321 research outputs found

    Tetraquarks and pentaquarks

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    Greig Cowan and Tim Gershon describe new types of matter called tetraquarks and pentaquarks, and discuss the outlook for understanding these particles.Comment: Published as a Physics World Discovery eBook, by IoP Publishing, 2018. Available online at http://iopscience.iop.org/book/978-0-7503-1593-7, IoP Publishing 2018. ISBN: 978-0-7503-1593-

    Variability and trend of the north west Australia rainfall: observations and coupled climate modeling

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    Since 1950, there has been an increase in rainfall over North West Australia (NWA), occurring mainly during the Southern Hemisphere (SH) summer season. A recent study using 20th century multi-member ensemble simulations in a global climate model forced with and without increasing anthropogenic aerosols suggests that the rainfall increase is attributable to increasing Northern Hemisphere aerosols. The present study investigates the dynamics of the observed trend toward increased rainfall and compares the observed trend with that generated in the model forced with increasing aerosols. We find that the observed positive trend in rainfall is projected onto two modes of variability. The first mode is associated with an anomalously low mean sea level pressure (MSLP) off NWA instigated by the enhanced sea surface temperature (SST) gradients towards the coast. The associated cyclonic flows bring high moisture air to northern Australia, leading to an increase in rainfall. The second mode is associated with an anomalously high MSLP over much of the Australian continent; the anticyclonic circulation pattern with northwesterly flows west of 130°E and generally opposite flows in northeastern Australia, determine that when rainfall is anomalously high, west of 130oE, rainfall is anomalously low east of this longitude. The sum of the upward trends in these two modes compares well to the observed increasing trend pattern. The modeled rainfall trend, however, is generated by a different process. The model suffers from an equatorial cold-tongue bias: the tongue of anomalies associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation extends too far west into the eastern Indian Ocean. Consequently, there is an unrealistic relationship in the SH summer between Australian rainfall and eastern Indian Ocean SST: the rise in SST is associated with an increasing rainfall over NWA. In the presence of increasing aerosols, a significant SST increase occurs in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. As a result, the modeled rainfall increase in the presence of aerosol forcing is accounted for by these unrealistic relationships. It is not clear whether, in a model without such defects, the observed trend can be generated by increasing aerosols. Thus, the impact of aerosols on Australian rainfall remains an open question

    Interview with Tim Gill: Sonia Livingstone and Kate Cowan interview with Tim Gill

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    To understand research and advocacy work on childhood and play, Sonia Livingstone OBE and Kate Cowan spoke to Tim Gill as part of our interview series on play in the digital world

    Influence of internal climate variability on Indian Ocean Dipole properties

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    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is the dominant mode of interannual variability over the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) and its future changes are projected to impact the climate and weather of Australia, East Africa, and Indonesia. Understanding the response of the IOD to a warmer climate has been largely limited to studies of individual coupled general circulation models or multi-model ensembles. This has provided valuable insight into the IOD’s projected response to increasing greenhouse gases but has limitations in accounting for the role of internal climate variability. Using the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE), the IOD is examined in thirty-five present-day and future simulations to determine how internal variability influences properties of the IOD and their response to a warmer climate. Despite small perturbations in the initial conditions as the only difference between ensemble members, significant relationships between the mean state of the IO and the IOD arise, leading to a spread in the projected IOD responses to increasing greenhouse gases. This is driven by the positive Bjerknes feedback, where small differences in mean thermocline depth, which are caused by internal climate variability, generate significant variations in IOD amplitude, skewness, and the climatological zonal sea surface temperature gradient

    Improving the seasonal prediction of Northern Australian rainfall onset to help with grazing management decisions

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    The development of the Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator-Seasonal prediction system version 1 (ACCESS-S1) signifies a major step towards addressing predictive limitations in multi-week to seasonal forecasting throughout Australia. It is anticipated that moving to ACCESS-S1 will provide improved skill in rainfall prediction during the dry to wet season transition period across tropical northern Australia. This is an important time for northern Australian livestock producers in terms of the decisions they make around pasture and livestock management. This study quantifies the hindcast skill of ACCESS-S1 for the northern rainfall onset (NRO), defined as the date when 50 mm of precipitation has accumulated at a given location from the 1st of September, heralding the shift towards greener pastures. We evaluate the raw model hindcasts, and compare them to hindcasts corrected for mean biases and those calibrated against observations. It is found that the raw ACCESS-S1 hindcasts broadly replicate the observed median NRO over the period 1990–2012, despite a ten- dency for earlier than observed onsets. In terms of forecasting the interannual variability of the NRO, the ca- librated hindcasts show the greatest skill, with the largest improvements over a climatological forecast in their probabilistic forecasts of an earlier or later than usual onset, with a large portion of northern Australian showing more than 10% improvement. With real-time NRO forecasts now generated by ACCESS-S1, it is expected that the calibrated predictions will help northern Australian graziers make better informed decisions around livestock management prior to the wet season

