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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 Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
We present multi–epoch VLBI observations of the methanol and water masers in the high–mass star formation region G 339.884−1.259, made using the Australian Long Baseline Array (LBA). Our sub–milliarcsecond precision measurements trace the proper motions of individual maser features in the plane of the sky. When combined with the direct line–of–sight radial velocity (vlsr), these measure the 3 D gas kinematics of the associated high–mass star formation region, allowing us to probe the dynamical processes to within 1000 AU of the core.
The initial results from timing observations of PSR J1141–6545, a relativistic pulsar-white dwarf binary system, are presented. Predictions from the timing baseline hint at the most stringent test of gravity by an asymmetric binary yet. The timing precision has been hindered by the dramatic variations of the pulse profile due to geodetic precession, a pulsar glitch and red timing noise. Methods to overcome such timing irregularities are briefly presented along with preliminary results from the test of the General Theory of Relativity (GR) from this pulsar.
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.
Tuberculosis is a global health problem that is especially prevalent in developing countries such as India. Recently, atypical presentation has become more common and a high index of suspicion is essential. This study analysed the various presenting symptoms and signs of tuberculous otitis media and the role of diagnostic tests, with the aim of formulating criteria for the diagnosis.
A total of 502 patients underwent tympanomastoidectomy over a two-year period. Microbiological and histopathological examinations and polymerase chain reaction analysis of tissue taken during tympanomastoidectomy were performed.
A total of 25 patients (5 per cent) were diagnosed with tuberculous otitis media. Severe mixed hearing loss, facial palsy, labyrinthine fistula, post-aural fistula, perichondritis and extradural abscess were noted.
There seems to be a resurgence in tuberculous otitis media in India. Microbiological, histopathological and polymerase chain reaction tests for tuberculosis are helpful for its diagnosis.
Surface and core samples of Neh–nar Glacier in the Kashmir Valley have been analysed for the radionuclides 32Si. 210Pb, 40K, and 137Cs. The lateral and vertical profiles (at an altitude of about 4 140 m) reveal:
(1)32Si activity decreasing slowly from the accumulation zone to 4 050 m altitude and then abruptly towards the snout.
(2)Five zones of alternating high and low 210Pb activity in the surface samples.
(3)An horizon at between 2 and 3 m depth containing 210Pb activity above natural levels. This horizon is also associated with 137Cs and a maximum in total ß activity.
The ice samples have been dated on the basis of a simplified two–component model, the “fresh“contribution determined by 2l0Pb and the old component by 32Si. The following conclusions can be drawn from these observations:
(1)The model age of the snout ice is c. 850 years.
(2)The average rate of ice movement in the lower glacier is about 2 m/year, which compares well with the annual movement rate of 2.65 m/year observed since 1974.
We observed short duration, narrow band Type IIIb radio bursts that occur just before the onset of a normal Type III burst. These observations were made with a multichannel radiometer with a center frequency of 25 MHz, time constant of 10 milliseconds and frequency resolution of 100 KHz. The average half power duration of a typical element of a Type III burst was determined. It was found to be very similar to the time profile of a normal Type III burst, i.e., sharp rise and exponential type decay. The duration of the exciter, tE, and the decay time constant, τ, determined from the average time profile were 0.88 and 0.31 seconds, respectively. The corresponding quantities for the associated Type III bursts are 6.0 and 2.1 seconds, respectively. It is interesting to note that the ratios
are the same, and equal to 0.98. We found that there is no difference between the time profile of a Type III burst associated with a Type IIIb burst and that of an isolated Type III burst. We also found that the two quantities ‘tE’ and ‘ τ ’ are positively correlated in the case of isolated Type III bursts. The linear correlation coefficient is 0.70. This correlation seems to break down in the case of Type III bursts associated with Type IIIb bursts. We looked for a relation between durations of the elements of the Type IIIb bursts and that of the associated Type III bursts, and found that the two quantities are positively correlated. Lastly, we would like to point out that the elements of Type IIIb bursts observed by us are more intense than the associated Type III burst.
Fundamental understanding of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalyzed by nitrogen-doped carbon requires a well-defined structure to correlate structure to function. Well-characterized N-doped graphitic nanostructures derived from benzene derivatives have been synthesized in our group, and shown to catalyze a four-electron ORR under alkaline conditions. Density functional theory calculations have been performed on a model N-doped graphitic nanostructure, C50N2H20, to determine an oxygen activation mechanism. With guidance through an experimentally determined Pourbaix diagram, DFT calculations clearly indicate that the catalyst must undergo a 2e−,1H+ reduction to generate a reactive carbanionic intermediate that activates oxygen with a spin inversion.
