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IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
Machine vision-based monitoring of pig lying behaviour is a fast and non-intrusive approach that could be used to improve animal health and welfare. Four pens with 22 pigs in each were selected at a commercial pig farm and monitored for 15 days using top view cameras. Three thermal categories were selected relative to room setpoint temperature. An image processing technique based on Delaunay triangulation (DT) was utilized. Different lying patterns (close, normal and far) were defined regarding the perimeter of each DT triangle and the percentages of each lying pattern were obtained in each thermal category. A method using a multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network, to automatically classify group lying behaviour of pigs into three thermal categories, was developed and tested for its feasibility. The DT features (mean value of perimeters, maximum and minimum length of sides of triangles) were calculated as inputs for the MLP classifier. The network was trained, validated and tested and the results revealed that MLP could classify lying features into the three thermal categories with high overall accuracy (95.6%). The technique indicates that a combination of image processing, MLP classification and mathematical modelling can be used as a precise method for quantifying pig lying behaviour in welfare investigations.
Recent X-ray emission events in the Galactic center would be expected to generate an X-ray reflection response within the surrounding clouds of the central molecular zone, in the Galactic disk and even, if powerful enough, in clouds outside our Galaxy. We review here the current constraints on Sgr A*'s past activity obtained through this method, with particular emphasis on the strong evidence that has been gathered for multiple X-ray flashes during the past few hundred years.
The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence density and the occurrence of horizontal spread of highly resistant gram-negative rods (HR-GNRs) in Dutch hospitals. The factors that influence these outcome measures were also investigated.
All patients with HR-GNRs, as determined by sample testing, who were hospitalized in 1 of 18 hospitals during a 6-month period (April through October 2007) were included in this study. For all available isolates, the species was identified, susceptibility was determined (including the presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamases [ESBLs]), and molecular typing was performed. On the basis of a combination of species identification, molecular typing, and epidemiological data, the occurrence of nosocomial transmission was determined.
The mean incidence density of patients with HR-GNRs was 55 per 100,000 patient-days (cumulative incidence, 39 per 10,000 patients admitted). A facility being a university hospital was a statistically significant (P = .03) independent determinant of a higher incidence of patients with HR-GNRs. The majority of HR-GNR isolates were ESBL producers. The adjusted transmission index—the ratio between secondary and primary cases—in the participating hospitals ranged from 0.0 to 0.2. The overall adjusted transmission index of HR-GNRs was 0.07. No determinants for a higher transmission index were identified.
The nosocomial transmission rate of HR-GNRs was relatively low in all hospitals where well-established transmission-based precautions were used. The incidence density of patients with HR-GNRs was higher in university hospitals, probably due to the patient population and the complexity of the care provided.
Al-rich Ti-Al alloys attracted some attention during the past years due to the possibility of their application as light-weight, high-performance materials at elevated temperatures. The effect of the addition of Nb to Al-rich Ti-Al alloys has been studied for Ti36 Al62 Nb2 by a combined approach of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques for unraveling the structure and composition at the nanoscale. Structural analyses on as-cast ternary alloys revealed the presence of h-TiAl2-, Ti3Al5- and γ-TiAl-type phases. After heat treatment, phase transformations like the replacement of the metastable h-TiAl2-type by the stable r-TiAl2-type were identified. Additionally, changes of the microstructural features like the formation of interfaces with different orientation relationships are apparent. The orientation and interfacial relationships involved are compared to those of binary Ti-Al alloys rich in Al.
The Herschel Key Project SHINING performs a study of the ISM in star forming and active
infrared bright galaxies (starbursts, AGN, (U)LIRGs, interacting and low metallicity
galaxies) at local and intermediate redshifts. Here we present some surprising and
promising first results from parts of this programme, including spatially resolved PDR
diagnostics, line deficit diagnostics, and large scale molecular outflows traced by the OH
The Herschel Dwarf Galaxy Survey investigates the interplay of star formation activity and the the metal-poor gas and dust of local universe dwarf galaxies using FIR and submillimetre imaging spectroscopic and photometric observations in the 50 to 550 μm window of the Herschel Space Observatory. The dust spectral-energy distributions are well constrained with the new Herschel and MIR Spitzer data. A submillimetre excess is often found in low metallicity galaxies, which, if tracing very cold dust, would highlight large dust masses not easily reconciled in some cases, given the low metallicities and expected gas-to-dust mass ratios. The galaxies are also mapped in the FIR fine-structure lines (63 and 145 μm OI, 158 μm CII, 122 and 205 μm NII, 88 μm OIII) probing the low density ionised gas, the HII regions and photodissociation regions. While still early in the mission we can already see, along with earlier studies, that line ratios in the metal-poor ISM differ remarkably from those in the metal-rich starburst environments. In dwarf galaxies, L[CII]/L(CO) (≥104) is at least an order of magnitude greater than in the most metal-rich starburst galaxies. The 88 μm [OIII] line usually dominates the FIR line emission over galaxy-wide scales, not the 158 μm [CII] line which is the dominant FIR cooling line in metal-rich galaxies. All of the FIR lines together can contribute 1% to 2% of the LTIR. The Herschel Dwarf Galaxy survey will provide statistical information on the nature of the dust and gas in low metallicity galaxies and place constraints on chemical evolution models of galaxies.
