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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 Zadko telescope is a 1 m f/4 Cassegrain telescope, situated in the state of Western Australia about 80-km north of Perth. The facility plays a niche role in Australian astronomy, as it is the only meter class facility in Australia dedicated to automated follow-up imaging of alerts or triggers received from different external instruments/detectors spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Furthermore, the location of the facility at a longitude not covered by other meter class facilities provides an important resource for time critical projects. This paper reviews the status of the Zadko facility and science projects since it began robotic operations in March 2010. We report on major upgrades to the infrastructure and equipment (2012–2014) that has resulted in significantly improved robotic operations. Second, we review the core science projects, which include automated rapid follow-up of gamma ray burst (GRB) optical afterglows, imaging of neutrino counterpart candidates from the ANTARES neutrino observatory, photometry of rare (Barbarian) asteroids, supernovae searches in nearby galaxies. Finally, we discuss participation in newly commencing international projects, including the optical follow-up of gravitational wave (GW) candidates from the United States and European GW observatory network and present first tests for very low latency follow-up of fast radio bursts. In the context of these projects, we outline plans for a future upgrade that will optimise the facility for alert triggered imaging from the radio, optical, high-energy, neutrino, and GW bands.
On May 22, 1989 the Japanese Ginga Team discovered a new X-ray source that was cataloged as GS 2023+338. This source was subsequently identified as coincident in position with a previously known nova cataloged as V404 Cygni. Its last recorded outburst was in 1938 when it rose to about 12th mag. Spectroscopic data were obtained and confirmed the nature of the outburst. Additional ground based data were obtained by us at CTIO and the VLA. The X-ray behavior of this object has been reported to be very unusual and it reached a peak of about 17 crab about one week after discovery. Since then it has varied widely in magnitude at all wavelengths at which it has been studied. We present a brief summary of the observations that have been obtained up to the time of the meeting and shortly thereafter.
The first observations by a worldwide network of advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors offer a unique opportunity for the astronomical community. At design sensitivity, these facilities will be able to detect coalescing binary neutron stars to distances approaching 400 Mpc, and neutron star–black hole systems to 1 Gpc. Both of these sources are associated with gamma-ray bursts which are known to emit across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Gravitational wave detections provide the opportunity for ‘multi-messenger’ observations, combining gravitational wave with electromagnetic, cosmic ray, or neutrino observations. This review provides an overview of how Australian astronomical facilities and collaborations with the gravitational wave community can contribute to this new era of discovery, via contemporaneous follow-up observations from the radio to the optical and high energy. We discuss some of the frontier discoveries that will be made possible when this new window to the Universe is opened.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and other ventilator-associated events (VAEs) and to improve outcomes for mechanically ventilated adults, children, and neonates. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and other ventilator-associated events (VAEs) and to improve outcomes for mechanically ventilated adults, children, and neonates. This document updates "Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals," published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
We use the wide-field capabilities of the 2 degree field fibre positioner and the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) to obtain redshifts of galaxies that hosted supernovae during the first 3 years of the Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS). With exposure times ranging from 10 to 60 ks per galaxy, we were able to obtain redshifts for 400 host galaxies in two SNLS fields, thereby substantially increasing the total number of SNLS supernovae with host galaxy redshifts. The median redshift of the galaxies in our sample that hosted photometrically classified Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is z ~ 0.77, which is 25% higher than the median redshift of spectroscopically confirmed SNe Ia in the 3-year sample of the SNLS. Our results demonstrate that one can use wide-field fibre-fed multi-object spectrographs on 4-m telescopes to efficiently obtain redshifts for large numbers of supernova host galaxies over the large areas of the sky that will be covered by future high-redshift supernova surveys, such as the Dark Energy Survey.
