Tagged: “phys.org” Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 9:02 am on June 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "phys.org", "Research examines X-ray intraday variability of blazar Markarian 421", Astronomers divide blazars into two classes: flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) that feature prominent and broad optical emission lines and BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs), , , Blazars are a the most numerous extragalactic gamma-ray sources., , Blazars characteristic features are relativistic jets pointed almost exactly toward the Earth., , Jagiellonian University - Cracow (PL) [Uniwersytet Jagielloński], Mrk 421 is also classified as a high-energy peaked blazar (HBL) given that its synchrotron peak in the spectral energy distribution (SED) was found in X-ray energies higher than 0.1 keV., , The blazar hosts a central SMBH with a mass estimated to be between 200 and 900 million solar masses., which do not.   

    From Jagiellonian University – Cracow (PL) [Uniwersytet Jagielloński] via “phys.org” : “Research examines X-ray intraday variability of blazar Markarian 421” 

    From Jagiellonian University- Cracow (PL) [Uniwersytet Jagielloński]

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 13, 2022
    Tomasz Nowakowski

    1
    Sloan Digital Sky Survey image of Mrk 421. Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

    ___________________________________________________________________
    Apache Point Observatory
    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    Apache Point Observatory near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    ___________________________________________________________________

    By analyzing the data from ESA’s XMM-Newton satellite, astronomers from the Astronomical Observatory of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and elsewhere, have investigated X-ray intraday variability of a nearby blazar known as Markarian 421.

    Results of the study, published June 5 for The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, could help us better understand the nature of high-energy X-ray sources.

    Blazars are very compact quasars associated with supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the centers of active giant elliptical galaxies. They belong to a larger group of active galaxies that host active galactic nuclei (AGN), and are the most numerous extragalactic gamma-ray sources. Their characteristic features are relativistic jets pointed almost exactly toward the Earth.

    Based on their optical emission properties, astronomers divide blazars into two classes: flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) that feature prominent and broad optical emission lines, and BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs), which do not.

    At a distance of some 134 million light years, Markarian 421 (or Mrk 421 for short) is one of the nearest blazars to Earth. Previous observations of Mrk 421 classified it as a BL Lac due to its featureless optical spectrum, compact radio emission, strongly polarized and variable fluxes in optical and radio bands. The blazar hosts a central SMBH with a mass estimated to be between 200 and 900 million solar masses.

    Mrk 421 is also classified as a high-energy peaked blazar (HBL) given that its synchrotron peak in the spectral energy distribution (SED) was found in X-ray energies higher than 0.1 keV. This, together with its featureless non-thermal spectrum, make Mrk 421 a good candidate to study intraday flux and spectral variations over time. So a team of astronomers led by Angel Priyana Noel analyzed its X-ray observations spanning 17 years.

    “We utilize public archive data of 25 pointed observations of Mrk 421 with an EPIC-pn instrument on board of XMM-Newton carried out within a period of 17 years (2000–2017) for analysis of flux and spectral variations on IDV [intraday variability] timescales and to study the X-ray emission tentatively expected to be generated in the jet close to the central black hole of the blazar,” the researchers explained.

    In general, the available EPIC-pn data allowed the team to carry analysis of flux variability, spectral variability, and cross correlated studies of soft and hard X-ray bands of Mrk 421 on IDV timescales. For all the pointed X-ray observations, they inspected light curves in soft (0.3–2.0 keV), hard (2.0–10.0 keV), and total (0.3–10.0 keV) energy bands.

    The study found that the fractional variability displays clear evidence of large amplitude IDV in 23 out of 25 pointed observations in all considered X-ray bands. The IDV duty cycle was estimated to be 96%, however some level of variability was also identified in all data.

    Furthermore, the results suggest that the fractional variability amplitude depends on the studied X-ray energy range and is always higher in the hard band than in the soft band. The total energy weighted minimum variability timescales for all pointed observations occur in the range from 1,030 to 1,059 seconds.

    The researchers also identified time lags between soft and hard energy bands, but they do not reveal any constant pattern. They added that the occurrence of the big lags in soft or hard photons is moderately related to the degree of flux variability.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Two hundred years of the Cracow Observatory

    Among the three oldest Polish astronomical observatories belonging to the universities in Vilna, Cracow and Warsaw, the Cracow University Observatory was fortunately able to act continuously since the year of its foundation (1791-1792) until present.

    Also in Cracow the longest in Poland, unbroken series of meteorological observations has been recorded and preserved. However, the beginning of the institution was rather difficult. The idea of setting up the astronomical observatory in Cracow did not find there, in the first half of 18th century, a favorable atmosphere. The excellent astronomical traditions of the Cracow Academy, dating back to the 15th century (cf. H. Schedel, Liber Chronicarum, Nürnberg, 1493), were then forgotten. Moreover, the further progress in astronomy was not followed there. At the Cracow University the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, its most prominent student, was not accepted and the syllabus including the lectures on astronomy according to Ptolemy and Peuerbach was obligatory till 1750 CE and later on.

    The Jagiellonian University [Uniwersytet Jagielloński] also known as the University of Craków) is a research university in Craków (PL).

    Founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, the Jagiellonian University is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe, and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. Notable alumni include astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, poet Jan Kochanowski, Polish King John III Sobieski, constitutional reformer Hugo Kołłątaj, chemist Karol Olszewski, anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, writer Stanisław Lem, and President of Poland Andrzej Duda. Students at the University who did not earn diplomas included Nobel laureates Ivo Andrić and Wisława Szymborska. Pope John Paul II enrolled in the Jagiellonian University of Krakow in 1938 to study Polish Studies at the JU Faculty of Philosophy, but shortly after enrollment, his studies were interrupted by Sonderaktion Krakau. In 1953, Father Wojtyła presented a dissertation at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler.

