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Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
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.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules have been proposed as candidates to explain the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs). We have performed laboratory measurements of coronene, using rare gas matrix isolation techniques and UV photolysis. Our aim was to search for a possible identification of the 4430 Å DIB, but also to provide data almost free from environmental band shifts and broadening, which can be used for astronomical identification of the species.
Compound-specific radiocarbon analysis (CSRA) of benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCAs) yields molecular-level, source-specific information necessary to constrain isotopic signatures of pyrogenic carbon. However, the purification of individual BPCAs requires a multistep procedure that typically results in only microgram quantities of the target analyte(s). Such small samples are highly susceptible to contamination by extraneous carbon, which needs to be minimized and carefully accounted for in order to yield accurate results. Here, we undertook comprehensive characterization and quantification of contamination associated with molecular radiocarbon (14C) BPCA analyses through systematic processing of multiple authentic standards with both fossil and modern 14C signatures at various concentrations. Using this approach, we precisely apportion the contribution of extraneous carbon with respect to the four implemented subprocedures. Assuming a constant source and quantity of extraneous carbon we correct and statistically evaluate uncertainties in resulting 14C data. Subsequently, we examine the results of triplicate analyses of reference materials representing four different environmental matrices (sediment, soil, aerosol, riverine natural organic matter) and apportion their BPCA sources in terms of carbon residues derived from biomass or fossil fuel combustion. This comprehensive approach to CSRA facilitates retrieval of robust 14C data, with application in environmental studies of the continuum of pyrogenic carbon.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
A new generation of solar instruments provides improved spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution, thus facilitating a better understanding of dynamic processes on the Sun. High-resolution observations often reveal multiple-component spectral line profiles, e.g., in the near-infrared He i 10830 Å triplet, which provides information about the chromospheric velocity and magnetic fine structure. We observed an emerging flux region, including two small pores and an arch filament system, on 2015 April 17 with the ‘very fast spectroscopic mode’ of the GREGOR Infrared Spectrograph (GRIS) situated at the 1.5-meter GREGOR solar telescope at Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Spain. We discuss this method of obtaining fast (one per minute) spectral scans of the solar surface and its potential to follow dynamic processes on the Sun. We demonstrate the performance of the ‘very fast spectroscopic mode’ by tracking chromospheric high-velocity features in the arch filament system.
The University of Washington Model FN tandem Van de Graaff accelerator is being used for the measurement of extremely small isotopic abundance ratios, notably 14C/12C and 10Be/9Be, in a joint project of the Nuclear Physics Laboratory (NPL) and the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory (QL). The experimental arrangements and technical developments are described, and some preliminary results on isotopic ratios in carbon and beryllium are presented.
14C concentrations in the stem cellulose of a Sitka spruce from the Pacific coast of Washington respond to changes in atmospheric 14CO2 concentration within 5–6 weeks. δ14C values for cellulose were consistently lower than those of the corresponding clean troposphere during rapid increase in atmospheric 14C caused by nuclear weapons tests (1962–64). Possible reasons for this include: 1) a delay of days or weeks in incorporation of recent photosynthate, 2) the use of stored photosynthate, and 3) photo-assimilation of biospheric decay CO2. We estimate that the influence of process 1 is small or negligible. The respective contributions to the total carbon deposited as radial stem growth in our Sitka spruce then are 2) < 15% (possibly 0), and 3) 10%–23% (13%–28% if the possible effect of root respiration is included in the biosphere decay component). We plan to test this concept by looking for a vertical 14C gradient in the 1963 growth ring of a tree located in a dense forest canopy; we do not expect to find such a gradient in a similar tree from a strongly wind-washed location.
We present 14C AMS measurements and discuss the extraction procedure used on pollen extracted from peat samples. Microscopic examination of the extracts shows that the procedure is sufficient to remove most non-pollen materials and results in an extract that is composed predominantly of pollen. The 14C dates that we obtained for pollen extracts from peat samples associated with the Mazama Ash layer are consistent with the range of bulk-sample dates obtained by others in previous studies. The limited measurement time and resulting precision (± 100 yr) of these initial measurements restrict our ability to draw firm conclusions from a comparison of the pollen extract dates with previous bulk-sample dates. We intend to adjust our procedure to improve the rejection of non-pollen materials and to increase the precision of our 14C measurements on pollen extracts from peat samples in future studies.
We report AMS 14C measurements on subannual samples of coral from the Galapagos Islands that span the period, 1970–1973. Both the major 1972 El Niño/Southern Oscillation event and intra-annual changes in regional upwelling of 14C-depleted waters associated with alternation of surface-ocean current patterns are evident in the record. Our data show that the corals preserve a detailed record of past intra-annual variations of the 14C content of surface ocean water.
