence of these conditions according to these definitions, seasonal variation in 25(OH)D and predictors of serum 25(OH)D concentrations among working, white women.
Participants recorded lifestyle factors and dietary intake and provided fasting blood samples for measurement of serum 25(OH)D in both summer and winter. Predictors of serum 25(OH)D variation were analysed using linear regression and generalized linear mixed models.
Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, from April 2008 to July 2009.
Female premenopausal nurses (n 83) working full-time rotating shifts.
Deficient or inadequate vitamin D status was observed in 9 % of participants following summer/autumn and in 13 % following winter/spring. Predictors of serum 25(OH)D concentration were vitamin D supplement use, tanning bed use and season. Tanning bed use increased serum 25(OH)D by 23·24 nmol/l (95 % CI 8·78, 37·69 nmol/l, P = 0·002) on average.
According to the 2011 Institute of Medicine bone health guidelines, over 10 % of nurses had deficient or inadequate vitamin D status following winter. Higher serum concentrations were associated with use of tanning beds and vitamin D supplements. As health promotion campaigns and legal restrictions are successful in reducing tanning bed use among women, our data suggest that increased prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and deficiency may be a consequence, and that low vitamin D status will need to be countered with supplementation.
During the installation of the buffer in a deposition hole of an HLW repository, it is necessary to control water flow from the fractured rock into the deposition hole. Water flow with inflow rate greater than 0.001 l/min may cause piping and erosion of the buffer, and may trigger mass redistribution of the buffer, sedimentation and material separation of bentonite materials. This paper describes the condition of parameters which cause piping and erosion; revised conditions which keep advection, inflow rate, buffer component, gap between buffer materials, gap between outside wall and buffer block, and type of water. The results from the experiment show the condition of the self-sealing function of bentonite materials, formation of piping, allowable limit of inflow rate in the case of an Na type bentonite block of 70 wt.% Kunigel V1 and 30 wt.% silica sand, or a pellet of 100 wt.% Kunigel V1. Piping and erosion continue until the engineered barrier (EB) is filled with water, and then the hydraulic gradient becomes small. Piping may lead to erosion and redistribution of material which needs to be taken into account in the long-term performance assessment.
Crystal structure change with an applied electric field was investigated by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for the 1 μm-thick (100)/(001) one-axis oriented tetragonal Pb(Zr0.3Ti0.7)O3 films prepared on Pt-covered (100) Si substrates by chemical solution deposition technique. As-deposited films were under the strained condition in good agreement with the estimation from the thermal strain applied under the cooling process after the deposition from the Curie temperature to the room temperature. This strain was ascertained to be relaxed by an applied electric field in accompanying with the dramatic increase of the volume fraction of (001) orientation. These results demonstrate the importance of the crystal structure measurement not only as-deposited films, but also after applied electric field, such as after poling.