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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Life-course experiences have been postulated to program hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity, suggesting that HPA axis activity is, at least partially, stable over time. Yet, there is paucity of data on the long-term stability of cortisol production and metabolism. We performed a prospective follow-up study in twins recruited from a nationwide register to estimate the stability of cortisol production and metabolism over time, and the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to this stability. In total, 218 healthy mono- and dizygotic twins were included. At the ages of 9, 12 and 17 years, morning urine samples were collected for assessment (by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) of cortisol metabolites, enabling the calculation of cortisol metabolite excretion rate and cortisol metabolism activity. Our results showed a low stability for both cortisol metabolite excretion rate (with correlations <.20) and cortisol metabolism activity indices (with correlations of .25 to .46 between 9 and 12 years, −.02 to .15 between 12 and 17 years and .09 to .28 between 9 and 17 years). Because of the low stability over time, genetic and environmental contributions to this stability were difficult to assess, although it seemed to be mostly determined by genetic factors. The low stability in both cortisol production and metabolism between ages 9 and 17 years reflects the dynamic nature of the HPA axis.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
In lifecourse studies that encompass the adolescent period, the assessment of pubertal status is important, but can be challenging. We aimed to identify current methods for pubertal assessment and assess their appropriateness for population-based research by combining a review of the literature with the views of experts in the field. We searched bibliographic databases, extracted data and assessed study quality to inform a workshop with 21 experts. Acceptability of different approaches was explored with a panel of ten adolescents. We screened 11,935 abstracts, assessed 157 articles and summarised results from 38 articles. Combining these with the opinions of experts, self-assessment was found to be a practical method for use in studies where agreement with the gold standard of clinical assessment by physical examination to within one Tanner stage was acceptable. Serial measures of height and foot size accurately indicated timing of the pubertal growth spurt and age at peak height velocity, and were seen as feasible within longitudinal studies. Hormonal and radiological methods did not offer a practical means of assessing pubertal status. Assessment of voice maturation was promising, but needed validation. Young people thought that self-assessment, foot size and voice assessments were acceptable, and preferred an assessor of the same sex for clinical assessment. This review thus informs researchers working in lifecourse and adolescent health, and identifies future directions in order to improve validity of the methods.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Gyro-phase drift is a guiding center drift that is directly dependent on the charging rate limit of dust grains. The effect of introducing a gyro-phase-dependence on the grain charge leads to two orthogonal components of guiding-center drift. One component, referred to here as grad-q drift, results from the time-varying, gyro-phase angle dependent, in-situ-equilibrium grain charge, assuming that the grain charging is instantaneous. For this component, the grain is assumed to be always in its in-situ-equilibrium charge state and this state gyro-synchronously varies with respect to the grain's average charge state. The other component, referred to here as the gyro-phase drift, arises from any non-instantaneous-charging-induced modification of the diamagnetic drift and points in the direction of -∇RLd (where RLd is the grain gyro-radius), i.e. the direction associated with increasing magnitude of in-situ-equilibrium charge state. For this component, the grain gyro-synchronously undercharges and overcharges with respect to its gyro-synchronously varying, in-situ-equilibrium charge state. These characteristics are illustrated with a single-particle code for predicting grain trajectory that demonstrates how gyro-phase drift magnitude and direction could be exploited, using an extended version of the presented model, as sensitive indicators of the charging time of dust grains because of the cumulative effect of the ever-changing charge state of a grain making repeated excursions in inhomogeneous plasma over many gyro-periods.
If a magnetized-orbit-charged grain encounters any abrupt inhomogeneity in plasma conditions during a gyro-orbit, such that the resulting in-situ equilibrium charge is significantly different between these regions (q1/q2 ~ 2, where q1 is the in-situ equilibrium charge on one side of the inhomogeneity, q2 is the in-situ equilibrium charge on the other side, and q1 < q2 < 0), then the capacitive effects of charging and discharging of the dust grain can result in a modification to the orbit-averaged grain trajectory, i.e. gyro-phase drift. The special case of q1/q2 is notioned for the purpose of illustrating the utility of the method. An analytical expression is derived for the grain velocity, assuming a capacitor approximation to the OML charging model. For cases in which a strong electric field suddenly appears in the wake or at the space-plasma-to-crater interface from solar wind and/or ultraviolet illumination and in which a magnetic field permeates an asteroid, comet, or moon, this model could contribute to the interpretation of the distribution of fields and particles.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
Little information exists on treatment effectiveness in antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). We investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of carrying out a randomized controlled trial of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in men with ASPD who were aggressive.
This was an exploratory two-centre, randomized controlled trial in a community setting. Fifty-two adult men with a diagnosis of ASPD, with acts of aggression in the 6 months prior to the study, were randomized to either treatment as usual (TAU) plus CBT, or usual treatment alone. Change over 12 months of follow-up was assessed in the occurrence of any act of aggression and also in terms of alcohol misuse, mental state, beliefs and social functioning.
The follow-up rate was 79%. At 12 months, both groups reported a decrease in the occurrence of any acts of verbal or physical aggression. Trends in the data, in favour of CBT, were noted for problematic drinking, social functioning and beliefs about others.
CBT did not improve outcomes more than usual treatment for men with ASPD who are aggressive and living in the community in this exploratory study. However, the data suggest that a larger study is required to fully assess the effectiveness of CBT in reducing aggression, alcohol misuse and improving social functioning and view of others. It is feasible to carry out a rigorous randomized controlled trial in this group.
In this paper, we investigate the problem of measuring the shape of a continuum robot manipulator using visual information from a fixed camera. Specifically, we capture the motion of a set of fictitious planes, each formed by four or more feature points, defined at various strategic locations along the body of the robot. Then, utilizing expressions for the robot forward kinematics as well as the decomposition of a homography relating a reference image of the robot to the actual robot image, we obtain the three-dimensional shape information continuously. We then use this information to demonstrate the development of a kinematic controller to regulate the manipulator end-effector to a constant desired position and orientation.
This work is focused on nanoscale gold particle formation by low-energy ion irradiation in glow-discharge plasma and studying particle growth by increasing time of exposure.
SiO2+Au films on SiO2 substrates produced by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) were exposed to ion irradiation at 1.2 keV energy for 1-2 hours. Plasmon resonance appearance caused by nanoparticle formation was observed by Optical Absorption Spectrometry (OAS).
In a comparative study which examined the effect of having access to mushroom compost in an otherwise barren environment there were three treatments and six replicates. The three treatments were (T1) control barren pen providing 0·7 m2 per pig with fully slatted floor, (T2) empty horizontal rack suspended above the pigs’ heads and (T3) mushroom compost on rack as in treatment 2. Pigs released particles of compost from the rack by nosing the metal grid from below. Almost twice as many pigs with access to mushroom compost (T3) nosed the rack (P < 0·001) and the ground below the rack (P < 0·001) as pigs which had a rack with no mushroom compost (T2). Fewer pigs with mushroom compost were involved in behaviours directed at penmates such as nosing, biting and chewing penmates than pigs in treatments 1 and 2 (P < 0·001). In addition fewer pigs in T3 were involved in feeding behaviour than in T1 and T2 (P < 0·05). Percentages of tail-bitten animals which had to be removed were 11 and 24 for T1 and T2 respectively while T3 had < 1% removed because of tail biting (P < 0·05). Apparent food intake was higher (P < 0·05) and food conversion ratio tended to be poorer in T1 (P = 0·1). It is suggested that pigs will redirect rooting behaviour towards penmates and the feeder in the absence of any rooting substrate. Adding substrate to commercial finishing pens reduces this redirection of behaviour and improves welfare by minimizing injury through tail biting.