23,420 research outputs found

    Peering into the formation history of β Pictoris b with VLTI/GRAVITY long-baseline interferometry

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    Context. β Pictoris is arguably one of the most studied stellar systems outside of our own. Some 30 yr of observations have revealed a highly-structured circumstellar disk, with rings, belts, and a giant planet: β Pictoris b. However very little is known about how this system came into being. Aims. Our objective is to estimate the C/O ratio in the atmosphere of β Pictoris b and obtain an estimate of the dynamical mass of the planet, as well as to refine its orbital parameters using high-precision astrometry. Methods. We used the GRAVITY instrument with the four 8.2 m telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to obtain K-band spectro-interferometric data on β Pic b. We extracted a medium resolution (R = 500) K-band spectrum of the planet and a high-precision astrometric position. We estimated the planetary C/O ratio using two different approaches (forward modeling and free retrieval) from two different codes (ExoREM and petitRADTRANS, respectively). Finally, we used a simplified model of two formation scenarios (gravitational collapse and core-accretion) to determine which can best explain the measured C/O ratio. Results. Our new astrometry disfavors a circular orbit for β Pic b (e = 0.15_(−0.04)^(+0.05)). Combined with previous results and with HIPPARCOS/Gaia measurements, this astrometry points to a planet mass of M = 12.7 ± 2.2 M_(Jup). This value is compatible with the mass derived with the free-retrieval code petitRADTRANS using spectral data only. The forward modeling and free-retrieval approches yield very similar results regarding the atmosphere of β Pic b. In particular, the C/O ratios derived with the two codes are identical (0.43 ± 0.05 vs. 0.43_(−0.03)^(+0.04)). We argue that if the stellar C/O in β Pic is Solar, then this combination of a very high mass and a low C/O ratio for the planet suggests a formation through core-accretion, with strong planetesimal enrichment

    Singlet-triplet avoided crossings and effective gg factor versus spatial orientation of spin-orbit-coupled quantum dots

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    We study avoided crossings opened by spin-orbit interaction in the energy spectra of one- and two-electron anisotropic quantum dots in perpendicular magnetic field. We find that for simultaneously present Rashba and Dresselhaus interactions the width of avoided crossings and the effective gg factor depend on the dot orientation within (001) crystal plane. The extreme values of these quantities are obtained for [110] and [11ˉ\bar{1}0] orientations of the dot. The width of singlet-triplet avoided crossing changes between these two orientations by as much as two orders of magnitude. The discussed modulation results from orientation-dependent strength of the Zeeman interaction which tends to polarize the spins in the direction of the external magnetic field and thus remove the spin-orbit coupling effects

    Coronal global EIT waves as tools for multiple diagnostics

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    Observations in EUV lines of the solar corona revealed large scale propagating waves generated by eruptive events able to travel across the solar disk for large distances. In the low corona, CMEs are known to generate, e.g. EIT waves which can be used to sample the coronal local and global magnetic field. This contribution presents theoretical models for finding values of magnetic field in the quiet Sun and coronal loops based on the interaction of global waves and local coronal loops as well as results on the generation and propagation of EIT waves. The physical connection between local and global solar coronal events (e.g. flares, EIT waves and coronal loop oscillations) will also be explored

    Time dependent configuration interaction simulations of spin swap in spin orbit coupled double quantum dots

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    We perform time-dependent simulations of spin exchange for an electron pair in laterally coupled quantum dots. The calculation is based on configuration interaction scheme accounting for spin-orbit (SO) coupling and electron-electron interaction in a numerically exact way. Noninteracting electrons exchange orientations of their spins in a manner that can be understood by interdot tunneling associated with spin precession in an effective SO magnetic field that results in anisotropy of the spin swap. The Coulomb interaction blocks the electron transfer between the dots but the spin transfer and spin precession due to SO coupling is still observed. The electron-electron interaction additionally induces an appearance of spin components in the direction of the effective SO magnetic field which are opposite in both dots. Simulations indicate that the isotropy of the spin swap is restored for equal Dresselhaus and Rashba constants and properly oriented dots