    The campus of the Jagiellonian University is centrally located within the city of Kraków. The university consists of fifteen faculties, including the humanities, law, the natural and social sciences, and medicine. The university employs roughly 4,000 academics, and has more than 40,000 students who study in some 80 disciplines. More than half of the student body are women. The language of instruction is usually Polish, although several degrees are offered in either German or English. The university library is one of Poland’s largest, and houses several medieval manuscripts, including Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus.

    Due to its history, the Jagiellonian University is traditionally considered Poland’s most reputable institution of higher learning, this standing equally being reflected in international rankings. The Jagiellonian University is a member of the Coimbra Group and Europaeum.

    In 2019, the Academic Ranking of World Universities placed the university within the 301–400 band globally.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:31 pm on June 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Another few weeks of observations could tell us if the Wow! signal repeats", "phys.org", , , The Ohio University   

    From The Ohio University via “phys.org” : “Another few weeks of observations could tell us if the Wow! signal repeats” 

    Ohio U bloc

    From The Ohio University

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 23, 2022
    Brian Koberlein

    1
    An aerial view of the Big Ear telescope. Credit: Bigear.org / NAAPO.

    In the decades-long search for extraterrestrial intelligence, there has never been confirmed evidence of an alien signal. There have, however, been a few tantalizing mysteries. Perhaps the greatest of these is known as the Wow! signal.

    Observed on 15 August 1977 by the Big Ear radio telescope at The Ohio University, the signal was a strong, continuous, narrow band radio signal lasting at least 72 seconds. Our knowledge of the signal is limited given the design of Big Ear. Rather than being able to track radio signals like most modern radio telescopes, Big Ear was set to a particular elevation and relied on Earth’s rotation to scan across the sky. The reason the Wow! signal lasts 72 seconds is that’s how long it took the source to sweep across Big Ear’s observation range.

    Big Ear was also a passive telescope. Astronomers simply set it up, and it would run on its own, recording the strength of signals as it goes. Because of this, the signal was only discovered days after the event when recorded observations were reviewed. By the time astronomers could go back to observe the source, the event was long over.

    But despite having just one observation, the Wow! signal is considered the strongest candidate for an extraterrestrial signal. Several natural origins have been proposed, but all of them are a bit lacking. The most basic idea is that the signal was of terrestrial origin, perhaps a plane passing overhead, or a radio signal scattered off space debris. But a plane wouldn’t be in range for more than 72 seconds, and there is no record of such a flight. A scattered signal is possible, but the strength of the signal would be unusual, and the frequency of the Wow! signal is within a range where transmissions are restricted.

    2
    Plot of signal strength vs time of the Wow! signal on August 15, 1977. Credit: Maksim Rossomakhin.

    Several years ago it was proposed that the signal might have been caused by comets that were near the observed area of the sky, but this has since been disproven. While two comets were close to the source location, they weren’t really within the observed range. And comets aren’t likely to emit such a strong narrowband signal.

    One interesting aspect of the signal is that its frequency was very close to that of the so-called 21-centimeter line. This is a faint radio emission caused by neutral hydrogen in the universe. Because hydrogen is the most common element in the cosmos, any radio astronomers in the universe would make observations at that frequency. If you wanted to get the attention of alien astronomers, a strong signal near that frequency would be a good way to do it.

    Given the tantalizing nature of the Wow! signal, there have been several attempts at repeat observations. Several radio telescopes have been aimed at the source over the years, but to no luck. Every observation in that area since has turned up nothing. So what’s an astronomer to do? Well, one way to tackle the problem is to look at what your observations exclude. That’s the idea behind a recent paper for MNRAS.

    3
    Applying Bayesian statistics to a likely outcome. Credit: Wikipedia.

    In this work, the authors argue that the source could be some kind of stochastic repeater. Most repeating sources are periodic. Things like variable stars or fast radio bursts can have a predictable variability. Astronomers have considered this idea, and have made observations that rule out a source with a regular periodicity. A stochastic repeater is a bit different. Rather than having a measurable period, stochastic repeaters repeat somewhat randomly. A good example would be earthquakes. We know where they generally happen, know they will happen again, but predicting exactly when is nigh on impossible. Astrophysical processes can be stochastic in a similar way.

    On the face of it, this seems like a silly idea. We’ve never seen the Wow! signal repeat, and we’ve proved it can’t be repeating periodically, but maybe it’s been repeating non-randomly such that we’ve never observed it. It sounds like the authors are arguing that it must be a non-random repeater because we’ve never observed it repeat. But the idea isn’t as silly as it sounds. The authors look at when an unobserved burst might have occurred, and apply Bayesian statistics to calculate when a future burst might occur.

    Bayesian statistics is subtle but powerful. It’s more than just calculating the odds of a likely event. It looks at the pattern of events to predict specific outcomes. It takes into account not just how often something has occurred, but how those events changed over time. So, knowing of one burst event, and knowing when other burst events haven’t occurred, the authors calculate the times at which future events are most likely. This is good to know since we can now specifically observe the regions during the most likely event periods. If the Wow! signal was a stochastic repeater, then we’ll likely catch a new event. If we don’t see another event, we can rule out stochastic repeaters as a likely cause.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Ohio U campus

    In 1786, 11 men gathered at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston to propose development of the area north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny Mountains known then as the Ohio Country. Led by Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam, the Ohio Company petitioned Congress to take action on the proposed settlement. The eventual outcome was the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which provided for settlement and government of the territory and stated that “…schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    In 1803, Ohio became a state and on February 18, 1804, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act establishing “The Ohio University.” The University opened in 1808 with one building, three students, and one professor, Jacob Lindley. One of the first two graduates of the University, Thomas Ewing, later became a United States senator and distinguished himself as cabinet member or advisor to four presidents.

