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The Wootton Center for Astrophysical Plasma Properties (WCAPP) is a new center focusing on the spectroscopic properties of stars and accretion disks using “at-parameter” experiments. Currently, these experiments use the X-ray output of the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories — the largest X-ray source in the world — to heat plasmas to the same conditions (temperature, density, and radiation environment) as those observed in astronomical objects. The experiments include measuring (1) density-dependent opacities of iron-peak elements at solar interior conditions, (2) spectral lines of low-Z elements at white dwarf photospheric conditions, (3) atomic population kinetics of neon in a radiation-dominated environment, and (4) resonant Auger destruction (RAD) of silicon at conditions found in accretion disks around supermassive black holes. In particular, we report on recent results of our experiments involving helium at white dwarf photospheric conditions. We present results showing disagreement between inferred electron densities using the Hβ line and the He I 5876 Å line, most likely indicating incompleteness in our modeling of this helium line.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research and development in the field of megawatt-class radio frequency (RF) sources (gyrotrons) for the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) systems of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the DEMOnstration Fusion Power Plant that will follow ITER. In the focus is the development and verification of the European coaxial-cavity gyrotron technology which shall lead to gyrotrons operating at an RF output power significantly larger than 1 MW CW and at an operating frequency above 200 GHz. A major step into that direction is the final verification of the European 170 GHz 2 MW coaxial-cavity pre-prototype at longer pulses up to 1 s. It bases on the upgrade of an already existing highly modular short-pulse (ms-range) pre-prototype. That pre-prototype has shown a world record output power of 2.2 MW already. This paper summarizes briefly the already achieved experimental results using the short-pulse pre-prototype and discusses in detail the design and manufacturing process of the upgrade of the pre-prototype toward longer pulses up to 1 s.
In this paper, we describe the development of an International Space Station experiment, BioRock. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate biofilm formation and microbe–mineral interactions in space. The latter research has application in areas as diverse as regolith amelioration and extraterrestrial mining. We describe the design of a prototype biomining reactor for use in space experimentation and investigations on in situ Resource Use and we describe the results of pre-flight tests.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
We describe a hybrid pixel array detector (electron microscope pixel array detector, or EMPAD) adapted for use in electron microscope applications, especially as a universal detector for scanning transmission electron microscopy. The 128×128 pixel detector consists of a 500 µm thick silicon diode array bump-bonded pixel-by-pixel to an application-specific integrated circuit. The in-pixel circuitry provides a 1,000,000:1 dynamic range within a single frame, allowing the direct electron beam to be imaged while still maintaining single electron sensitivity. A 1.1 kHz framing rate enables rapid data collection and minimizes sample drift distortions while scanning. By capturing the entire unsaturated diffraction pattern in scanning mode, one can simultaneously capture bright field, dark field, and phase contrast information, as well as being able to analyze the full scattering distribution, allowing true center of mass imaging. The scattering is recorded on an absolute scale, so that information such as local sample thickness can be directly determined. This paper describes the detector architecture, data acquisition system, and preliminary results from experiments with 80–200 keV electron beams.
Despite the well-documented involvement of dopamine D1-like receptor stimulation in cocaine-induced goal-directed behaviours, little is known about the specific contribution of D1-like receptor populations in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) to drug context-induced cocaine-seeking or drug-reinforced instrumental behaviours. To investigate this question, rats were trained to lever press for un-signalled cocaine infusions in a distinct context followed by extinction training in a different context. Cocaine-seeking behaviour (non-reinforced lever responding) was then assessed in the previously cocaine-paired and extinction contexts. SCH23390-induced D1-like receptor antagonism in the DH, but not the overlying trunk region of the somatosensory cortex, dose-dependently inhibited drug context-induced cocaine-seeking behaviour, without altering cocaine-reinforced instrumental responding, cocaine intake, food-reinforced instrumental responding, or general motor activity, relative to vehicle treatment. These findings suggest that D1-like receptor stimulation in the DH is critical for the incentive motivational effects and/or memory of cocaine-paired contextual stimuli that contribute to drug-seeking behaviour.
The role of self generated magnetic fields in the transport of a heat wave following a nanosecond laser irradiation of a solid target is investigated. Magnetic fields are expected to localize the electron carrying the heat flux but at the same time are affected in their evolution by the heat flux itself. We performed simultaneous measurements of heat wave propagation velocity within the target and magnetic fields developing on the target surface. These were compared to results obtained by numerical magneto-hydrodynamic modeling, including self-generated B fields. The comparison shows that longitudinal heat flow is overestimated in the simulations. Similarly, but most notably, the radial expansion of the magnetic fields is underestimated by the modeling. The two are likely linked, the more pronounced radial drift of B-fields induces a rotation of heat flux in the radial direction, and corresponding longitudinal heat flux inhibition. This suggests the need for improving present modeling of self-generated magnetic fields evolution in high power laser-matter interaction.
