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We present the third data release from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project. The release contains observations of 32 pulsars obtained using the 64-m Parkes ‘Murriyang’ radio telescope. The data span is up to 18 yr with a typical cadence of 3 weeks. This data release is formed by combining an updated version of our second data release with $\sim$3 yr of more recent data primarily obtained using an ultra-wide-bandwidth receiver system that operates between 704 and 4032 MHz. We provide calibrated pulse profiles, flux density dynamic spectra, pulse times of arrival, and initial pulsar timing models. We describe methods for processing such wide-bandwidth observations and compare this data release with our previous release.
We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
A Cu–3%Ti (wt%) alloy was processed by multiaxial forging (MAF) at cryogenic temperature up to 3 cycles, imposing a total strain of 1.6. Microstructure and mechanical properties of the unprocessed and cryo-forged samples were analyzed. X-ray diffraction results showed deviation in peak broadening and peak intensity of the cryo-forged samples in comparison to that of unprocessed, which are due to texture modification caused by grain refinement during the MAF process. Microstructural analysis showed reduction in grain size from 80 µm in the as-received condition to 250 nm after 3 cycles. Electron backscatter diffraction results indicated the transformation of high angle grain boundaries to low angle grain boundaries in all 3 cycles when compared to the as-received condition. Reduction in ductility was observed after 1 cycle, but with an increase in the number of cycles, both strength and ductility increased. After 3 cycles, ultimate tensile strength and hardness reached 1126 MPa and 427 Hv as compared to 528 MPa and 224 Hv for the as-received condition. Fractography analysis showed decrement in dimple size after 1 cycle, in comparison to that of the as-received condition. However, it kept on increasing for higher number of cycles.
We report a montmorillonite material with enhanced surface area but with very little alteration in cation exchange capacity (CEC) upon dealumination with para toluene sulphonic acid (p-TSA). The new material shows higher catalytic activity in comparison with mineral-acid-treated clay. Montmorillonite clay was treated with p-TSA for 10 minutes under microwave irradiation. The resulting clay was characterized by CEC, X-ray diffraction (XRD), BET analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), temperature programmed desorption (TPD) of ammonia and cyclic voltametry (CV) techniques. XRD patterns show an unchanged structure of pristine matrix after the acid action. BET analysis revealed an increase in the surface area and pore volume on p-TSA treatment, indicating formation of voids in the octahedral layer which suggests dealumination. Nitrogen adsorption-desorption curves showed the creation of new micro porous regions, possibly in the octahedral sheets. In contrast to mineral acid treatment, p-TSA treated clay samples showed similar CEC which shows the absence of dissolution of isomorphously substituted Mg and Fe ions present in the octahedral layer. CV studies confirm the formation of an Al-p-TSA complex, suggesting dissolution of aluminium octahedral sheets. The complex subsequently hydrolyses, replacing interlayer cations with Al3+ ions. Similar treatment with mineral acid resulted in clay with enhanced surface area but with reduced CEC, evidently due to the removal of isomorphously substituted Fe and Mg. Further, the p-TSA treated clays showed relatively higher esterification activity under solvent-free microwave irradiation. The p-TSA treated clay retained its activity even after three subsequent runs and thus can be exploited for practical applications.
We observed single pulses from PSR J0034-0721 (B0031-07) simultaneously at the MWA (185 MHz) and the GMRT (610 MHz). Correlation analyses reveal that the phase difference of the average profiles at the two frequencies differs from the phase difference observed between individual subpulses, indicating that the individual emission columns above the pulsar’s rotating carousel of sparks do not evolve in frequency in the same way that the global magnetosphere does. This hints at a possible departure from the dipolar field geometry in this pulsar’s emission region. Moreover, the discrepancy depends on the drift mode, suggestive of a way to constrain the emission heights associated with each drift mode.
Low-frequency pulsar observations are well suited for studying propagation effects caused by the interstellar medium (ISM). This is particularly important for millisecond pulsars (MSPs) that are part of high-precision timing applications such as pulsar timing arrays (PTA), which aim to detect nanoHertz gravitational waves. MSPs in the southern hemisphere will also be the prime targets for PTAs with the South African MeerKAT, and eventually with the SKA. The development of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Engineering Development Array (EDA) brings excellent opportunities for low-frequency studies of MSPs in the southern hemisphere. They enable observations at frequencies from 50 MHz to 300 MHz, and can be exploited for a wide range of studies relating to pulsar emission physics and probing the ISM.
Studying the polarised properties of pulsars has a rich history giving unique geometric information about pulsars as well as testing the theories of pulsar emission physics. Performing such studies with the MWA has the attraction that the percentage of linear polarisation of many pulsars increases as the observing frequency decreases. Here we discuss the strategies being employed to verify the polarimetric response of the MWA’s high time resolution data.
The frequency dependence of normal pulsar radio emission is typically observed to be a power law, with some indications of a flattening or turnover at low frequencies (≲ 100 MHz). The spectrum of the Crab pulsar’s giant pulse emission has not been examined as closely. We conducted simultaneous wideband observations of the Crab pulsar, with the Parkes radio telescope and the Murchison Widefield Array, to study the spectral behaviour of its giant pulses. Our analysis shows that the mean spectral index of Crab giant pulses flattens at low frequencies, from −2.6 ± 0.5 between the Parkes bands, to −0.7 ± 1.4 between the lowest MWA subbands.