    Twenty-four years after its founding, in 1828, Ohio University conferred an A.B. degree on John Newton Templeton, its first black graduate and only the third black man to graduate from a college in the United States. In 1873, Margaret Boyd received her B.A. degree and became the first woman to graduate from the University. Soon after, the institution graduated its first international alumnus, Saki Taro Murayama of Japan, in 1895.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:05 pm on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers discover dozens of new variable stars", "phys.org", 72 of the 88 stars are new variables., , Astronomers from China have observed the open cluster NGC 2355 and its surrounding field searching for variable stars., , , , , Nanshan One-meter Wide-field Telescope (NOWT), The team detected 88 variable stars from 13 nights of photometric observations., Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory in Xinjiang China   

    From “phys.org” : “Astronomers discover dozens of new variable stars” 

    From “phys.org”

    June 21, 2022
    Tomasz Nowakowski

    1
    The phase-folded light curves for the 26 eclipsing binaries reported in the study. Credit: Wang et al., 2022.

    Using the Nanshan One-meter Wide-field Telescope (NOWT), astronomers from China have observed the open cluster NGC 2355 and its surrounding field searching for variable stars. They have detected 72 new variables in this region. The finding is reported in a paper published June 14 for The Astronomical Journal.

    Star clusters offer excellent opportunities to study stellar evolution, as they are collections of stars with similar properties, for instance age, distance and initial composition. In particular, astronomers often search for variable stars in young clusters, which could be crucial to advancing the understanding of pre-main-sequence (PMS) stars, and therefore the initial phases of stellar evolution.

    Recently, a team of astronomers led by Hong Wang of Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory in Xinjiang, China, carried out an extensive search for variable stars in NGC 2355 using NOWT’s CCD camera. At a distance of some 5,400 light years, NGC 2355 is an open cluster in the constellation of Gemini, estimated to be 900 million years old. To date, only a few searchers for variables in this cluster have been conducted.

    “We have investigated the variable stars in the field surrounding NGC 2355 based on the time-series photometric observation data. More than 3,000 CCD frames were obtained in the V band spread over 13 nights with the Nanshan One-meter Wide-field Telescope,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

    All in all, Wang’s team detected 88 variable stars from 13 nights of photometric observations. It turned out that 72 of the 88 stars are new variables, while the remaining are known variables reported by previous observations.

    The researchers classified the stars from the sample into different types based on their light curves and derived fundamental parameters. Finally, of the all stars reported in the paper, 52 are pulsating stars, 26 are eclipsing binaries, and four were classified as rotating variables. The remaining six are unclear type variable stars.

    “For those variable stars for which no type has been determined, we may need more observations later to identify and classify these unknown variable stars,” the astronomers wrote.

    Out of the 52 pulsating stars 38 were further classified as Delta Scuti variables, nine as RR Lyraes, three as Gamma Doradus variables, and two as Cepheid I type variable stars. When it comes to the 26 eclipsing binaries, 11 of them are of EW-type, nine of EA-type and the rest are of EB-type.

    The researchers noted that four variable stars reported in the paper are members of NGC 2355, in addition to the 11 previously known variables classified as cluster members by a study conducted in 2018. They are located at the cluster’s outer region and showcase homogeneity in space positions and kinematic properties with the cluster members. In addition, the authors of the study found that NGC 2355 has a metallicity of about -0.07 dex and a reddening at a level of 0.24.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    Mission: 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writers include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "phys.org", "Study finds IGR J18007–4146 is an intermediate polar", A galactic source designated IGR J18007–4146., , , Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems consisting of a white dwarf accreting material from a normal star companion., , Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables distinguished from other CVs by the presence of a very strong magnetic field in their white dwarfs.,   

    From “phys.org” : “Study finds IGR J18007–4146 is an intermediate polar” 

    From “phys.org”

    February 2, 2022 [Just now in social media.]
    Tomasz Nowakowski

    1
    Periodograms for IGR J18007–4146 in the 0.3–3 keV and 3–12 keV energy bands, showing the high significance of the 424.4 ± 0.7 s period in the soft band. Credit: Coughenour et al., 2022.

    Using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR spacecraft, astronomers have observed a galactic source designated IGR J18007–4146. The observational campaign has found that this source is an intermediate polar. The finding is reported in a paper published January 26 for MNRAS.

    Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems consisting of a white dwarf accreting material from a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables distinguished from other CVs by the presence of a very strong magnetic field in their white dwarfs.

    In some CVs, accretion occurs through a truncated accretion disc when the white dwarf is moderately magnetic. These systems are known as intermediate polars (IPs). Observations have shown that in IPs, the magnetic white dwarf spins asynchronously with the orbital period of the system and therefore produces a rapid oscillation with the spin period. Therefore, determining precise spin period and precise oscillation ephemeris could be the key to reveal the IP nature of some CVs.

    IGR J18007–4146 was first spotted by the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) spacecraft as an unclassified galactic X-ray source.

    Follow-up observations of this source NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory have suggested that it may be a cataclysmic variable.

    In order to further test this scenario, a team of astronomers led by Benjamin M. Coughenour of the University of California-Berkeley has performed simultaneous observations of IGR J18007–4146 in October 2020 with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR. The results confirmed the CV nature of this source and found that it is an intermediate polar.

    “Utilizing simultaneous XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observations, as well as the available optical/IR data, we confirm the nature of IGR J18007–4146 as an intermediate polar type CV,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

    The observations of IGR J18007–4146 found a hard X-ray continuum, but also a strong iron (Fe) line complex between 6 and 7 keV, a distinct soft component (often seen in IPs), and intrinsic partial covering absorption. It was noted that the three distinct iron lines suggest that the source is an accreting white dwarf rather than a black hole or neutron star.

    Furthermore, the study detected periodic signals in the XMM data, indicative of an IP, but could also be explained by a slowly rotating neutron star in a high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) or by a symbiotic X-ray binary (XRB). However, the effective temperature of the companion object, estimated to be some 6,500 K, excludes the HMXB/XRB scenario and therefore favors the hypothesis that IGR J18007–4146 is an IP accreting from a low-mass companion.