The new 1 m f/4 fast-slew Zadko Telescope was installed in June 2008 about 70 km north of Perth, Western Australia. It is the only metre-class optical facility at this southern latitude between the east coast of Australia and South Africa, and can rapidly image optical transients at a longitude not monitored by other similar facilities. We report on first imaging tests of a pilot program of minor planet searches, and Target of Opportunity observations triggered by the Swift satellite. In 12 months, 6 gamma-ray burst afterglows were detected, with estimated magnitudes; two of them, GRB 090205 (z = 4.65) and GRB 090516 (z = 4.11), are among the most distant optical transients imaged by an Australian telescope. Many asteroids were observed in a systematic 3-month search. In September 2009, an automatic telescope control system was installed, which will be used to link the facility to a global robotic telescope network; future targets will include fast optical transients triggered by high-energy satellites, radio transient detections, and LIGO gravitational wave candidate events. We also outline the importance of the facility as a potential tool for education, training, and public outreach.
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) is currently building a new kind of general-purpose astronomical facility: a fully robotic network of telescopes of 2m, 1m and 0.4m apertures and homogeneous instrumentation. A pan-network approach to scheduling (rather than per individual telescope) offers redundancy in the event of poor weather or technical failure, as well as the ability to observe a target around the clock. Here we describe the network design and instrumentation under development, together with the main science programmes already being lead by LCOGT staff.
Radiation embrittlement of nuclear reactor pressure vessel steels results from a high number density of nanometer sized Cu-Mn-Ni rich precipitates (CRPs) and sub-nanometer matrix features, thought to be vacancy-solute cluster complexes (VSC). However, questions exist regarding both the composition of the precipitates and the defect character and composition of the matrix features. We present results of positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) characterization of irradiated and thermally aged Fe-Cu and Fe-Cu-Mn alloys. These complementary techniques provide insight into the composition and character of both types of nanoscale features. The SANS measurements indicate populations of CRPs and VSCs in both alloys. The CRPs are coarser in the Fe-Cu alloy and the number densities of CRP and VSC increase with the addition of Mn. The PAS involved measuring both the positron lifetimes and the Doppler broadened annihilation spectra in the high momentum region to provide elemental sensitivity at the annihilation site. The spectra in Fe-Cu-Mn specimens thermally aged to peak hardness at 450°C and irradiated at 288°C are nearly identical to elemental Cu. Positron lifetime and spectrum measurements in Fe-Cu specimens irradiated at 288°C clearly show the existence of long lifetime (∼500 ps) open volume defects, which also contain Cu. Thus the SANS and PAS provide a self-consistent picture of nanostructures composed of CRPs and VSCs and tend to discount high Fe concentrations in the CRPs.
We provide direct experimental evidence for a non-random distribution of atomic constituents in Zr-based multi-component bulk metallic glasses using positron annihilation spectroscopy. The Ti content around the open-volume regions is significantly enhanced at the expense of Cu and Ni, indicating that Cu and Ni occupy most of the volume bounded by their neighboring atoms while Ti and Zr are less closely packed and more likely to be associated with open-volume regions. Temperature-dependent measurements indicate the presence of at least two different characteristic sizes for the open volume regions. Measurements on hydrogen- charged samples show that the larger open-volume regions can be filled by hydrogen up to a critical density. Beyond this critical density, local atomic-scale open-volume damage is created in the sample to accommodate additional hydrogen. The onset of this local damage in positron annihilation data coincides with the onset of volume expansion in X-ray diffraction data.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been employed to examine the stability of the (presumed) icosahedral T2 (A16 Cu Li3) phase. The T2 phase was found to be unstable either when irradiated by the electron beam or during in-situ heating. In addition, certain specimen preparation techniques (e.g., ion-beam thinning) also led to the decomposition of the T2 phase. When the T2 particles were formed during conventional aging of aluminum-rich Al-Li-Cu based alloys, the transformation products were invariably microcrystalline. Individual microcrystals have been identified as the aluminum rich ∝-solid solution which, in certain instances, contained the δʹ (Al3Li) phase. TB (A17.5 Cu4Li) and T1 (Al2CuLi) particles were also found. When the T2 phase was prepared by casting alloys of the proposed stoichiometry of T2, then the transformation products were more complex, although certain reaction products have been identified as the a solid solution, TB and T1.
Recent advances in the use of positron annihilation to study defect ensembles in and on the surfaces of metals, are pointing the way towards studies where particular positron-electron annihilation modes may be identified and studied in the presence of one another. Although a great deal is understood about the annihilation of positrons in ostensibly defect free metals, much less is understood when the positron annihilates in complex defect systems such as liquid metals, amorphous solids, or at or near the vacuum-solid interface. In this paper the results of three experiments, all of which demonstrate means by which we can resolve various positron annihilation channels from one another, will be discussed.
