1,021 research outputs found

    XMM-Newton Observations of Radio Pulsars B0834+06 and B0826-34 and Implications for Pulsar Inner Accelerator

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    We report the X-ray observations of two radio pulsars with drifting subpulses: B0834 + 06 and B0826 - 34 using \xmm\. PSR B0834 + 06 was detected with a total of 70 counts from the three EPIC instruments over 50 ks exposure time. Its spectrum was best described as that of a blackbody (BB) with temperature Ts=(2.00.9+2.0)×106T_s=(2.0^{+2.0}_{-0.9}) \times 10^6 K and bolometric luminosity of Lb=(8.64.4+14.2)×1028L_b=(8.6^{+14.2}_{-4.4}) \times 10^{28} erg s1^{-1}. As it is typical in pulsars with BB thermal components in their X-ray spectra, the hot spot surface area is much smaller than that of the canonical polar cap, implying a non-dipolar surface magnetic field much stronger than the dipolar component derived from the pulsar spin-down (in this case about 50 times smaller and stronger, respectively). The second pulsar PSR B0826 - 34 was not detected over 50 ks exposure time, giving an upper limit for the bolometric luminosity Lb1.4×1029L_b \leq 1.4 \times 10^{29} erg s1^{-1}. We use these data as well as the radio emission data concerned with drifting subpulses to test the Partially Screened Gap (PSG) model of the inner accelerator in pulsars.Comment: Accepted for publication by The Astrophysical Journa

    A plasmid-based reporter system for live cell imaging of dengue infected cells

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    Cell culture models are used widely to study the effects of dengue virus (DENV) on host cell function. Current methods of identification of cells infected with an unmodified DENV requires fixation and permeablization of cells to allow DENV-specific antibody staining. This method does not permit imaging of viable cells over time. In this report, a plasmid-based reporter was developed to allow non-destructive identification of DENV-infected cells. The plasmid-based reporter was demonstrated to be broadly applicable to the four DENV serotypes, including low-passaged strains, and was specifically cleaved by the viral protease with minimal interference on viral production. This study reveals the potential for this novel reporter system to advance the studies of virus-host interactions during DENV infection

    Probing the Crust of the Neutron Star in EXO 0748-676

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    X-ray observations of quiescent X-ray binaries have the potential to provide insight into the structure and the composition of neutron stars. EXO 0748-676 had been actively accreting for over 24 yr before its outburst ceased in late 2008. Subsequent X-ray monitoring revealed a gradual decay of the quiescent thermal emission that can be attributed to cooling of the accretion-heated neutron star crust. In this work, we report on new Chandra and Swift observations that extend the quiescent monitoring to ~5 yr post-outburst. We find that the neutron star temperature remained at ~117 eV between 2009 and 2011, but had decreased to ~110 eV in 2013. This suggests that the crust has not fully cooled yet, which is supported by the lower temperature of ~95 eV that was measured ~4 yr prior to the accretion phase in 1980. Comparing the data to thermal evolution simulations reveals that the apparent lack of cooling between 2009 and 2011 could possibly be a signature of convection driven by phase separation of light and heavy nuclei in the outer layers of the neutron star.Comment: 9 pages, 4 tables, 3 figures. Minor revisions according to referee report. Accepted to Ap

    Electrodynamics of Magnetars IV: Self-Consistent Model of the Inner Accelerator, with Implications for Pulsed Radio Emission

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    We consider the voltage structure in the open-field circuit and outer magnetosphere of a magnetar. The standard polar-cap model for radio pulsars is modified significantly when the polar magnetic field exceeds 1.8x10^{14} G. Pairs are created by accelerated particles via resonant scattering of thermal X-rays, followed by the nearly instantaneous conversion of the scattered photon to a pair. A surface gap is then efficiently screened by e+- creation, which regulates the voltage in the inner part of the circuit to ~10^9 V. We also examine the electrostatic gap structure that can form when the magnetic field is somewhat weaker, and deduce a voltage 10-30 times larger over a range of surface temperatures. We examine carefully how the flow of charge back to the star above the gap depends on the magnitude of the current that is extracted from the surface of the star, on the curvature of the magnetic field lines, and on resonant drag. The rates of different channels of pair creation are determined self-consistently, including the non-resonant scattering of X-rays, and collisions between gamma rays and X-rays. We find that the electrostatic gap solution has too small a voltage to sustain the observed pulsed radio output of magnetars unless i) the magnetic axis is nearly aligned with the rotation axis and the light of sight; or ii) the gap is present on the closed as well as the open magnetic field lines. Several properties of the radio magnetars -- their rapid variability, broad pulses, and unusually hard radio spectra -- are consistent with a third possibility, that the current in the outer magnetosphere is strongly variable, and a very high rate of pair creation is sustained by a turbulent cascade.Comment: 32 pages, submitted to the Astrophysical Journa