    The observations also found that IGR J18007–4146 has a luminosity of 7.7 decillion erg/s, what is typical for other known IPs, and that its spin period—measured to be approximately 424.4 seconds—is well within the expected range among IPs. Additionally, the researchers have calculated that the mass of the white dwarf is around 1.06 solar masses, what means that IGR J18007–4146 is more massive than average magnetic CVs.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    Mission: 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writers include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:18 am on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "phys.org", "The realization of measurement induced quantum phases on a trapped-ion quantum computer", 'Entropy": The measure of the state of disorder-randomness or uncertainty in a physical system., , , , , The purification phase transition probed by the team should have emerged at a critical point resembling a fault-tolerant threshold., The University of Maryland, Trapped-ion quantum computers are quantum devices in which trapped ions vibrate together and are fully isolated from the external environment.   

    From “phys.org” : “The realization of measurement induced quantum phases on a trapped-ion quantum computer” 

    From “phys.org”

    June 20, 2022
    Ingrid Fadelli

    1
    The quantum computer used in this study at University of Maryland. Credit: Noel et al.

    Trapped-ion quantum computers are quantum devices in which trapped ions vibrate together and are fully isolated from the external environment. These computers can be particularly useful for investigating and realizing various quantum physics states.

    Researchers at NIST/University of Maryland and Duke University have recently used a trapped-ion quantum computer to realize two measurement-induced quantum phases, namely the pure phase and mixed or coding phase during a purification phase transition. Their findings, published in a paper in Nature Physics, contribute to the experimental understanding of many-body quantum systems.

    “Our methods were based on work by Michael Gullans and David Huse, which identified a measurement-induced purification transition in random quantum circuits,” Crystal Noel, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “The main objective of our paper was to observe this critical phenomenon experimentally, using a quantum computer.”

    To measure the purification phase transition first outlined by Gullans and Huse, the researchers had to average data collected over several random circuits. In addition, the measurements they collected included both unitary and projective measurements.

    “By starting in a mixed state with high entropy, or information, then evolving the circuits, the entropy at the end of the circuit indicates whether that information has been lost, or in other words the system has purified,” Noel explained. “We measured the entropy of the system after the circuit evolution as we tune the rate of measurement across the transition.”

    According to theoretical predictions, the purification phase transition probed by the team should have emerged at a critical point resembling a fault-tolerant threshold. Noel and her colleagues carried out their experiments on random circuits that were optimized to work well with their ion-trap quantum computer. This allowed them to observe the different phases of purification using a relatively small system.

    “Critical phenomena of this nature are difficult to observe due to the need for large system sizes, mid-circuit measurement, and averaging over many random circuits taking significant computation time,” Noel said. “We found a way to tailor the model we studied to the system we had available, and show that with a minimal model, the critical phenomena can still be observed.”

    Using their trapped-ion quantum computer, the team was able to probe both the pure phase of the purification phase transition and the mixed or coding phase. In the first of these states, the system is rapidly projected to a pure state, which is related to the measurement outcomes. In the second, the system’s initial state is partly encoded into a quantum error correcting coding space, which retains the system’s memory of its original conditions for a longer time.

    Noel and her colleagues’ successful realization of these two phases of the purification transition in their ion-trap quantum computer could inspire other teams to use similar systems to probe other quantum phases of matter. In their next work, the researchers will continue using the same computer, which has now been moved to the New Duke Quantum Center, to investigate other physical phenomena. Chris Monroe, the principal investigator on the recent study, is now Director of this Center, and will be leading further studies works using the trapped-ion quantum computer.

    “We now plan to continue to study critical phenomena in random circuits using our trapped ion quantum computer. We will add more qubits and mid-circuit measurement to increase the hardware capabilities. We will work to find new observables and interesting transitions that are similar to the one observed here in order to understand more about quantum computing and open quantum systems more generally.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    Mission: 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writers include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:18 pm on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Nanoparticles that control flow of light like road signs direct traffic", "phys.org", , , New light-based devices that could lead to faster and cheaper and more reliable Internet., , , Producing two very different images by manipulating the direction in which light travels.,   

    From The Australian National University (AU) via “phys.org” : “Nanoparticles that control flow of light like road signs direct traffic” 

    ANU Australian National University Bloc

    From The Australian National University (AU)

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 20, 2022

    1
    An illustration of the ANU tiny slides. Credit: Ella Maru Studio.

    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have developed tiny translucent slides capable of producing two very different images by manipulating the direction in which light travels through them.

    As light passes through the slide, an image of Australia can be seen, but when you flip the slide and look again, an image of the Sydney Opera House is visible. The pair of images created is just one example of an untapped number of possibilities.

    The ability to produce two distinctly different images is possible thanks to the ANU scientists’ ability to control the direction in which light can and can’t travel at the nanoscale. The development could pave the way for new light-based devices that could lead to faster, cheaper and more reliable Internet. It could also serve as the foundation for many of the technologies of tomorrow.

    Developed in collaboration with colleagues from China, Germany and Singapore, the new technology uses nanoparticles, so small that about 12,000 of them can fit within a cross-section of a human hair. These tiny particles are arranged into unique patterns on the slides.

    “The particles control the flow of light like road signs control traffic on a busy road by manipulating the direction in which light can, or can’t, travel,” project leader Dr. Sergey Kruk said.

    “Some particles allow light to flow from left to right only, others from right to left or the pathway might be blocked in either direction.”

    Dr. Lei Wang, from Southeast University in China says that “while the purpose of these images is mainly artistic, they demonstrate the potential for this new technology.”

    “In real-world applications these nanoparticles can be assembled into complex systems that would control the flow of light in a useful manner—such as in next-generation communications infrastructure.”

    According to Dr. Kruk, the ability to control the flow of light at the nanoscale ensures light “goes where it’s supposed to go and doesn’t go where it’s not supposed to.”

    “We exchange enormous amounts of information with the help of light. When you make a video call, say, from Australia to Europe, your voice and image get converted into short pulses of light that travel thousands of kilometers through an optical fiber over the continents and oceans,” Dr. Kruk, from the ANU Nonlinear Physics Centre, said.

