5,605 research outputs found

    Single-molecule experiments in biological physics: methods and applications

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    I review single-molecule experiments (SME) in biological physics. Recent technological developments have provided the tools to design and build scientific instruments of high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate and visualize individual molecules and measure microscopic forces. Using SME it is possible to: manipulate molecules one at a time and measure distributions describing molecular properties; characterize the kinetics of biomolecular reactions and; detect molecular intermediates. SME provide the additional information about thermodynamics and kinetics of biomolecular processes. This complements information obtained in traditional bulk assays. In SME it is also possible to measure small energies and detect large Brownian deviations in biomolecular reactions, thereby offering new methods and systems to scrutinize the basic foundations of statistical mechanics. This review is written at a very introductory level emphasizing the importance of SME to scientists interested in knowing the common playground of ideas and the interdisciplinary topics accessible by these techniques. The review discusses SME from an experimental perspective, first exposing the most common experimental methodologies and later presenting various molecular systems where such techniques have been applied. I briefly discuss experimental techniques such as atomic-force microscopy (AFM), laser optical tweezers (LOT), magnetic tweezers (MT), biomembrane force probe (BFP) and single-molecule fluorescence (SMF). I then present several applications of SME to the study of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA and DNA condensation), proteins (protein-protein interactions, protein folding and molecular motors). Finally, I discuss applications of SME to the study of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of small systems and the experimental verification of fluctuation theorems. I conclude with a discussion of open questions and future perspectives.Comment: Latex, 60 pages, 12 figures, Topical Review for J. Phys. C (Cond. Matt

    A search for spectral hysteresis and energy-dependent time lags from X-ray and TeV gamma-ray observations of Mrk 421

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    Blazars are variable emitters across all wavelengths over a wide range of timescales, from months down to minutes. It is therefore essential to observe blazars simultaneously at different wavelengths, especially in the X-ray and gamma-ray bands, where the broadband spectral energy distributions usually peak. In this work, we report on three "target-of-opportunity" (ToO) observations of Mrk 421, one of the brightest TeV blazars, triggered by a strong flaring event at TeV energies in 2014. These observations feature long, continuous, and simultaneous exposures with XMM-Newton (covering X-ray and optical/ultraviolet bands) and VERITAS (covering TeV gamma-ray band), along with contemporaneous observations from other gamma-ray facilities (MAGIC and Fermi-LAT) and a number of radio and optical facilities. Although neither rapid flares nor significant X-ray/TeV correlation are detected, these observations reveal subtle changes in the X-ray spectrum of the source over the course of a few days. We search the simultaneous X-ray and TeV data for spectral hysteresis patterns and time delays, which could provide insight into the emission mechanisms and the source properties (e.g. the radius of the emitting region, the strength of the magnetic field, and related timescales). The observed broadband spectra are consistent with a one-zone synchrotron self-Compton model. We find that the power spectral density distribution at 4×104\gtrsim 4\times 10^{-4} Hz from the X-ray data can be described by a power-law model with an index value between 1.2 and 1.8, and do not find evidence for a steepening of the power spectral index (often associated with a characteristic length scale) compared to the previously reported values at lower frequencies.Comment: 45 pages, 15 figure

    First Observation of CP Violation in B0->D(*)CP h0 Decays by a Combined Time-Dependent Analysis of BaBar and Belle Data

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    We report a measurement of the time-dependent CP asymmetry of B0->D(*)CP h0 decays, where the light neutral hadron h0 is a pi0, eta or omega meson, and the neutral D meson is reconstructed in the CP eigenstates K+ K-, K0S pi0 or K0S omega. The measurement is performed combining the final data samples collected at the Y(4S) resonance by the BaBar and Belle experiments at the asymmetric-energy B factories PEP-II at SLAC and KEKB at KEK, respectively. The data samples contain ( 471 +/- 3 ) x 10^6 BB pairs recorded by the BaBar detector and ( 772 +/- 11 ) x 10^6, BB pairs recorded by the Belle detector. We measure the CP asymmetry parameters -eta_f S = +0.66 +/- 0.10 (stat.) +/- 0.06 (syst.) and C = -0.02 +/- 0.07 (stat.) +/- 0.03 (syst.). These results correspond to the first observation of CP violation in B0->D(*)CP h0 decays. The hypothesis of no mixing-induced CP violation is excluded in these decays at the level of 5.4 standard deviations.Comment: 9 pages, 2 figures, submitted to Physical Review Letter

