21,376 research outputs found

    The Pseudo-continuum Bound-free Opacity of Hydrogen and its Importance in Cool White Dwarf Atmospheres

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    We investigate the importance of the pseudo-continuum bound-free opacity from hydrogen atoms in the atmospheres of cool white dwarfs. This source of absorption, when calculated by the occupation probability formalism applied in the modeling of white dwarf atmospheres with Teff<17000KT_{\rm eff}\rm <17000 K, dominates all other sources of opacity at optical wavelengths. This is unrealistic and not observed. On the other hand, a significant flux suppression in the blue part of the spectra of cool white dwarfs has been reported, and mainly interpreted as a result of the pseudo-continuum absorption from atomic hydrogen. We investigate this problem by proposing a new, more realistic approach to calculating this source of opacity. We show that this absorption is orders of magnitude smaller than that predicted by current methods. Therefore, we rule out the pseudo-continuum opacity as a source of the flux deficiency observed in the spectra of cool white dwarfs.Comment: 11 pages, 5 gigures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    Helix untwisting and bubble formation in circular DNA

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    The base pair fluctuations and helix untwisting are examined for a circular molecule. A realistic mesoscopic model including twisting degrees of freedom and bending of the molecular axis is proposed. The computational method, based on path integral techniques, simulates a distribution of topoisomers with various twist numbers and finds the energetically most favorable molecular conformation as a function of temperature. The method can predict helical repeat, openings loci and bubble sizes for specific sequences in a broad temperature range. Some results are presented for a short DNA circle recently identified in mammalian cells.Comment: The Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 138 (2013), in pres

    The pulsar spectral index distribution

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    The flux density spectra of radio pulsars are known to be steep and, to first order, described by a power-law relationship of the form S_{\nu} \propto \nu^{\alpha}, where S_{\nu} is the flux density at some frequency \nu and \alpha is the spectral index. Although measurements of \alpha have been made over the years for several hundred pulsars, a study of the intrinsic distribution of pulsar spectra has not been carried out. From the result of pulsar surveys carried out at three different radio frequencies, we use population synthesis techniques and a likelihood analysis to deduce what underlying spectral index distribution is required to replicate the results of these surveys. We find that in general the results of the surveys can be modelled by a Gaussian distribution of spectral indices with a mean of -1.4 and unit standard deviation. We also consider the impact of the so-called "Gigahertz-peaked spectrum" pulsars. The fraction of peaked spectrum sources in the population with significant turn-over at low frequencies appears to be at most 10%. We demonstrate that high-frequency (>2 GHz) surveys preferentially select flatter-spectrum pulsars and the converse is true for lower-frequency (<1 GHz) surveys. This implies that any correlations between \alpha and other pulsar parameters (for example age or magnetic field) need to carefully account for selection biases in pulsar surveys. We also expect that many known pulsars which have been detected at high frequencies will have shallow, or positive, spectral indices. The majority of pulsars do not have recorded flux density measurements over a wide frequency range, making it impossible to constrain their spectral shapes. We also suggest that such measurements would allow an improved description of any populations of pulsars with 'non-standard' spectra.Comment: 8 pages, 5 figures. Accepted by MNRA

    Optimal conversion of Bose condensed atoms into molecules via a Feshbach resonance

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    In many experiments involving conversion of quantum degenerate atomic gases into molecular dimers via a Feshbach resonance, an external magnetic field is linearly swept from above the resonance to below resonance. In the adiabatic limit, the fraction of atoms converted into molecules is independent of the functional form of the sweep and is predicted to be 100%. However, for non-adiabatic sweeps through resonance, Landau-Zener theory predicts that a linear sweep will result in a negligible production of molecules. Here we employ a genetic algorithm to determine the functional time dependence of the magnetic field that produces the maximum number of molecules for sweep times that are comparable to the period of resonant atom-molecule oscillations, 2πΩRabi−12\pi\Omega_{Rabi}^{-1}. The optimal sweep through resonance indicates that more than 95% of the atoms can be converted into molecules for sweep times as short as 2πΩRabi−12\pi\Omega_{Rabi}^{-1} while the linear sweep results in a conversion of only a few percent. We also find that the qualitative form of the optimal sweep is independent of the strength of the two-body interactions between atoms and molecules and the width of the resonance

    Design study of general aviation collision avoidance system

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    The selection and design of a time/frequency collision avoidance system for use in general aviation aircraft is discussed. The modifications to airline transport collision avoidance equipment which were made to produce the simpler general aviation system are described. The threat determination capabilities and operating principles of the general aviation system are illustrated

    J-factors of short DNA molecules

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    The propensity of short DNA sequences to convert to the circular form is studied by a mesoscopic Hamiltonian method which incorporates both the bending of the molecule axis and the intrinsic twist of the DNA strands. The base pair fluctuations with respect to the helix diameter are treated as path trajectories in the imaginary time path integral formalism. The partition function for the sub-ensemble of closed molecules is computed by imposing chain ends boundary conditions both on the radial fluctuations and on the angular degrees of freedom. The cyclization probability, the J-factor, proves to be highly sensitive to the stacking potential, mostly to its nonlinear parameters. We find that the J-factor generally decreases by reducing the sequence length ( N ) and, more significantly, below N = 100 base pairs. However, even for very small molecules, the J-factors remain sizeable in line with recent experimental indications. Large bending angles between adjacent base pairs and anharmonic stacking appear as the causes of the helix flexibility at short length scales.Comment: The Journal of Chemical Physics - May 2016 ; 9 page

    A search for rotating radio transients and fast radio bursts in the Parkes high-latitude pulsar survey

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    Discoveries of rotating radio transients and fast radio bursts (FRBs) in pulsar surveys suggest that more of such transient sources await discovery in archival data sets. Here we report on a single-pulse search for dispersed radio bursts over a wide range of Galactic latitudes (|b| < 60∘60^{\circ}) in data previously searched for periodic sources by Burgay et al. We re-detected 20 of the 42 pulsars reported by Burgay et al. and one rotating radio transient reported by Burke-Spolaor. No FRBs were discovered in this survey. Taking into account this result, and other recent surveys at Parkes, we corrected for detection sensitivities based on the search software used in the analyses and the different backends used in these surveys and find that the all-sky FRB event rate for sources with a fluence above 4.0 Jy ms at 1.4 GHz to be R=4.4−3.1+5.2×103{\cal R} = 4.4^{+5.2}_{-3.1} \times 10^3 FRBs day−1^{-1} sky−1^{-1}, where the uncertainties represent a 99%99\% confidence interval. While this rate is lower than inferred from previous studies, as we demonstrate, this combined event rate is consistent with the results of all systematic FRB searches at Parkes to date and does not require the need to postulate a dearth of FRBs at intermediate latitudes.Comment: Accepted, 10 pages, 6 figure
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