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    Optical fiber coupling method and apparatus

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    Systems are described for coupling a pair of optical fibers to pass light between them, which enables a coupler to be easily made, and with simple equipment, while closely controlling the characteristics of the coupler. One method includes mounting a pair of optical fibers on a block having a large hole therein, so the fibers extend across the hole while lying adjacent and parallel to one another. The fibers are immersed in an etchant to reduce the thickness of cladding around the fiber core. The fibers are joined together by applying a liquid polymer so the polymer-air interface moves along the length of the fibers to bring the fibers together in a zipper-like manner, and to progressively lay a thin coating of the polymer on the fibers

    A Nonthermal Radio Filament Connected to the Galactic Black Hole?

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    Using the Very Large Array, we have investigated a non-thermal radio filament (NTF) recently found very near the Galactic black hole and its radio counterpart, SgrA*. While this NTF -- the Sgr A West Filament (SgrAWF) -- shares many characteristics with the population of NTFs occupying the central few hundred parsecs of the Galaxy, the SgrAWF has the distinction of having an orientation and sky location that suggest an intimate physical connection to SgrA*. We present 3.3 and 5.5 cm images constructed using an innovative methodology that yields a very high dynamic range, providing an unprecedentedly clear picture of the SgrAWF. While the physical association of the SgrAWF with SgrA* is not unambiguous, the images decidedly evoke this interesting possibility. Assuming that the SgrAWF bears a physical relationship to SgrA*, we examine the potential implications. One is that SgrA* is a source of relativistic particles constrained to diffuse along ordered local field lines. The relativistic particles could also be fed into the local field by a collimated outflow from SgrA*, perhaps driven by the Poynting flux accompanying the black hole spin in the presence of a magnetic field threading the event horizon. Second, we consider the possibility that the SgrAWF is the manifestation of a low-mass-density cosmic string that has become anchored to the black hole. The simplest form of these hypotheses would predict that the filament be bi-directional, whereas the SgrAWF is only seen on one side of SgrA*, perhaps because of the dynamics of the local medium.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures, accepted for ApJ Letter