    Study of CP violation in Dalitz-plot analyses of B0 --> K+K-KS, B+ --> K+K-K+, and B+ --> KSKSK+

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    We perform amplitude analyses of the decays B0K+KKS0B^0 \to K^+K^-K^0_S, B+K+KK+B^+ \rightarrow K^+K^-K^+, and B+KS0KS0K+B^+ \to K^0_S K^0_S K^+, and measure CP-violating parameters and partial branching fractions. The results are based on a data sample of approximately 470×106470\times 10^6 BBˉB\bar{B} decays, collected with the BABAR detector at the PEP-II asymmetric-energy BB factory at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. For B+K+KK+B^+ \to K^+K^-K^+, we find a direct CP asymmetry in B+ϕ(1020)K+B^+ \to \phi(1020)K^+ of ACP=(12.8±4.4±1.3)A_{CP}= (12.8\pm 4.4 \pm 1.3)%, which differs from zero by 2.8σ2.8 \sigma. For B0K+KKS0B^0 \to K^+K^-K^0_S, we measure the CP-violating phase βeff(ϕ(1020)KS0)=(21±6±2)\beta_{\rm eff} (\phi(1020)K^0_S) = (21\pm 6 \pm 2)^\circ. For B+KS0KS0K+B^+ \to K^0_S K^0_S K^+, we measure an overall direct CP asymmetry of ACP=(45+4±2)A_{CP} = (4 ^{+4}_{-5} \pm 2)%. We also perform an angular-moment analysis of the three channels, and determine that the fX(1500)f_X(1500) state can be described well by the sum of the resonances f0(1500)f_0(1500), f2(1525)f_2^{\prime}(1525), and f0(1710)f_0(1710).Comment: 35 pages, 68 postscript figures. v3 - minor modifications to agree with published versio

    Measurement of ISR-FSR interference in the processes e+ e- --> mu+ mu- gamma and e+ e- --> pi+ pi- gamma

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    Charge asymmetry in processes e+ e- --> mu+ mu- gamma and e+ e- --> pi+ pi- gamma is measured using 232 fb-1 of data collected with the BABAR detector at center-of-mass energies near 10.58 GeV. An observable is introduced and shown to be very robust against detector asymmetries while keeping a large sensitivity to the physical charge asymmetry that results from the interference between initial and final state radiation. The asymmetry is determined as afunction of the invariant mass of the final-state tracks from production threshold to a few GeV/c2. It is compared to the expectation from QED for e+ e- --> mu+ mu- gamma and from theoretical models for e+ e- --> pi+ pi- gamma. A clear interference pattern is observed in e+ e- --> pi+ pi- gamma, particularly in the vicinity of the f_2(1270) resonance. The inferred rate of lowest order FSR production is consistent with the QED expectation for e+ e- --> mu+ mu- gamma, and is negligibly small for e+ e- --> pi+ pi- gamma.Comment: 32 pages,29 figures, to be submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Highlights from the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    The Pierre Auger Observatory is the world's largest cosmic ray observatory. Our current exposure reaches nearly 40,000 km2^2 str and provides us with an unprecedented quality data set. The performance and stability of the detectors and their enhancements are described. Data analyses have led to a number of major breakthroughs. Among these we discuss the energy spectrum and the searches for large-scale anisotropies. We present analyses of our Xmax_{max} data and show how it can be interpreted in terms of mass composition. We also describe some new analyses that extract mass sensitive parameters from the 100% duty cycle SD data. A coherent interpretation of all these recent results opens new directions. The consequences regarding the cosmic ray composition and the properties of UHECR sources are briefly discussed.Comment: 9 pages, 12 figures, talk given at the 33rd International Cosmic Ray Conference, Rio de Janeiro 201

    Measurement of the cross-section and charge asymmetry of WW bosons produced in proton-proton collisions at s=8\sqrt{s}=8 TeV with the ATLAS detector