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We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Records of proof-of-age hearings from 1246 to 1430 which mention land transfer are analysed by techniques aimed at overcoming the legal conventionality of the texts and the widespread plagiarism of the records of previous hearings. References are examined decade by decade, initially in terms of the numbers of testimonies mentioning land and, most importantly, in terms of their changing syntax, vocabulary and choice of detail. This approach gives clues to the state of the land market itself and to the mentalities of those involved. Particular attention is paid to the effects on the market of the economic and demographic shocks of the fourteenth century.
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.
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.
Phased VLA observations of the Galactic center magnetar J1745-2900 over 8-12 GHz reveal rich single pulse behavior. The average profile is comprised of several distinct components and is fairly stable over day timescales and GHz frequencies. The average profile is dominated by the jitter of relatively narrow pulses. The pulses in each of the four profile components are uncorrelated in phase and amplitude, although the occurrence of pulse components 1 and 2 appear to be correlated. Using a collection of the brightest individual pulses, we verify that the index of the dispersion law is consistent with the expected cold plasma value of 2. The scattering time is weakly constrained, but consistent with previous measurements, while the dispersion measure DM = 1763+3−10 pc cm−3 is lower than previous measurements, which could be a result of time variability in the line-of-sight column density or changing pulse profile shape over time or frequency.
The correlation between radio spectral steepness and redshift has been successfully used to find high redshift (z ⩾ 2) radio galaxies, but the origin of this relation is unknown. The ultra-steep spectra of high-z radio sources make them ideally suited for studies with the Low Band Antenna of the new Low Frequency Array, which covers 10–80 MHz and has baselines up to about 1300 km. As part of an ongoing survey, we use the longest baselines to map the low-frequency (< 70 MHz) spatial distributions along the jets of 5 bright extended steep spectrum high-z radio sources. From this, we will determine whether the spectra change over these spatially resolved sources, thereby constraining particle acceleration processes. We present early results from our low-frequency survey of ultra-steep spectrum radio galaxies. The first low frequency long baseline images of these objects are presented.
We observed an area of sky located within the SDSS Stripe 82 field at 1.6 GHz with the European VLBI Network (EVN). There are fifteen mJy/sub-mJy radio sources within the primary beam of a typical 30-m class EVN radio telescope. Our aim was to obtain information on compact radio structures of all VLBI-detectable sources within this primary beam area. The source of particular interest is the recently identified radio quasar J222843.54+011032.2 (J2228+0110) at z = 5.95. The data correlation was performed at the EVN software correlator at JIVE (SFXC). Three targets (J2228+0110, J222851.45+011203.4, J222941.76+011428.5) were detected, all three with position offsets not exceeding the 3σ accuracy of the original low-resolution radio surveys. The detection rate of 20% is consistent with other wide-field VLBI experiments carried out recently (e.g. Middelberg et al. 2013). The project presented here demonstrates the ability of EVN in multiple-phase-centre experiments and paves the way for future large-scale EVN surveys of compact structures in extragalactic radio sources using the multiple-phase-centre VLBI technique.
For over a decade, the structure of the inner “hole” in the transition disk around TW Hydrae has been a subject of debate. To probe the innermost regions of the protoplanetary disk, observations at the highest possible spatial resolution are required. We present new interferometric data of TW Hya from near-infrared to millimeter wavelengths. We confront existing models of the disk structure with the complete data set and develop a new, detailed radiative-transfer model. This model is characterized by: 1) a spatial separation of the largest grains from the small disk grains; and 2) a smooth inner rim structure, rather than a sharp disk edge.
We report the results of a successful 12-hour 22-GHz VLBI experiment using a heterogeneous network that includes radio telescopes of the Long Baseline Array (LBA) in Australia and several VLBI stations that regularly observe in geodetic VLBI campaigns. We have determined positions of three VLBI stations, atca-104, ceduna and mopra, with an accuracy of 4–30 mm using a novel technique of data analysis. These stations have never before participated in geodetic experiments. We observed 105 radio sources, and amongst them 5 objects which have not previously been observed with VLBI. We have determined positions of these new sources with the accuracy of 2–5 mas. We make the conclusion that the LBA network is capable of conducting absolute astrometry VLBI surveys with an accuracy better than 5 mas.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
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.
Motivated by recent discoveries of isolated, dispersed radio pulses of possible extragalactic origin, we are performing a commensal search for short-duration (ms) continuum radio pulses using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The geographically separated antennæ of the VLBA make the system robust to local RFI and allow events to be verified and localised on the sky with milli-arcsec accuracy. We report sky coverage and detection limits from the experiment to date.