    “Unfortunately, when we use current light-based technologies to exchange information a lot of parasitic effects might occur. Light might get scattered or reflected, which compromises your communication.”

    “By ensuring light flows exactly where it needs to flow, we would resolve many issues with current technologies.”

    According to Dr. Kruk, the development of many technologies of tomorrow will rely heavily on our ability to control light at a tiny scale.

    “A wide deployment of tiny components that can control the flow of light could potentially bring technological and social changes similar to transformations brought about in the past by the development of tiny components that control the flow of electricity, which are known as diodes and transistors,” he said.

    “Control over the flow of electricity at the nanoscale is what ultimately brought us modern computers and smartphones. It is therefore exciting to envision the potential of our emerging technology for controlling flow of light.”

    The research is published in Nature Photonics.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ANU Campus

    The Australian National University (AU) is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

    Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

    Australian National University (AU) is regarded as one of the world’s leading research universities, and is ranked as the number one university in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere by the 2021 QS World University Rankings. It is ranked 31st in the world by the 2021 QS World University Rankings, and 59th in the world (third in Australia) by the 2021 Times Higher Education.

    In the 2020 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Ranking, an annual ranking of university graduates’ employability, Australian National University (AU) was ranked 15th in the world (first in Australia). According to the 2020 QS World University by Subject, the university was also ranked among the top 10 in the world for Anthropology, Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography, Geology, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

    Established in 1946, ANU is the only university to have been created by the Parliament of Australia. It traces its origins to Canberra University College, which was established in 1929 and was integrated into Australian National University (AU) in 1960. Australian National University (AU) enrols 10,052 undergraduate and 10,840 postgraduate students and employs 3,753 staff. The university’s endowment stood at A$1.8 billion as of 2018.

    Australian National University (AU) counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of government departments of Australia. The latest releases of ANU’s scholarly publications are held through ANU Press online.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:55 pm on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Exploring how plants colonized land half a billion years ago", "phys.org", , , , It took several hundred million years after the formation of Earth some 4.5 billion years ago for the initially fiery globe to cool down allowing the first oceans and land masses to form., , The blue planet with green continents that we know today did not exist as such in that era., The diversity of flora and fauna as we know them today and the substrate on which thrive are thanks to a single species of algae that first went ashore more than 500 million years ago., The land was barren rock for the next three billion years.   

    From The Heinrich Heine University [Heinrich-Heine-Universität]Düsseldorf(DE) via “phys.org” : “Exploring how plants colonized land half a billion years ago” 

    From The Heinrich Heine University [Heinrich-Heine-Universität]Düsseldorf(DE)

    via

    “phys.org”

    1
    The diversity of flora and fauna as we know them today and the substrate on which thrive are thanks to a single species of algae that first went ashore more than 500 million years ago. Credit: Mona Schreiber.

    A team led by evolutionary biologist Prof. Dr. Sven Gould of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has been studying the current state of research on the plant colonization of land that occurred some 500 million years ago. The findings from this illustrated overview study published by Dr. Mona Schreiber as lead author have now appeared in the latest issue of the journal Trends in Plant Science.

    It took several hundred million years after the formation of Earth some 4.5 billion years ago for the initially fiery globe to cool down allowing the first oceans and land masses to form. The land was barren rock for the next three billion years.

    The blue planet with green continents that we know today did not exist as such in that era. Conditions on the continents were largely hostile to life, with a much higher volcanic activity releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere, a weaker magnetic field than exists today exposing the land more to cosmic rays, and a thinner ozone layer for filtering out UV light.

    This started changing approximately 500 million years ago when plants began colonizing land. The invasion catalyzed a metamorphosis of the hostile environment, accelerating the transformation of the atmosphere, to lay the foundations for the development of life on land as we know it today. All this could only occur once plants, which had only lived in the oceans and inland freshwater, had conquered the continents.

    Now Prof. Dr. Sven Gould of the Institute of Molecular Evolution at HHU, Prof. Dr. Stefan Rensing and Dr. Mona Schreiber, a bioinformatics specialist and artist from the University of Marburg, are providing an overview of the current state of research on the plant colonization of land in the journal Trends in Plant Science.

    The continents only began turning green after a streptophyte alga moved from an aquatic habitat into shore zones before completely transitioning onto land over 500 million years ago, in a process involving numerous molecular and morphological adaptations. Throughout Earth’s ongoing changes, plants demonstrated tremendous adaptational capability and altered the climate in crucial fashion, chiefly by fixing carbon dioxide (CO2) on a massive scale.

    Terrestrial flora spread in a dominant tour de force, with flowering plants proliferating in explosive fashion; today they comprise over 90% of all known terrestrial plant species. In the history of our planet, land plants have caused several climatic changes, demonstrating tremendous adaptive capability again and again.

    Researchers are studying the genomes of species of evolutionary significance with regards to terrestrialization, including mosses, lycopods, ferns and certain algae, in an effort to advance our knowledge of evolutionary processes and molecular adaptation. Their work aims at identifying the mechanisms that served to mitigate hostile life conditions on land, which changed in the course of this evolution. These may indeed prove relevant with regard to climate change, including for crop modification in response to shifting environmental conditions.

    Regarding the role of humans in the planet’s evolution, the study’s senior author Professor Gould elucidates: “Human beings, which have but a brief history compared to plants, are indeed responsible in their own right for significant changes to the planet and its climate. The extreme rapidity of those changes poses a major problem, as nature has little insufficient time to adapt. The pace of human-caused change accelerated when man developed agriculture and animal husbandry, which led to steady population growth and the clearing of ever more land for farming.” In this work, the collaborating authors analyze human influences on the climate, discussing the adaptability of plant life to the changes that are today unfolding.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DüSSELDORF 23.04.2016 Campus- Gelände der Universität Heinrich Heine Universität in Düsseldorf im Bundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen. // Premises and campus of Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. http://www.uni-duesseldorf.de Foto: Hans Blossey

    The Heinrich Heine University [Heinrich-Heine-Universität] Düsseldorf (DE) was founded in 1965 as the successor organization to Düsseldorf’s Medical Academy of 1907 and was named after German poet Heinrich Heine.