Intakes of micronutrient-rich foods are low among Indian women of reproductive age. We investigated whether consumption of a food-based micronutrient-rich snack increased markers of blood micronutrient concentrations when compared with a control snack. Non-pregnant women (n 222) aged 14–35 years living in a Mumbai slum were randomised to receive a treatment snack (containing green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and whole milk powder), or a control snack containing foods of low micronutrient content such as wheat flour, potato and tapioca. The snacks were consumed under observation 6 d per week for 12 weeks, compliance was recorded, and blood was collected at 0 and 12 weeks. Food-frequency data were collected at both time points. Compliance (defined as the proportion of women who consumed ≥ 3 snacks/week) was >85 % in both groups. We assessed the effects of group allocation on 12-week nutrient concentrations using ANCOVA models with respective 0-week concentrations, BMI, compliance, standard of living, fruit and green leafy vegetable consumption and use of synthetic nutrients as covariates. The treatment snack significantly increased β-carotene concentrations (treatment effect: 47·1 nmol/l, 95 % CI 6·5, 87·7). There was no effect of group allocation on concentrations of ferritin, retinol, ascorbate, folate or vitamin B12. The present study shows that locally sourced foods can be made into acceptable snacks that may increase serum β-carotene concentrations among women of reproductive age. However, no increase in circulating concentrations of the other nutrients measured was observed.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a monogenic, autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the LDL receptor gene. Familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia results when both the alleles have the defective mutation. It is characterized by cutaneous and tendinous xanthomas, premature corneal arcing, and is associated with an increased risk of coronary arterial disease. It is also seriously underdiagnosed, resulting in delayed treatment.
We present a cross-sectional study of 5 patients with familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia who presented to the department of cardiology at Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Bangalore, India. All of them underwent coronary angiography as part of the investigation of their angina.
All 5 patients were in 2nd or 3rd decade of life, 4 being male, and 4 presenting with effort angina, the other having unstable angina. All had multiple tendinous xanthomas. The majority had significant high grade coronary arterial stenosis. Coronary arterial bypass grafting was necessary in 3, with the others undergoing percutaneous insertion of coronary arterial stents.
Familial homozygous hypercholesterolemia is a potentially dangerous risk factor that can result in premature coronary arterial disease in children and young adults. This can result in severe morbidity and premature death in young individuals. We also emphasise the need to screen first-degree relatives and extended family members, this playing an important role in early detection and treatment. Despite recent advances in treatment using lipid lowering agents, the disease remains a significant challenge.
One of the unique capabilities of the GMRT is the facility for simultaneous multi-frequency observations of pulsars. We have initiated such observations with the aims of (i) studying frequency dependence of pulsar emission, (ii) accurate estimates of pulsar dispersion measure and its variations and (iii) multi-frequency interstellar scintillation studies. Here we present some results from the ongoing dual frequency observations of pulsars.
Pulsar scintillation measurements from the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) are used to investigate the distribution of scattering in the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM; region of ≲ 1 kpc of the Sun), specifically the region in and around the Local Bubble. A 3-component model, where the Solar neighborhood is surrounded by a shell of enhanced plasma turbulence, is proposed for the LISM. Further, the Ooty data, along with those from Parkes and other telescopes are used for investigating the distribution of scattering towards the nearby Loop I Superbubble.
Results from new observations of pulsars using the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) are used for investigating the structure of the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM). The observations show anomalous scintillation effects towards several nearby pulsars, and these are modeled in terms of large-scale spatial inhomogeneities in the distribution of plasma density fluctuations in the LISM. A 3-component model, where the Solar neighbourhood is surrounded by a shell of enhanced plasma turbulence, is proposed for the LISM. The inferred scattering structure is strikingly similar to the Local Bubble. Further, analysis based on recent scintillation measurements show evidence for enhanced scattering towards pulsars located in the general direction of the Loop I Superbubble. The model for the LISM has been further extended by incorporating the scattering due to turbulent plasma associated with Loop I.
Refractive Interstellar Scintillation (RISS) effects on pulsar signals are powerful techniques for discriminating between different models that have been proposed for the power spectrum of plasma density fluctuations in the Interstellar Medium (ISM; e.g. Rickett 1990). The nature of the spectrum is considered to be a major input for understanding the underlying mechanism of interstellar plasma turbulence. Data from our long-term pulsar scintillation observations using the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) at 327 MHz are used to investigate the nature of the spectrum in the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM; region within ∼ 1 kpc of the Sun). Dynamic scintillation spectra were obtained for 18 pulsars in the DM range 3–35 pc cm−3 at ∼10–100 epochs spanning ∼100–1000 days during 1993–1995 (Bhat et al. 1999). From these observations, various scintillation properties and the ISM parameters are estimated with accuracies much better than that which has been possible from most earlier data. The time series of parameters, viz., decorrelation bandwidth (vd), scintillation time scale (τd) and the drift slope of intensity scintillation patterns, and pulsar flux density are used to study various observable effects of Interstellar Scintillation, based on which the spectral form is inferred over the spatial scale range ∼ 107 m to ∼ 1013 m.
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