1,595 research outputs found

    A quantitative study of quasiparticle traps using the single-Cooper-pair-transistor

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    We use radio-frequency reflectometry to measure quasiparticle tunneling rates in the single-Cooper-pair-transistor. Devices with and without quasiparticle traps in proximity to the island are studied. A 10210^2 to 10310^3-fold reduction in the quasiparticle tunneling rate onto the island is observed in the case of quasiparticle traps. In the quasiparticle trap samples we also measure a commensurate decrease in quasiparticle tunneling rate off the island.Comment: 4 pages, 4 fig

    Microsecond resolution of quasiparticle tunneling in the single-Cooper-pair-transistor

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    We present radio-frequency measurements on a single-Cooper-pair-transistor in which individual quasiparticle poisoning events were observed with microsecond temporal resolution. Thermal activation of the quasiparticle dynamics is investigated, and consequently, we are able to determine energetics of the poisoning and un-poisoning processes. In particular, we are able to assign an effective quasiparticle temperature to parameterize the poisoning rate.Comment: 4 pages, 4 fig

    Energy gap measurement of nanostructured thin aluminium films for use in single Cooper-pair devices

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    Within the context of superconducting gap engineering, Al-\alox-Al tunnel junctions have been used to study the variation in superconducting gap, Δ\Delta, with film thickness. Films of thickness 5, 7, 10 and 30 nm were used to form the small area superconductor-insulator-superconductor (SIS) tunnel junctions. In agreement with previous measurements we have observed an increase in the superconducting energy gap of aluminium with a decrease in film thickness. In addition, we find grain size in small area films with thickness \textbf{\geq} 10 nm has no appreciable effect on energy gap. Finally, we utilize 7 and 30 nm films in a single Cooper-pair transistor, and observe the modification of the finite bias transport processes due to the engineered gap profile

    Development and operation of the twin radio frequency single electron transistor for solid state qubit readout

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    Ultra-sensitive detectors and readout devices based on the radio frequency single electron transistor (rf-SET) combine near quantum-limited sensitivity with fast operation. Here we describe a twin rf-SET detector that uses two superconducting rf-SETs to perform fast, real-time cross-correlated measurements in order to distinguish sub-electron signals from charge noise on microsecond time-scales. The twin rf-SET makes use of two tuned resonance circuits to simultaneously and independently address both rf-SETs using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and a single cryogenic amplifier. We focus on the operation of the twin rf-SET as a charge detector and evaluate the cross-talk between the two resonance circuits. Real time suppression of charge noise is demonstrated by cross correlating the signals from the two rf-SETs. For the case of simultaneous operation, the rf-SETs had charge sensitivities of δqSET1=7.5μe/Hz\delta q_{SET1} = 7.5 \mu e/\sqrt{Hz} and δqSET2=4.4μe/Hz\delta q_{SET2} = 4.4 \mu e/\sqrt{Hz}.Comment: Updated version, including new content. Comments most welcome: [email protected] or [email protected]

    The Evolution of X-ray Bursts in the "Bursting Pulsar" GRO J1744-28

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    GRO J1744-28, commonly known as the `Bursting Pulsar', is a low mass X-ray binary containing a neutron star and an evolved giant star. This system, together with the Rapid Burster (MXB 1730-33), are the only two systems that display the so-called Type II X-ray bursts. These type of bursts, which last for 10s of seconds, are thought to be caused by viscous instabilities in the disk; however the Type II bursts seen in GRO J1744-28 are qualitatively very different from those seen in the archetypal Type II bursting source the Rapid Burster. To understand these differences and to create a framework for future study, we perform a study of all X-ray observations of all 3 known outbursts of the Bursting Pulsar which contained Type II bursts, including a population study of all Type II X-ray bursts seen by RXTE. We find that the bursts from this source are best described in four distinct phenomena or `classes' and that the characteristics of the bursts evolve in a predictable way. We compare our results with what is known for the Rapid Burster and put out results in the context of models that try to explain this phenomena.Comment: Accepted to MNRAS Aug 17 201