    Following several expansions throughout the decades, the university has comprised five faculties since 1993. At present, more than 20,000 full-time students are pursuing studies at Heinrich Heine University. There is a total staff of approximately 2,900 persons at HHU (academic and non-academic).

    The “early history” of the Düsseldorf University began with the Düsseldorf Academy for Practical Medicine in 1907. The city’s first real university, however, was only founded in 1965 by adding a combined Faculty of Natural Sciences–Arts and Humanities to the existing medical one. Only four years later the university split the combined faculty into two separate bodies, which led to the constitution of a Faculty of Arts and Humanities as well as a Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. In 1979 a modern University and State Library was opened to the public, and a sports centre was added in 1980/81. Following a quarrel of more than 23 years, the “nameless” university of Düsseldorf was finally christened after the poet Heinrich Heine, one of Düsseldorf’s most famous sons, in 1989. From this period on, the campus university has been opening up towards the city and its citizens. Heinrich Heine University’s Faculty of Business Administration and Economics opened in 1990, the Faculty of Law in 1993.

    Research

    Heinrich Heine University’s motto- “Life.Nature.Society”- suggests its core competencies in research and teaching. Effective cooperation with university and non-university partners led to a rise in third-party funding from 49 million Euros in 2008 to 67 million Euros in 2011. Projects of the Medical Faculty account for circa 35 million Euros of this competitive budget.

    Renowned research collaborations and high-class individual projects made various national and international successes possible:

    National

    In 2012 Heinrich Heine University and its partner institutions – The University of Cologne [Universität zu Köln](DE), MPG Institute for Plant Breeding Research[MPG Institut für Pflanzenzüchtungsforschung](DE) and The Jülich Research Centre [Forschungszentrum Jülichs] (FZJ)(DE) – received the grant for the Cluster of Excellence CEPLAS in the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments. CEPLAS will investigate solutions for a resource-efficient plant growth against the backdrop of a growing world population on the one hand and dwindling natural resources on the other.

    International

    Heinrich Heine University is currently involved in 23 international projects funded within the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. 11 further international projects have just ended. Two Heinrich Heine University researchers at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences have thus far attained the highest award at European Level, the ERC Advanced Grant.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:59 pm on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers link 64 telescopes to observe the structure of the universe", "phys.org", A primary aim for the SKAO is to understand the evolution and content of the universe along with the mechanisms which drive its accelerating expansion., An international team of astronomers have for the first time combined the power of 64 radio telescope dishes to detect the faint signatures of neutral hydrogen gas across cosmological scales., , , , This is the first time such detection has been made using a multi-dish array operating as individual telescopes.   

    From The University of Manchester (UK) via “phys.org” : “Astronomers link 64 telescopes to observe the structure of the universe” 

    U Manchester bloc

    From The University of Manchester (UK)

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 20, 2022
    Ben Robinson | University of Manchester

    1
    Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain.

    An international team of astronomers have for the first time combined the power of 64 radio telescope dishes to detect the faint signatures of neutral hydrogen gas across cosmological scales.

    The feat was achieved using the South African-based MeerKAT telescope, a precursor to the world’s largest radio observatory, the SKA Observatory (SKAO), which will probe the universe in unprecedented detail.

    A primary aim for the SKAO is to understand the evolution and content of the universe along with the mechanisms which drive its accelerating expansion. One way to achieve this is by observing the universe’s structure on the largest scales. On these scales, entire galaxies can be considered as single points and analysis of their distribution reveals clues about the nature of gravity and mysterious phenomena such as dark matter and dark energy.

    Radio telescopes are a fantastic instrument for this since they can detect radiation at wavelengths of 21cm generated by neutral hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. By analyzing 3D maps of hydrogen spanning millions of light-years, we probe the total distribution of matter in the universe.

    The SKAO, which has its headquarters based at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, is currently under construction. However, there are already pathfinder telescopes, such as the 64-dish array MeerKAT, in place to guide its design. Based in the Karoo Desert and operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), MeerKAT will eventually go on to be a part of the full SKAO.

    MeerKAT and the SKAO will primarily operate as interferometers, where the array of dishes are combined as one giant telescope capable of imaging distant objects with high resolution. “However, the interferometer will not be sensitive enough to the largest scales most interesting for cosmologists studying the universe,” explained the co-lead author of the new research paper, Steven Cunnington. “Therefore, we instead use the array as a collection of 64 individual telescopes which allows them to map the giant volumes of sky required for cosmology.”

    The single-dish mode of operation has been driven by a team at the University of the Western Cape, with several observations already conducted with MeerKAT. This ambitious project involves many other institutions spanning four continents. In the new research for MNRAS, a team which includes Manchester-based astronomers Cunnington, Laura Wolz and Keith Grainge, present the first ever cosmological detection using this single-dish technique.

    The new detection is of a shared clustering pattern between MeerKAT’s maps and galaxy positions determined by the optical Anglo-Australian Telescope.

    Since it is known that these galaxies trace the overall matter of the universe, the strong statistical correlation between the radio maps and the galaxies shows the MeerKAT telescope is detecting large-scale cosmic structure. This is the first time such detection has been made using a multi-dish array operating as individual telescopes. The full SKAO will rely on this technique and this therefore marks an important milestone in the roadmap for the cosmology science case with the SKAO.

    “This detection was made with just a small amount of pilot survey data,” revealed Cunnington. “It’s encouraging to imagine what will be achieved as MeerKAT continues to make increasingly larger observations.”

