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In August 2017 a new radio telescope, the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory (GRAO), was officially inaugurated at Kuntunse, Ghana. The GRAO is a former satellite Earth station and now the first operational station in the African VLBI Network (AVN). The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (JBCA), supported by the UK’s STFC/Newton Fund, has developed a new pulsar timing system (Hebe) for the GRAO. We present some aspects of the design of Hebe and an outline of the first pulsar detection at GRAO.
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
The millisecond pulsar PSR J0337+1715 is in a mildly relativistic hierarchical triple system with two white dwarfs. This offers the possibility of testing the universality of free fall: does the neutron star fall with the same acceleration as the inner white dwarf in the gravity of the outer white dwarf? We have carried out an intensive pulsar timing campaign, yielding some 27000 pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements with a median uncertainty of 1.2 μs. Here we describe our analysis procedure and timing model.
PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond radio pulsar in a hierarchical stellar triple system with two white dwarfs. This system is a unique and excellent laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle (SEP) of general relativity. An initial SEP-violation test was performed using direct 3-body numerical integration of the orbit in order to model the more than 25000 pulse times of arrival (TOAs) from three radio telescopes: Arecibo, Green Bank and Westerbork. In this work I present our efforts to quantify the effects of systematics in the TOAs and timing residuals, which limit the precision of an SEP test. In particular, we apply Fourier-based techniques to the timing residuals in order to isolate the effects of systematics that can masquerade as an SEP violation.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
An evolution of the low-frequency pulse profile of PSR B2217+47 is observed during a six-year observing campaign with the LOFAR telescope at 150 MHz. The evolution is manifested as a new component in the profile trailing the main peak. The leading part of the profile, including a newly-observed weak component, is steady during the campaign. The transient component is not visible in simultaneous observations at 1500 MHz using the Lovell telescope, implying a chromatic effect. A variation in the dispersion measure of the source is detected in the same timespan. Precession of the pulsar and changes in the magnetosphere are investigated to explain the profile evolution. However, the listed properties favour a model based on turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM). This interpretation is confirmed by a strong correlation between the intensity of the transient component and main peak in single pulses. Since PSR B2217+47 is the fourth brightest pulsar visible to LOFAR, we speculate that ISM-induced pulse profile evolution might be relatively common but subtle and that SKA-Low will detect many similar examples. In this scenario, similar studies of pulse profile evolution could be used in parallel with scintillation arcs to characterize the properties of the ISM.
White matter (WM) impairments have been reported in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and those at high familial risk of developing BD. However, the distribution of these impairments has not been well characterized. Few studies have examined WM integrity in young people early in the course of illness and in individuals at familial risk who have not yet passed the peak age of onset.
WM integrity was examined in 63 BD subjects, 150 high-risk (HR) individuals and 111 participants with no family history of mental illness (CON). All subjects were aged 12 to 30 years.
This young BD group had significantly lower fractional anisotropy within the genu of the corpus callosum (CC) compared with the CON and HR groups. Moreover, the abnormality in the genu of the CC was also present in HR participants with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) (n = 16) compared with CON participants.
Our findings provide important validation of interhemispheric abnormalities in BD patients. The novel finding in HR subjects with recurrent MDD – a group at particular risk of future hypo/manic episodes – suggests that this may potentially represent a trait marker for BD, though this will need to be confirmed in longitudinal follow-up studies.
We are developing a purely commensal survey experiment for fast (<5 s) transient radio sources. Short-timescale transients are associated with the most energetic and brightest single events in the Universe. Our objective is to cover the enormous volume of transients parameter space made available by ASKAP, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and field of view. Fast timescale transients open new vistas on the physics of high brightness temperature emission, extreme states of matter and the physics of strong gravitational fields. In addition, the detection of extragalactic objects affords us an entirely new and extremely sensitive probe on the huge reservoir of baryons present in the IGM. We outline here our approach to the considerable challenge involved in detecting fast transients, particularly the development of hardware fast enough to dedisperse and search the ASKAP data stream at or near real-time rates. Through CRAFT, ASKAP will provide the testbed of many of the key technologies and survey modes proposed for high time resolution science with the SKA.
We present experimental results supporting physics-based ejecta model development, where our main assumption is that ejecta form as a special limiting case of a Richtmyer–Meshkov (RM) instability at a metal–vacuum interface. From this assumption, we test established theory of unstable spike and bubble growth rates, rates that link to the wavelength and amplitudes of surface perturbations. We evaluate the rate theory through novel application of modern laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) techniques, where we coincidentally measure bubble and spike velocities from explosively shocked solid and liquid metals with a single LDV probe. We also explore the relationship of ejecta formation from a solid material to the plastic flow stress it experiences at high-strain rates () and high strains (700 %) as the fundamental link to the onset of ejecta formation. Our experimental observations allow us to approximate the strength of Cu at high strains and strain rates, revealing a unique diagnostic method for use at these extreme conditions.