    Conducting Effective Research into State Complicity in Human Rights Abuses

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    This paper explores how to conduct effective research into state complicity in human rights abuses. This type of research is challenging: the secretive nature of state violence presents considerable difficulties for the researcher, in terms of both access to evidence, and the safety and security of the researcher and victims. Recent developments in the methods and types of data available present new opportunities for strengthening research. Drawing on our own experience, specifically our work to map the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation programme, we aim to show how we have navigated the difficult terrain of human rights investigation. The paper begins by exploring a number of challenges involved. We then discuss recent developments in human rights investigation techniques, as well as the emerging body of critical scholarship that is beginning to shape this kind of work among practitioners and academics alike. We consider some of the imbalances of power that affect this type of research. We then demonstrate how we tried to embrace new opportunities, while being mindful of the risks involved and the limitations of what we can achieve. We close with some reflections on ways forward for this type of research

    Axonal degeneration induced by glutamate-excitotoxicity is mediated by necroptosis

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    Neuronal excitotoxicity induced by glutamate leads to cell death and functional impairment in a variety of central nervous system pathologies. Glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity triggers neuronal apoptosis in the cell soma as well as degeneration of axons and dendrites by a process associated to calcium increase and mitochondrial dysfunction. Importantly, degeneration of axons initiated by diverse stimuli, including excitotoxicity, has been proposed as an important pathological event leading to functional impairment in neurodegenerative conditions. Here we demonstrate that excitotoxicity-induced axonal degeneration proceeds by a mechanism dependent on the necroptotic kinases RIPK1, RIPK3 and the necroptotic mediator MLKL. Inhibition of RIPK1, RIPK3 or MLKL prevent key steps in the axonal degeneration cascade including mitochondrial depolarization, the opening of the permeability transition pore and calcium dysregulation in the axon. Interestingly, the same excitotoxic stimuli lead to apoptosis in the cell soma, demonstrating the co-activation of two independent degenerative mechanisms in different compartments of the same cell. The identification of necroptosis as a key mechanism of axonal degeneration after excitotoxicity is an important initial step to develop novel therapeutic strategies for nervous system disorders

    A systematic review of the energy and climate impacts of teleworking

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    Information and communication technologies (ICTs) increasingly enable employees to work from home and other locations (‘teleworking’). This study explores the extent to which teleworking reduces the need to travel to work and the consequent impacts on economy-wide energy consumption. Methods/Design: The paper provides a systematic review of the current state of knowledge of the energy impacts of teleworking. This includes the energy savings from reduced commuter travel and the indirect impacts on energy consumption associated with changes in non-work travel and home energy consumption. The aim is to identify the conditions under which teleworking leads to a net reduction in economy-wide energy consumption, and the circumstances where benefits may be outweighed by unintended impacts. The paper synthesises the results of 39 empirical studies, identified through a comprehensive search of 9,000 published articles. Review results/Synthesis: Twenty six of the 39 studies suggest that teleworking reduces energy use, and only eight studies suggest that teleworking increases, or has a neutral impact on energy use. However, differences in the methodology, scope and assumptions of the different studies make it difficult to estimate ‘average’ energy savings. The main source of savings is the reduced distance travelled for commuting, potentially with an additional contribution from lower office energy consumption. However, the more rigorous studies that include a wider range of impacts (e.g. non-work travel or home energy use) generally find smaller savings. Discussion: Despite the generally positive verdict on teleworking as an energy-saving practice, there are numerous uncertainties and ambiguities about its actual or potential benefits. These relate to the extent to which teleworking may lead to unpredictable increases in non-work travel and home energy use that may outweigh the gains from reduced work travel. The available evidence suggests that economy-wide energy savings are typically modest, and in many circumstances could be negative or non-existent
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