Core collections are the integral part of biotechnology-aided modern-day crop improvement programmes and utilized for a variety of applications including conventional plant breeding, association mapping, resequencing, among others. Since their advent, determination of core collection size has been based on the size of the whole collection. In this study, we precisely estimated the size of the core collection based on the diversity of the whole collection using the Similarity Elimination method. For each of the elimination cycle, allele retention and pairwise and mean genetic distances were calculated and used as the criteria for the precise estimation of the core collection size. We sampled a coconut core collection with 266 entries by retaining the diversity of the whole collection. During the elimination process, accessions with very rare alleles were eliminated first when compared with those having rare and common alleles. Therefore, our results support the hypothesis that the less frequent alleles seldom contribute to the genetic distance when compared with common alleles. In conclusion, presize can be efficiently utilized in any crop for the precise estimation of core collection size.
Single crystals of urea-oxalic acid (UOA) have been grown from aqueous solution by slow evaporation technique. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis confirmed that the grown crystals belong to monoclinic system having space group P21/C. The presence of functional groups was confirmed by using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Optical absorption studies show very low absorption in entire visible region and the UV cut-off is found to be around 240 nm. Thermal analysis studies were carried out using TG/DTA analysis and the grown crystal is thermally stable up to 180 °C. Dielectric constant studies confirm the ferroelectric property of the materials and very low dielectric loss reveals very high purity of the crystal.
The secret art of silk culture along with mulberry seeds is presumed to have spread from China to other parts of the world including India through the famous Silk Road. In this study, we investigated a set of 36 important mulberry genotypes (designated as ‘breeders’ collection’) of historical importance that have been frequently used in Indian crop improvement programmes over the last five decades. This study is the first to employ a large number of microsatellite markers (140 screened; 70 used for profiling) to elucidate the diversity, structure and breeding history of mulberry. The cluster and STRUCTURE analysis corroborated with the known genetic relationships and origin. The groupings by STRUCTURE (k= 4) confirm parallel breeding efforts undertaken in the eastern, southern and northern regions of the country. The cultivar ‘Mysore Local’ shares a common parent with ‘Berhampore Local’, and this supports the historical records of its introduction from eastern India to the Kingdom of Mysore by the erstwhile ruler Tippu Sultan. The popular variety ‘Kanva-2’ shared a common male parent with the Japanese variety ‘Kousen’, supporting the contribution of exotic progenitors in Indian cultivars. The findings of this study will be useful in formulating new strategies for mulberry improvement and reveals the historical events of the introduction and spread of cultivated mulberry in the Indian subcontinent.
There is evidence that epigenetic changes occur early in breast carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that early-life exposures associated with breast cancer would be associated with epigenetic alterations in breast tumors. In particular, we examined DNA methylation patterns in breast tumors in association with several early-life exposures in a population-based case–control study. Promoter methylation of E-cadherin, p16 and RAR-β2 genes was assessed in archived tumor blocks from 803 cases with real-time methylation-specific PCR. Unconditional logistic regression was used for case–case comparisons of those with and without promoter methylation. We found no differences in the prevalence of DNA methylation of the individual genes by age at menarche, age at first live birth and weight at age 20. In case–case comparisons of premenopausal breast cancer, lower birth weight was associated with increased likelihood of E-cadherin promoter methylation (OR = 2.79, 95% CI, 1.15–6.82, for ⩽2.5 v. 2.6–2.9 kg); higher adult height with RAR-β2 methylation (OR = 3.34, 95% CI, 1.19–9.39, for ⩾1.65 v. <1.60 m); and not having been breastfed with p16 methylation (OR = 2.75, 95% CI, 1.14–6.62). Among postmenopausal breast cancers, birth order was associated with increased likelihood of p16 promoter methylation. Being other than first in the birth order was inversely associated with likelihood of ⩾1 of the three genes being methylated for premenopausal breast cancers, but positively associated with methylation in postmenopausal women. These results suggest that there may be alterations in methylation associated with early-life exposures that persist into adulthood and affect breast cancer risk.