    “For many years I have worked towards forecasting the future capability of the SKAO. To now reach a stage where we are developing the tools we will need and demonstrating their success with real data is incredibly exciting. This only marks the beginning of what we hope will be a continuous showcase of results which advances our understanding of the universe.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Manchester campus

    The University of Manchester (UK) is a public research university in the city of Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (renamed in 1966, est. 1956 as Manchester College of Science and Technology) which had its ultimate origins in the Mechanics’ Institute established in the city in 1824 and the Victoria University of Manchester founded by charter in 1904 after the dissolution of the federal Victoria University (which also had members in Leeds and Liverpool), but originating in Owens College, founded in Manchester in 1851. The University of Manchester is regarded as a red brick university, and was a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century. It formed a constituent part of the federal Victoria University between 1880, when it received its royal charter, and 1903–1904, when it was dissolved.

    The University of Manchester is ranked 33rd in the world by QS World University Rankings 2015-16. In the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Manchester is ranked 41st in the world and 5th in the UK. In an employability ranking published by Emerging in 2015, where CEOs and chairmen were asked to select the top universities which they recruited from, Manchester placed 24th in the world and 5th nationally. The Global Employability University Ranking conducted by THE places Manchester at 27th world-wide and 10th in Europe, ahead of academic powerhouses such as Cornell University, The University of Pennsylvania and The London School of Economics (UK) . It is ranked joint 56th in the world and 18th in Europe in the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, Manchester came fifth in terms of research power and seventeenth for grade point average quality when including specialist institutions. More students try to gain entry to the University of Manchester than to any other university in the country, with more than 55,000 applications for undergraduate courses in 2014 resulting in 6.5 applicants for every place available. According to the 2015 High Fliers Report, Manchester is the most targeted university by the largest number of leading graduate employers in the UK.

    The university owns and operates major cultural assets such as the Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, John Rylands Library and Jodrell Bank Observatory (UK) which includes the Grade I listed Lovell Telescope.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:02 am on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers discover two new polars", "phys.org", According to the study ZTFJ0850+0443 is an eclipsing polar with an orbital period of 1.72 hours at a distance of some 3260 light years away from the Earth., , At a distance of about 1200 light years ZTFJ0926+0105 is a non-eclipsing polar with an orbital period of about 1.48 hours., , Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems comprising a white dwarf and a normal star companion., , , , , Two new polars which received designation ZTFJ0850+0443 and ZTFJ0926+0105.   

    From The California Institute of Technology via “phys.org” : “Astronomers discover two new polars” 

    Caltech Logo

    From The California Institute of Technology

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 20, 2022
    Tomasz Nowakowski

    1
    Folded light curve of ZTFJ0850+0443 (top, orbital perdiod = 1.72 hours) over ZTF forced photometry. Large amplitude variations (1–2 mag) are characteristic of cyclotron beaming in polars. Credit: Rodriguez et al, 2022.

    By analyzing the data from the Spektr-RG (SRG) space observatory and from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and elsewhere have discovered two new polars. The discovery is reported in a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.

    Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems comprising a white dwarf and a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables distinguished from other CVs by the presence of a very strong magnetic field in their white dwarfs.

    Now, a team of astronomers led by Caltech’s Antonio C. Rodriguez has found two new polars which received designation ZTFJ0850+0443 and ZTFJ0926+0105. The detection is a result of crossmatching the eROSITA Final Equatorial Depth Survey (eFEDS) catalog with forced photometry of ZTF Data Release 5 (DR5).

    “We have discovered two polars: ZTFJ0850+0443 and ZTFJ0926+0105, through a crossmatch of the eFEDS dataset and ZTF archival photometry,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

    According to the study ZTFJ0850+0443 is an eclipsing polar with an orbital period of 1.72 hours at a distance of some 3260 light years away from the Earth. Its white dwarf has a mass of about 0.81 solar masses, while the companion star’s mass was estimated to be approximately 0.12 solar masses. The results suggest that ZTFJ0850+0443 is likely a low-field polar with magnetic field strength below 10 MG.

    At a distance of about 1200 light years ZTFJ0926+0105 is a non-eclipsing polar with an orbital period of about 1.48 hours. It has a more typical magnetic field strength of polars—at least 26 MG. Given that ZTFJ0926+0105 is not eclipsing, the team was not able to measure the mass of its white dwarf.

    The astronomers concluded that their discovery shows how important the eFEDS survey is in supplementing ZTF for the detection of new cataclysmic variables. Moreover, they added that by making use of ESA’s Gaia satellite, it will be possible to obtain precise luminosities of the newfound polars. The recent Gaia Data Release 3 (DR3), published June 13, may be very useful in this context.

    “Schwope et al (2021) identified an eclipsing polar through an eROSITA/SRG crossmatch with Gaia using a proprietary eRASS dataset,” the scientists noted.

    The research conducted by Rodriguez’s team is part of a larger follow-up analysis of the eFEDS/ZTF footprint. Such studies could be useful in overcoming observational biases in previous optical-only searches for cataclysmic variables, and would directly lead to accurate volume-limited studies of CVs.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Caltech campus

    The The California Institute of Technology is a private research university in Pasadena, California. The university is known for its strength in science and engineering, and is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

    The California Institute of Technology was founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891 and began attracting influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1920. In 1934, The California Institute of Technology was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which The California Institute of Technology continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán.

    The California Institute of Technology has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at The California Institute of Technology. Although The California Institute of Technology has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The The California Institute of Technology Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

    As of October 2020, there are 76 Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology, including 40 alumni and faculty members (41 prizes, with chemist Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes). In addition, 4 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology. There are 8 Crafoord Laureates and 56 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies. Four Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, The California Institute of Technology ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

    Research

    The California Institute of Technology is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. Caltech was elected to The Association of American Universities in 1934 and remains a research university with “very high” research activity, primarily in STEM fields. The largest federal agencies contributing to research are National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.