    Radiation Hardness of Thin Low Gain Avalanche Detectors

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    Low Gain Avalanche Detectors (LGAD) are based on a n++-p+-p-p++ structure where an appropriate doping of the multiplication layer (p+) leads to high enough electric fields for impact ionization. Gain factors of few tens in charge significantly improve the resolution of timing measurements, particularly for thin detectors, where the timing performance was shown to be limited by Landau fluctuations. The main obstacle for their operation is the decrease of gain with irradiation, attributed to effective acceptor removal in the gain layer. Sets of thin sensors were produced by two different producers on different substrates, with different gain layer doping profiles and thicknesses (45, 50 and 80 um). Their performance in terms of gain/collected charge and leakage current was compared before and after irradiation with neutrons and pions up to the equivalent fluences of 5e15 cm-2. Transient Current Technique and charge collection measurements with LHC speed electronics were employed to characterize the detectors. The thin LGAD sensors were shown to perform much better than sensors of standard thickness (~300 um) and offer larger charge collection with respect to detectors without gain layer for fluences <2e15 cm-2. Larger initial gain prolongs the beneficial performance of LGADs. Pions were found to be more damaging than neutrons at the same equivalent fluence, while no significant difference was found between different producers. At very high fluences and bias voltages the gain appears due to deep acceptors in the bulk, hence also in thin standard detectors

    Multimodal transcriptional control of pattern formation in embryonic development

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    Predicting how interactions between transcription factors and regulatory DNA sequence dictate rates of transcription and, ultimately, drive developmental outcomes remains an open challenge in physical biology. Using stripe 2 of the even-skipped gene in Drosophila embryos as a case study, we dissect the regulatory forces underpinning a key step along the developmental decision-making cascade: the generation of cytoplasmic mRNA patterns via the control of transcription in individual cells. Using live imaging and computational approaches, we found that the transcriptional burst frequency is modulated across the stripe to control the mRNA production rate. However, we discovered that bursting alone cannot quantitatively recapitulate the formation of the stripe and that control of the window of time over which each nucleus transcribes even-skipped plays a critical role in stripe formation. Theoretical modeling revealed that these regulatory strategies (bursting and the time window) respond in different ways to input transcription factor concentrations, suggesting that the stripe is shaped by the interplay of 2 distinct underlying molecular processes

    Neutron rich matter, neutron stars, and their crusts

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    Neutron rich matter is at the heart of many fundamental questions in Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics. What are the high density phases of QCD? Where did the chemical elements come from? What is the structure of many compact and energetic objects in the heavens, and what determines their electromagnetic, neutrino, and gravitational-wave radiations? Moreover, neutron rich matter is being studied with an extraordinary variety of new tools such as Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). We describe the Lead Radius Experiment (PREX) that is using parity violation to measure the neutron radius in 208Pb. This has important implications for neutron stars and their crusts. Using large scale molecular dynamics, we model the formation of solids in both white dwarfs and neutron stars. We find neutron star crust to be the strongest material known, some 10 billion times stronger than steel. It can support mountains on rotating neutron stars large enough to generate detectable gravitational waves. Finally, we describe a new equation of state for supernova and neutron star merger simulations based on the Virial expansion at low densities, and large scale relativistic mean field calculations.Comment: 10 pages, 2 figures, Plenary talk International Nuclear Physics Conference 2010, Vancouver, C

    Feature integration in natural language concepts

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    Two experiments measured the joint influence of three key sets of semantic features on the frequency with which artifacts (Experiment 1) or plants and creatures (Experiment 2) were categorized in familiar categories. For artifacts, current function outweighed both originally intended function and current appearance. For biological kinds, appearance and behavior, an inner biological function, and appearance and behavior of offspring all had similarly strong effects on categorization. The data were analyzed to determine whether an independent cue model or an interactive model best accounted for how the effects of the three feature sets combined. Feature integration was found to be additive for artifacts but interactive for biological kinds. In keeping with this, membership in contrasting artifact categories tended to be superadditive, indicating overlapping categories, whereas for biological kinds, it was subadditive, indicating conceptual gaps between categories. It is argued that the results underline a key domain difference between artifact and biological concepts
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