We have assessed the effect of house-cleaning procedures on changes in airborne dust and bacteria counts and correlated these with respiratory function tests in 14 children with bronchial asthma who were known to have developed attacks at home, and who had positive skin tests to house dust and the house-dust mite.
We have demonstrated that after cleaning procedures a positive and statistically significant correlation exists between the increase in the numbers of small particles, 2 μm. and less in diameter, in the environment, and reduction in mean peak flow. This indicates that particles of this size penetrate the bronchial tree and are the causative factor in the genesis of bronchospasm.
Public figures are at increased risk of attracting unwanted attention in the form of intrusions, stalking and, occasionally, attack. Whereas the potential threat to the British Royal Family from terrorists and organized groups is clearly defined, there is a dearth of knowledge about that from individual harassers and stalkers. This paper reports findings from the first systematic study of this group.
A retrospective study was conducted of a randomly selected stratified sample (n=275) of 8001 files compiled by the Metropolitan Police Service's Royalty Protection Unit over 15 years on inappropriate communications or approaches to members of the British Royal Family. Cases were split into behavioural types. Evidence of major mental illness was recorded from the files. Cases were classified according to a motivational typology. An analysis was undertaken of associations between motivation, type of behaviour and mental illness.
Of the study sample, 83.6% were suffering from serious mental illness. Different forms of behaviour were associated with different patterns of symptomatology. Cases could be separated into eight motivational groups, which also showed significant differences in mental state. Marked differences in the intrusiveness of behaviour were found between motivational groups.
The high prevalence of mental illness indicates the relevance of psychiatric intervention. This would serve the health interests of psychotic individuals and alleviate protection concerns without the necessity of attempting large numbers of individual risk predictions. The finding that some motivations are more likely to drive intrusive behaviours than others may help focus both health and protection interventions.
This triennium began with an action to re-create the Terms of Reference for the Working Group Global VLBI (WG-GV). These had been lost over the years since the Group was established in 1990. Fortunately, the personal archive of one long-term member yielded a copy of the original memorandum by R. D. Ekers, which was found to coincide quite well with current practice and areas of interest. New Terms of Reference, based on modern conditions, were drafted and accepted by both IAU and URSI.
Retropubic Burch colposuspension has been considered by many to be the “gold standard” procedure for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence for almost 40 years. Vancaillie and Schuessler introduced the laparoscopic approach to retropubic colposuspension in 1991. Numerous reports followed in subsequent years describing laparoscopic colposuspensions and their efficacy. Analysis of the outcomes of these various laparoscopic “Burch” colposuspensions is difficult because many of the techniques are not true Burch procedures but rather other modified retropubic colposuspensions. In this section, we describe the laparoscopic Burch colposuspension, including patient selection, preoperative evaluation, operative technique, possible complications, and efficacy. We review the efficacy of the laparoscopic Burch colposuspension studies that use the Burch—Tanagho procedure and compare these techniques to other popular anti-incontinence procedures. The many modified laparoscopic retropubic procedures are not addressed.
BURCH COLPOSUSPENSION: THE EVOLUTION OF A PROCEDURE
In 1961, Burch published the description of a new female anti-incontinence procedure, based on a technique started in 1958. The technique involved entering the space of Retzius via a paramedian incision. After clearing the periurethral tissue of its overlying fat and areolar tissue, three 2-0 chromic sutures were placed at the mid-urethra and the bladder neck and then fixed to Cooper's ligament. Burch reported a subjective cure rate of 92% in 143 patients with 10 to 60 months of followup.
Reflection high-energy electron diffraction total-reflection-angle x-ray spectroscopy (RHEED-TRAXS) uses high-energy electrons from RHEED to excite x-ray fluorescence. Monitoring characteristic x-rays of selected elements thus allows study of surface coverage of materials. In this study, surface coverage of Ga and In during growth of GaN and InGaN was probed using this technique. Evolution of the surface layer of Ga on GaN during growth and deposition of Ga on static GaN at room temperature were studied. RHEED-TRAXS measurements were performed during growth of InGaN by measuring the ratio of the In Lα to Ga Kα intensity. A significant surface coverage of In was observed at all temperatures investigated regardless of actual In incorporation.