Recently a collaboration of LLNL and LBNL has constructed a second generation Compton coincidence instrument to study the non-proportionality of scintillators . This device, known as SLYNCI (Scintillator Light-Yield Non-proportionality Characterization Instrument), has an over 30 time higher data collection rate than previous devices enabling complete characterization of a sample with less 24 hours of running time. Thus, SLYNCI enables a number of systematic studies of scintillators as many samples can be processed in a reasonable length of time. The studies include difference in non-proportionality between different types of scintillators, different members of the same family of scintillators, and impact of different doping levels. The results of such recent studies are presented here, including a study on of various alkali halides, and the impact of europium doping level in strontium iodide. Directions of future work will also be discussed.
We have developed a fabrication process for amorphous-silicon thin-film transistors (a-Si:H TFTs) on free-standing clear plastic substrates at temperatures up to 300°C. The 300°C fabrication process is made possible by using a unique clear plastic substrate that has a very low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE < 10ppm/°C) and a glass transition temperature higher than 300°C. Our TFTs have a conventional inverted-staggered gate back-channel passivated geometry, which we designed to achieve two goals: accurate overlay alignment and a high effective mobility. A requirement that becomes particularly difficult to meet in the making of TFT backplanes on plastic foil at 300°C is minimizing overlay misalignment. Even though we use a substrate that has a relatively low CTE, accurately aligning the TFTs on the free-standing, 70-micrometer thick substrate is challenging. To deal with this immediate challenge, and to continue developing processes for free-standing web substrates, we are introducing techniques for self-alignment to our TFT fabrication process. We have self-aligned the channel to the gate by exposing through the clear plastic substrate. To raise the effective mobility of our TFTs we reduced the series resistance by decreasing the thickness of the amorphous silicon layer between the source-drain contacts and the accumulation layer in the channel. The back-channel passivated structure allows us to decrease the thickness of the a-Si:H active layer down to around 20nm. These changes have enabled us to raise the effective field effect mobility on clear plastic to values above 1 cm2V−1s−1
The prospect of large-area electronics on polymers, for flexible applications requires a study of thin film fracture mechanisms. To fabricate thin-film transistor (TFT) backplanes on polymer foils the substrate must first be passivated to protect the polymer substrate from chemicals used during processing and to protect the TFTs from substrate out gassing. Silicon nitride (SiNx) is commonly used for this purpose since it tends to adhere well to polymers and is easily deposited by PE-CVD. When rigid thin films such as SiNx are deposited onto compliant substrates, such as polymer foils, stresses caused by built-in strains and the mismatch in coefficients of thermal expansion can cause fracture. The deposited thin films may fracture, and also the polymer substrate below. Using focused-ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy we analyzed two distinct thin film fracture morphologies for SiNx films on two different types of polymer substrate. One had a relatively low, the other a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion. For both SiNx/substrate systems the SiNx was under residual compressive stress and the substrate under tension. In one case the compressive stress in the thin films cause them to debond, buckle, and crack. In the other case the tensile stress in the substrate causes it to tear, followed by the fracture of the SiNx film above.
The biodiversity of insect trypanosomes is largely unknown, resulting in significant gaps in the understanding of pathogen evolution. A culture-independent preliminary survey of trypanosomatid fauna was conducted for the parasites of Heteroptera (Hemiptera) from several localities in Costa Rica. Trypanosomatid infections were detected by light microscopy of smeared gut contents. Out of 257 insects representing 6 families, infections were found in 62 cases; cultures were obtained for 29 new isolates. Gut material from infected hosts was preserved in the field using an SDS–EDTA buffer solution for subsequent DNA extraction in the laboratory. PCR amplification of the trypanosomatid-specific spliced leader (SL) RNA gene repeats was successful for 60 field samples. Eighteen distinct SL RNA typing units were identified in a set of 28 samples analysed in detail. Cluster analysis indicated that these typing units were unique and thus could represent new species and, in some cases, new genera. This study reveals only a minor fraction of the trypanosomatid biodiversity, which is anticipated to be high.
The fabrication of electronic devices on semiconductor islands is becoming increasingly common because of silicon-on-insulator technology and/or because of strain engineering in compliant substrate approaches. While photoluminescence can be an accurate probe of Ge content and strain, in islands it can be affected by the presence of the island edges. Here we present data and a model showing that for high quality SiGe, edge effects are critical for sizes under ∼20 μm. These effects can be mitigated by regrowing epitaxial silicon to passivate the recombination states on the island edges.
Substitutional carbon is known to locally reduce silicon self-interstitial concentrations and act as a barrier to self-interstitial migration through the carbon rich regions. A silicon spacer between two carbon rich SiGe layers is fabricated in this work to examine self-interstitial generation in a region that is isolated from self-interstitial formation at the surface or in the silicon bulk. Boron marker layers above, below and in between two SiGeC layers are used to monitor the self-interstitial concentration between the substitutional carbon. No evidence of self- interstitial depletion in the silicon spacer is observed, despite annealing in conditions believed sufficient to allow the self-interstitials to reach and react with surrounding substitutional carbon. Simulations of the self-interstitial and carbon indicate that the silicon self interstitial concentration in the spacer layer can be sustained in part due to a silicon self-interstitial recycling process through a reverse “kick-out” reaction.