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We report the direct detection of cyclic diameter variations in the Mira variable χ Cygni. Interferometric observations made between 1997 July and 1998 September, using the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST) indicate periodic changes in the apparent angular diameter with amplitude 45 per-cent of the smallest value.
The measurements were made in a 50 nm bandpass centred on 905 nm, which is only moderately contaminated by molecular absorption features. To assess the effects of atmospheric stratification on the apparent diameter measured in this band, we have also measured near-infrared diameters for a sample of five Miras, in both the J-band (1.3 μm) and Wing's (1971) 1.04 μm band, which is expected to isolate essentially pure continuum emission. We present J-band visibility curves which indicate that the intensity profiles of the stars in the sample differ greatly from each other.
Compacts of composites SiC-diamond were made by infiltration of Si into nanocrystalline diamond powders in a toroid-type press under the pressure of 7.7 GPa at 1300 °C. In-situ high pressure diffraction studies of these processes were performed in MAX80 cubic anvil press at a pressure of 8.5 GPa in temperatures up to 1800°C in HASYLAB at DESY, Hamburg, Germany. Sintering was performed for (i) pure nanocrystalline diamond powders, (ii) a mixture of nanocrystalline powders of diamond and nanocrystalline SiC, (iii) a mixture of nanocrystalline diamond with microcrystalline Si powders and (iv) compacts of nanocrystalline diamond infiltrated by Si. The SiC-diamond composites obtained by infiltration of Si have best physical properties: hardness similar to conventional diamond compacts (approximately 50 GPa), highest density 3.35 g cm-3 and uniform nanocrystalline microstructure.
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