A method of growing SiC nanowires (NWs) on 4H–SiC surfaces by in situ vapor-phase catalyst delivery was developed as an alternative to the ex situ deposition of the metal catalyst on the targeted surfaces before the NW chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth. In the proposed method, sublimation of the catalyst from a metal source placed in the hot zone of the CVD reactor, followed by condensation of the catalyst-rich vapor on bare substrate surface was used to form the catalyst nanoparticles required for the vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) growth of SiC NWs. The NW density was found to gradually decrease downstream from the catalyst source and was influenced by both the gas flow rate and by the catalyst diffusion through the boundary layer above the catalyst source. Formation of poly-Si islands at too low value of the C/Si ratio created preferential nucleation centers for misaligned SiC NWs and NW bushes. The flexibility of controlling the nanoparticle density made this technique suitable for NW growth on horizontal surfaces as well as on patterned SiC substrates, including the vertical sidewalls of SiC mesas.
The properties of widely used Ni–Ti-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) are highly sensitive to the underlying microstructure. Hence, controlling the evolution of microstructure during high-temperature deformation becomes important. In this article, the “processing maps” approach is utilized to identify the combination of temperature and strain rate for thermomechanical processing of a Ni42Ti50Cu8 SMA. Uniaxial compression experiments were conducted in the temperature range of 800–1050 °C and at strain rate range of 10−3 and 102 s−1. Two-dimensional power dissipation efficiency and instability maps have been generated and various deformation mechanisms, which operate in different temperature and strain rate regimes, were identified with the aid of the maps and complementary microstructural analysis of the deformed specimens. Results show that the safe window for industrial processing of this alloy is in the range of 800–850 °C and at 0.1 s−1, which leads to grain refinement and strain-free grains. Regions of the instability were identified, which result in strained microstructure, which in turn can affect the performance of the SMA.
We examine the association of a venture capital (VC) firm’s reputation with the post-initial public offering (IPO) long-run performance of its portfolio firms. We find that VC reputation, measured by the past market share of VC-backed IPOs, has significant positive associations with long-run firm performance measures. While more reputable VCs initially select better-quality firms, more reputable VCs continue to be associated with superior long-run performance, even after controlling for VC selectivity. We find that more reputable VCs exhibit more active post-IPO involvement in the corporate governance of their portfolio firms, and this continued VC involvement positively influences post-IPO firm performance.
Short-period superlattices consisting of nanocrystalline Si wells and amorphous SiO2 barriers were analyzed using various structural (transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and x-ray diffraction) and optical (Raman scattering and spectroscopic ellipsometry) characterization techniques. We observe parallel layers containing polycrystalline Si wells, primarily with <111> orientation, and an interesting surface morphology due to sputtering damage. Raman spectra show a redshift and broadening due to finite-size effects. The ellipsometry data can be described using the effective medium approximation (since the superlattice period is much shorter than the wavelength of the optical excitation) or a superlattice approach based on the Fresnel equations with a polycrystalline Si dielectric function.
Silicon (Si) nanocrystals formed by controlled thermal crystallization of amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO2)/amorphous silicon (a-Si)/amorphous silicon dioxide (a-SiO2) layers hold considerable promise for application in non-volatile memory products and optoelectronic devices. The size of the nanocrystals is fixed by the thickness of the Si layer and strong quantum confinement is provided in the vertical (growth) direction by the insulating a-SiO2 layers. However, the extent of quantum confinement in the lateral dimensions remains to be established. Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) measurements performed within a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) indicate that the nanocrystals are laterally isolated by approximately 2nm of a-SiO2. The confinement potential provided by this barrier is insufficient to localize carriers within a nanocrystal for prolonged durations and can permit quantum mechanical tunneling via wave function overlap between adjacent nanocrystals. Charge leakage kinetics within a sheet of Si nanocrystals was studied using electric force microscopy. Approximately 750 electrons were injected within a 100nm radius circular patch with an atomic force microscope cantilever. The entire charge dissipated from this area in 70min via lateral conduction routes. With a goal of localizing the injected charge and enhancing its retention time, the samples were subjected to relatively low temperature dry oxidation at 750°C. After 20 min of oxidation, retention times above 400 minutes were observed.
We present optical and microstructural characterization of nanocrystalline silicon superlattices (nc-Si SLs). Our samples have better than 5 % Si nanocrystal size distribution and a long range order along the direction of growth provided by periodically alternating layers of Si nanocrystals and SiO2. Flat and chemically abrupt nc-Si/SiO2 interfaces with a roughness of < 4Å are confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Auger elemental microanalysis, X-ray small angle reflection, and low-frequency Raman scattering. Photoluminescence (PL) in our structures has been studied in details including time-resolved and steady-state PL spectroscopy in a wide range of temperature, excitation wavelength and power. Resonantly excited PL spectra show phonon steps proving that the PL originates in Si nanocrystals. Electrical measurements show signature of phonon-assisted tunneling proving low defect density nc-Si/SiO2 interface.