The Crowfield site, excavated in 1981–82, would be a small typical Early Paleoindian campsite except for the added presence of a plough-truncated pit feature containing 182+ burned and destroyed stone artifacts. This paper reports on the latest insights into the feature contents based on continuing attempts to cross-mend fragments, as well as detailed analyses of the spatial distribution of artifact pieces within the feature itself. These results reinforce earlier conclusions that the items were burned where found, represent a cache of still functional tools and preforms, and were purposefully destroyed. They confirm that the site represents the best evidence to date for sacred ritual by eastern North American fluted point users. Contrasts with other reported early sacred and secular caches are documented that highlight the uniqueness of the assemblage. It is argued that these contrasts indicate the Crowfield feature assemblage more closely approximates a transported, functioning tool kit, as opposed to the surplus, seasonal and insurance gear, or offerings, that dominate other early caches.
Patterns of economic growth in rural Appalachia are examined with a focus on natural and built amenities. While the literature is clear that rural areas endowed with scenic beauty, lakes, forests, and wildlife, among other natural amenities, and coupled with built amenities such as golf courses, are experiencing robust economic growth. It is not clear if these patterns extend to rural Appalachia. In this applied research study we use data for rural U. S. counties. We estimate an augmented Carlino-Mills growth model with specific attention to growth patterns of Appalachia. We also build on the empirical modeling by adopting a Bayesian Modeling Average (BMA) approach to address the problem of model specification. We find that while there are some commonalities across the whole of the United States, the country is sufficiently heterogeneous that impact of amenities or other policy variables may be significantly different depending on where one is within the country. Our results suggest that while non-metropolitan Appalachia tends to follow national trends, there are sufficient differences that warrant special attention.
An analytical method for design and performance analysis of language models (LM) is described, and an example interactive software tool based on the technique is demonstrated. The LM performance analysis does not require on-line simulation or experimentation with the recognition system in which the LM is to employed. By exploiting parallels with signal detection theory, a profile of the LM as a function of the design parameters is given in a set of curves analogous to a receiver-operating-characteristic display.
The role of farm dependency and size on rural economic growth is examined with data from 2,240 nonmetropolitan U.S. counties for the period 1990–1995. A simple neoclassical model of regional economic growth is set forth with a central question relating to the role of agriculture on rural economic convergence. Traditional neoclassical theory predicts that poor rural areas should grow proportionally faster than rich areas. As interpreted in the academic literature and popular press, a preponderance of small family farms should enhance growth. Results suggest that a higher level of local dependence on production agriculture could lower growth rates.
The Caradoc site, dating ca. 10,500 to 10,000 B.P., provides a rare glimpse of sacred ritual among the earliest well-documented inhabitants of the Americas. It is a kind of site never before reported, where the majority of the artifacts have been purposefully broken or sacrificed. The site yielded 302, mainly chert, lithic fragments that fit together to form at least 71 artifacts. The material includes an unfluted concave-based point, three bifacial knives, 31 unfinished bifaces, 27 unifaces and nine non-siliceous items. Distributional analyses indicate that: 1) the material was initially spread over an area of as much as 12 m2; 2) the items were constrained in their distribution and could have been in a structure; and 3) the artifacts were broken at the location where they were found.
The Wisconsin Economic Impact Modeling System, a conjoined input-output/econometric model of Wisconsin counties, is used to simulate the economic and fiscal impact of two alternative residential development patterns. Under the first scenario, the impact of migrating retirees on a small tri-county region in northern Wisconsin is examined. Under the second scenario, the impact of the migration of younger families with children is examined. A comparison-contrast between the two scenarios demonstrates that the characteristics of the migrating household can have a significant impact on the nature of the impacts.
Low energy plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (LEPECVD) is a deposition technique developed for the epitaxy of Si and SiGe at ultra-high deposition rates. Due to a high current plasma discharge composed of low energy particles, a high plasma enhancement can be obtained without any accompanying plasma induced damage of the wafer surface. The most important application of LEPECVD so far is for compositionally graded relaxed SiGe buffer layers. Such relaxed buffer layers are demonstrated with end composition up to pure Ge and with a growth time below 1 hour. A p-type hetero-MOSFET formed in a SiGe channel compressively strained to a Si0.5Ge0.5 relaxed buffer layer, is demonstrated as one example where the high growth rates of LEPECVD allows the synthesis of devices which cannot be produced with an acceptable throughput with conventional deposition methods. The room temperature effective hole mobility of 760 cm2/Vs obtained on such devices demonstrates a high structural and electrical quality of the LEPECVD material.