We have developed an apparatus that provides a high flux, low energy, monoenergetic positron beam to investigate various processes which occur when a positron beam impinges on a metal surface, including annihilation at the surface, trapping in vacancies, and the emission of both fast and thermally desorbed positronium. We report here the first angular correlation of annihilation gamma-rays measurements and positronium time of flight experiments at a material surface. We applied a simple free electron model which explains the general trend of the data but differences due to the surface specific properties and the deviation from a free electron metal are evident.
As part of an effort to develop oxidation-resistant metal matrix composites, the influence of reinforcement materials on the oxidation of Ni3Al was studied. Thermogravimetric measurements and microstructural analyses were used to determine the 800°C oxidation behavior of Ni3Al and composites based on this material. The presence of fiber (Al2O3)- or particle (TiN or TiC)- reinforcement material in the Ni3Al increased susceptibility to oxidation as measured by the amount of reacted material, rate constants, and/or extent of internal attack. The orientation of fibers with respect to the free surfaces was found to affect the oxidation behavior by providing, in certain cases, reactive paths along the fiber-matrix interface that led to significant internal penetration. The results suggest that the choice of reinforcement material and the method of materials processing will be important considerations in the design of oxidation-resistant Ni3Al composites. However, ways to minimize the detrimental influence of the reinforcement material on oxidation resistance often conflict with requirements for obtaining attractive mechanical and physical properties of the composite.
PECVD a-Si deposited at 250ºC on 7059 glass was used as precursor material to produce low resistivity large grain doped poly Si. The films doped in the range of 1020−1021 cm-3 with P during growth or by ion implantation wereannealed at 700ºC for times 2 to 5 minutes using RTA. A dopant enhanced grain growth was observed with grain sizes of the order of 3 μm for films of only 2000Å thickness. Resistivity as low as 6x10-4 Ω-cm and mobility as highas 34 cm2 /V-sec. were obtained using this low thermal budget process.These values are comparable to those obtained in the literature using significantly higher annealing temperatures.
A preparation technique for the production of cross-sectional transmission electron microscope (TEM) samples from the interdiffusion regions of Fe-Zn binary couples is described. To alleviate the problem of unequal ion milling rates between the Fe and Zn, a 0.75mm thick Fe sheet has been double plated with a thick electrodeposited Zn coating to achieve a total couple thickness of ˜3mm. After slicing the couple in cross-section, the Fe region of the sample is dimpled to perforation near the Fe-Zn interface. Final thinning for TEM analysis is obtained by ion milling using a liquid nitrogen cold stage and sector speed control. The ion milling procedure is stopped when the perforated hole in the Fe-side of the couple extends through the faster eroding Zn-side of the interface. This technique, in modified form, is expected to be suitable for commercial steels coated with Zn-based alloys.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been employed to examine the role of dislocations in the superplastic deformation of a duplex stainless steel. In particular, matrix, grain boundary and interphase interface dislocation distributions have been documented after testing in region II. It is concluded that dislocation activity is of importance during superplastic flow and both loop sources and dislocation pile-ups have been observed. The presence of highly distorted dislocation arrays also suggests that grain and interphase boundary sliding is intimately linked to the motion of grain and interphase boundary dislocations. Finally, it is argued that dislocation multiplication in interphase interfaces can involve the operation of loop sources.
A preliminary investigation of the defect structure of the monoclinic zeta phase, within the interfacial region of Fe-Zn couples, has been performed using cross-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Twin boundaries and dislocations have been unambiguously identified, however, examples of defects which, as of yet are unknown, are also presented. The monoclinic zeta phase was found to twin by a rotation of 180° about the normal to the (110) plane.
In addition to a hard-copy textbook, Power-Point presentations and videos, the authors have developed a series of Flash modules and on-line quizzing tools for use in teaching and assessing the fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering. The original thrust was aimed at non-science majors at university, but the modules are also designed for ease of use in high school curricula. In the current paper, we present our philosophy for the presentation of materials' related subject material, using different learning objects, by describing one particular module: on electronic materials.