We here report on two technical research projects of the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory (QL) vis, (1) the use of thermal diffusion isotopic enrichment to extend the technical range of 14C dating, (2) the preparation of samples for ion counting using a Van de Graaff tandem accelerator. The second project is carried out in cooperation with, and partly at, the Nuclear Physics Laboratory.
A gain in dating range of 3 to 4 half-lives can routinely be obtained with the QL and the Groningen enrichment systems. The same gain in age range can be obtained for ion counting with a simplified system that requires only 0.5 to 2g of carbon and 3 to 7 days enrichment time.
A method to convert CO2 quantitatively via CO into carbon is described. For short intervals the carbon deposit yields good 12C— beams. We also give a different procedure to make graphite-like carbon samples. The preparation of beryllium metal samples is given last.
During the past year we have continued to work toward greater stability and flexibility in nearly all elements of our accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system, which is based upon an FN tandem Van de Graaff accelerator, and have carried out measurements of 14C/12C and 10Be/9Be isotopic abundance ratios in natural samples. The principal recent developments and improvements in the accelerator system and in our sample preparation techniques for carbon and beryllium are discussed, and the results of a study of 10Be cross-contamination of beryllium samples in the sputter ion source are presented.
Our accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system shows a one-to-one relationship between sample 14C concentrations determined by AMS - and by β-counting. Measurements of unknown samples against a standard indicate that 14C concentration measurements to better than 2% can be made. For a 30-second data collection interval in a typical run of 100 intervals, the variability of the beam injected into the accelerator is ca 2%, that of the machine transmission is ca 4%, and counting statistics give 4.7% standard deviation for a sample of 80% of modern carbon.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
In Cycles 2 and 3, we obtained FUSE observations of the Polar VV Pup, and the IP/SW Sex stars YY Dra, LS Peg and DW UMa. The spectra show a wide range of line intensities and structure. The phase-resolved spectra in each case reveal interesting properties about the hot accretion zones.
Anxiety sensitivity (AS), the belief that anxious arousal is harmful, is a malleable risk factor that has been implicated in anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescents. Although there is some evidence that adolescents possess distinct developmental trajectories, few studies have explored this topic. This study examined the developmental trajectory of AS in 248 adolescents (M age = 11.0 years, SD = 0.82; 56% male) across 6 years, beginning when children were age 11. This study also examined the influence of AS trajectories on anxiety and depression at age 16. Finally, this study examined the utility of AS classes in identifying anxiety and depression growth. Three AS classes were found, described by normative-stable, high-stable, and high-unstable trajectories. Adolescents in the high-stable and the high-unstable AS classes had higher levels of anxiety and depression at age 16 than did adolescents in the normative-stable AS class. In addition, the anxiety and depression trajectories fit by AS class mirrored the AS class trajectories. These findings suggest three AS trajectories can be identified in adolescents. These trajectories are discussed in relation to a developmental perspective of AS.
Exposure to animal livestock has been linked to zoonotic transmission, especially of gastrointestinal pathogens. Exposure to animals may contribute to chronic asymptomatic intestinal infection, environmental enteropathy and child under-nutrition in low-income settings. We conducted a cohort study to explore the effect of exposure to cows on growth and endemic diarrhoea in children aged <5 years in a rural, low-income setting in the Indian state of Odisha. The study enrolled 1992 households with 2739 children. Height measurements were available for 824 children. Exposure to cows was measured as (1) the presence of a cowshed within or outside the compound, (2) the number of cows owned by a household, and (3) the number of cowsheds located within 50 m of a household. In a sub-study of 518 households, fly traps were used to count the number of synanthropic flies that may act as vectors for gastrointestinal pathogens. We found no evidence that environmental exposure to cows contributes to growth deficiency in children in rural India, neither directly by affecting growth, nor indirectly by increasing the risk of diarrhoea. We found no strong evidence that the presence of a cowshed increased the number synanthropic flies in households.
Laser and oven annealing effects on hydrogen concentration, hydrogen diffusion and material microstructure in hydrogenated amorphous silicon films deposited on crystalline silicon substrates are compared. For laser annealing, a 6 W green (532 nm) continuous wave laser with 100 µm focus diameter was applied and samples of about 1 cm2 were scanned in ambient with a line distance of 50 µm and at a speed of 1 – 100 mm/s. Hydrogen content and microstructure were measured by infrared spectroscopy, and hydrogen diffusion was investigated by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) measurements of depth profiles of deuterium and hydrogen in layered structures of deuterated and hydrogenated material. The results show that in both annealing experiments hydrogen diffuses predominantly in form of atoms although some formation of H2 molecules cannot be excluded. By comparison of laser and oven treatment, an effective temperature describing the laser treated state can be defined. Furthermore, the temperature of the thin silicon film during laser treatment is estimated.