    Spectral Control via Multi-Species Effects in PW-Class Laser-Ion Acceleration

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    Laser-ion acceleration with ultra-short pulse, PW-class lasers is dominated by non-thermal, intra-pulse plasma dynamics. The presence of multiple ion species or multiple charge states in targets leads to characteristic modulations and even mono-energetic features, depending on the choice of target material. As spectral signatures of generated ion beams are frequently used to characterize underlying acceleration mechanisms, thermal, multi-fluid descriptions require a revision for predictive capabilities and control in next-generation particle beam sources. We present an analytical model with explicit inter-species interactions, supported by extensive ab initio simulations. This enables us to derive important ensemble properties from the spectral distribution resulting from those multi-species effects for arbitrary mixtures. We further propose a potential experimental implementation with a novel cryogenic target, delivering jets with variable mixtures of hydrogen and deuterium. Free from contaminants and without strong influence of hardly controllable processes such as ionization dynamics, this would allow a systematic realization of our predictions for the multi-species effect.Comment: 4 pages plus appendix, 11 figures, paper submitted to a journal of the American Physical Societ

    A High-Efficiency System for the Generation and Study of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    SummaryDirect reprogramming of human fibroblasts to a pluripotent state has been achieved through ectopic expression of the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, and either cMYC and KLF4 or NANOG and LIN28. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms by which reprogramming occurs, which is in part limited by the low efficiency of conversion. To this end, we sought to create a doxycycline-inducible lentiviral system to convert primary human fibroblasts and keratinocytes into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). hiPSCs generated with this system were molecularly and functionally similar to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), demonstrated by gene expression profiles, DNA methylation status, and differentiation potential. While expression of the viral transgenes was required for several weeks in fibroblasts, we found that 10 days was sufficient for the reprogramming of keratinocytes. Using our inducible system, we developed a strategy to induce hiPSC formation at high frequency. Upon addition of doxycycline to hiPSC-derived differentiated cells, we obtained “secondary” hiPSCs at a frequency at least 100-fold greater than the initial conversion. The ability to reprogram cells at high efficiency provides a unique platform to dissect the underlying molecular and biochemical processes that accompany nuclear reprogramming

    Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells: an up-to-the-minute review

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    Recent advances in nuclear reprogramming technology allow the transformation of terminally differentiated, adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells whose phenotype is indistinguishable from that of embryonic stem cells. This leap forward enables the creation of patient-specific pluripotent cell lines that carry disease genotypes. These cell lines could be used both as in vitro models for the study of disease and as potential sources of material for cell replacement therapy. Ultimately, a greater understanding of the process by which cellular identity is shaped and altered may allow the generation of particular cell types for the treatment of degenerative disease

    Spatial clustering of defect luminescence centers in Si-doped low resistivity Al0.82Ga0.18N

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    A series of Si-doped AlN-rich AlGaN layers with low resistivities was characterized by a combination of nanoscale imaging techniques. Utilizing the capability of scanning electron microscopy to reliably investigate the same sample area with different techniques, it was possible to determine the effect of doping concentration, defect distribution, and morphology on the luminescence properties of these layers. Cathodoluminescence shows that the dominant defect luminescence depends on the Si-doping concentration. For lower doped samples, the most intense peak was centered between 3.36 eV and 3.39 eV, while an additional, stronger peak appears at 3 eV for the highest doped sample. These peaks were attributed to the (VIII-ON)2− complex and the V3−III vacancy, respectively. Multimode imaging using cathodoluminescence, secondary electrons, electron channeling contrast, and atomic force microscopy demonstrates that the luminescence intensity of these peaks is not homogeneously distributed but shows a strong dependence on the topography and on the distribution of screw dislocations.DFG, 43659573, SFB 787: Halbleiter - Nanophotonik: Materialien, Modelle, BauelementeBMBF, 13N12587, Photonische Plattformtechnologie zur ultrasensitiven und hochspezifischen biochemischen Sensorik auf Basis neuartiger UV-LEDs (UltraSens