As physical activity may modify the effect of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, we tested for such a gene–environment interaction in a sample of general practice patients aged ⩾75 years.
Data were derived from follow-up waves I–IV of the longitudinal German study on Ageing, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). The Kaplan–Meier survival method was used to estimate dementia- and AD-free survival times. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess individual associations of APOE ε4 and physical activity with risk for dementia and AD, controlling for covariates. We tested for gene–environment interaction by calculating three indices of additive interaction.
Among the randomly selected sample of 6619 patients, 3327 (50.3%) individuals participated in the study at baseline and 2810 (42.5%) at follow-up I. Of the 2492 patients without dementia included at follow-up I, 278 developed dementia (184 AD) over the subsequent follow-up interval of 4.5 years. The presence of the APOE ε4 allele significantly increased and higher physical activity significantly decreased risk for dementia and AD. The co-presence of APOE ε4 with low physical activity was associated with higher risk for dementia and AD and shorter dementia- and AD-free survival time than the presence of APOE ε4 or low physical activity alone. Indices of interaction indicated no significant interaction between low physical activity and the APOE ε4 allele for general dementia risk, but a possible additive interaction for AD risk.
Physical activity even in late life may be effective in reducing conversion to dementia and AD or in delaying the onset of clinical manifestations. APOE ε4 carriers may particularly benefit from increasing physical activity with regard to their risk for AD.
Whether late-onset depression is a risk factor for or a prodrome of dementia remains unclear. We investigated the impact of depressive symptoms and early- v. late-onset depression on subsequent dementia in a cohort of elderly general-practitioner patients (n = 2663, mean age = 81.2 years).
Risk for subsequent dementia was estimated over three follow-ups (each 18 months apart) depending on history of depression, particularly age of depression onset, and current depressive symptoms using proportional hazard models. We also examined the additive prediction of incident dementia by depression beyond cognitive impairment.
An increase of dementia risk for higher age cut-offs of late-onset depression was found. In analyses controlling for age, sex, education, and apolipoprotein E4 genotype, we found that very late-onset depression (aged ⩾70 years) and current depressive symptoms separately predicted all-cause dementia. Combined very late-onset depression with current depressive symptoms was specifically predictive for later Alzheimer's disease (AD; adjusted hazard ratio 5.48, 95% confidence interval 2.41–12.46, p < 0.001). This association was still significant after controlling for cognitive measures, but further analyses suggested that it was mediated by subjective memory impairment with worries.
Depression might be a prodrome of AD but not of dementia of other aetiology as very late-onset depression in combination with current depressive symptoms, possibly emerging as a consequence of subjectively perceived worrisome cognitive deterioration, was most predictive. As depression parameters and subjective memory impairment predicted AD independently of objective cognition, clinicians should take this into account.
It has been a long standing problem in astrochemistry to explain how molecules can form in a highly dilute environment such as the interstellar medium. In the last decennium more and more evidence has been found that the observed mix of small and complex, stable and highly transient species in space is the cumulative result of gas phase and solid state reactions as well as gas-grain interactions. Solid state reactions on icy dust grains are specifically found to play an important role in the formation of the more complex “organic” compounds. In order to investigate the underlying physical and chemical processes detailed laboratory based experiments are needed that simulate surface reactions triggered by processes as different as thermal heating, photon (UV) irradiation and particle (atom, cosmic ray, electron) bombardment of interstellar ice analogues. Here, some of the latest research performed in the Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics in Leiden, the Netherlands is reviewed. The focus is on hydrogenation, i.e., H-atom addition reactions and vacuum ultraviolet irradiation of interstellar ice analogues at astronomically relevant temperatures. It is shown that solid state processes are crucial in the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium, providing pathways towards molecular complexity in space.
Polycrystalline samples of the single-layered cobaltate La2-xCaxCoO4 were prepared in a wide doping range of 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.5. Structural properties were characterized at room temperature. The orthorhombic distorted structure of the mother compound La2CoO4 changes to a tetragonal structure for x = 0.5 and then becomes orthorhombic again for x > 0.5. The magnetic properties were investigated in the temperature range from 5 K ≤ T ≤ 300 K. With increasing hole-doping a successive decrease of antiferromagnetic exchange is observed for x ≤ 0.5 whereas an increase of ferromagnetic exchange evolves for x ≥ 0.5.