    In 2005, The California Institute of Technology had 739,000 square feet (68,700 m^2) dedicated to research: 330,000 square feet (30,700 m^2) to physical sciences, 163,000 square feet (15,100 m^2) to engineering, and 160,000 square feet (14,900 m^2) to biological sciences.

    In addition to managing NASA-JPL/Caltech , The California Institute of Technology also operates the Caltech Palomar Observatory; the Owens Valley Radio Observatory;the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory; the W. M. Keck Observatory at the Mauna Kea Observatory; the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington; and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar, California. The Institute launched the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at The California Institute of Technology in 2006; the Keck Institute for Space Studies in 2008; and is also the current home for the Einstein Papers Project. The Spitzer Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center located on The California Institute of Technology campus, is the data analysis and community support center for NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope [no longer in service].

    The California Institute of Technology partnered with University of California at Los Angeles to establish a Joint Center for Translational Medicine (UCLA-Caltech JCTM), which conducts experimental research into clinical applications, including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

    The California Institute of Technology operates several Total Carbon Column Observing Network stations as part of an international collaborative effort of measuring greenhouse gases globally. One station is on campus.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:30 am on June 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A massive galaxy supercluster in the early universe", "phys.org", , , , , , , , , The supercluster SPT2349−56 discovered in the submillimeter band by the South Pole Telescope.   

    From The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics via “phys.org” : “A massive galaxy supercluster in the early universe” 

    From The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    via

    “phys.org”

    June 20, 2022

    1
    A false-color image of the far-infrared emission from a massive protocluster of galaxies (in the circle) dating from the epoch about 1.4 billion years after the big bang. Astronomers have completed deep optical and infrared observations of the complex and concluded that the star formation processes at work, although exceptionally active, generally seem to follow the same processes seen in our galaxy. Credit: NASA/ESA/Herschel; Miller et al.

    The structure of the universe is often described as being a cosmic web of filaments, nodes, and voids, with the nodes being clusters of galaxies, the largest gravitationally bound objects known. These nodes are thought to have been seeded by small-amplitude density fluctuations like those observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) which grew until they collapsed into the structures seen today.

    While the CMB is well understood, and the details of present-day galaxy clusters are well-described, the intermediate phases of evolution lack sufficient observations to constrain the models. Traditional galaxy cluster searches assume these objects have had enough time to equilibrate so that the intergalactic gas has heated up enough to be detected in X-ray emission. To detect the more distant galaxies and protoclusters that are too faint to detect in the X-ray, astronomers use their bright infrared or submillimeter emission instead.

    The supercluster SPT2349−56 discovered in the submillimeter band by the South Pole Telescope, is so distant that its light has been traveling for over twelve billion years.

    It hosts over thirty submillimeter-bright galaxies and dozens of other luminous and/or spectroscopically confirmed star-forming galaxies. It is one of the most active star forming complexes known, producing over ten thousand stars per year. One of its bright sources appears to be the merger of over twenty galaxies. The stellar mass of the system, however, was not known, making it impossible for example to know whether the huge burst of stars was the result of an extraordinary efficiency or simply arose because the system was so extremely large.

    CfA astronomer Matthew Ashby was a member of a team that has now completed very deep observations at optical and infrared wavelengths to obtain the stellar masses through spectral energy distribution (SED) analyses. They used the Gemini and Hubble Space Telescopes to obtain optical/near infrared flux measurements and Spitzer’s IRAC camera for the infrared flux.

    In order to model the SEDs, the many point sources detected need to be matched to one another at all wavelengths. This is a complex undertaking, and the scientists describe the processes for doing so while also addressing the serious blending that can occur due to inadequate spatial resolution in the infrared.

    According to their results published in MNRAS, the astronomers find that the stellar mass in this primordial cluster as compared with its star formation rate is close to the value measured in nearby (“normal”) galaxies, a conclusion that suggests that the star formation processes at work are similar to those in the local universe. The cluster does, however, show a deficit of molecular gas, suggesting that the activity is nearing the end of this tumultuous phase as the gaseous raw material for stars is being dissipated.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    The The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory, founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

    Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the CfA leads a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, Earth and space sciences, as well as science education. The CfA either leads or participates in the development and operations of more than fifteen ground- and space-based astronomical research observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum, including the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA’s Great Observatories.

    GMT Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s NSF NOIRLab NOAO Las Campanas Observatory(CL) some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chandra X-ray telescope.

    Hosting more than 850 scientists, engineers, and support staff, the CfA is among the largest astronomical research institutes in the world. Its projects have included Nobel Prize-winning advances in cosmology and high energy astrophysics, the discovery of many exoplanets, and the first image of a black hole. The CfA also serves a major role in the global astrophysics research community: the CfA’s Astrophysics Data System, for example, has been universally adopted as the world’s online database of astronomy and physics papers. Known for most of its history as the “Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics”, the CfA rebranded in 2018 to its current name in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The CfA’s current Director (since 2004) is Charles R. Alcock, who succeeds Irwin I. Shapiro (Director from 1982 to 2004) and George B. Field (Director from 1973 to 1982).

    The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is not formally an independent legal organization, but rather an institutional entity operated under a Memorandum of Understanding between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. This collaboration was formalized on July 1, 1973, with the goal of coordinating the related research activities of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under the leadership of a single Director, and housed within the same complex of buildings on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The CfA’s history is therefore also that of the two fully independent organizations that comprise it. With a combined lifetime of more than 300 years, HCO and SAO have been host to major milestones in astronomical history that predate the CfA’s founding.

    History of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)

    Samuel Pierpont Langley, the third Secretary of the Smithsonian, founded the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on the south yard of the Smithsonian Castle (on the U.S. National Mall) on March 1,1890. The Astrophysical Observatory’s initial, primary purpose was to “record the amount and character of the Sun’s heat”. Charles Greeley Abbot was named SAO’s first director, and the observatory operated solar telescopes to take daily measurements of the Sun’s intensity in different regions of the optical electromagnetic spectrum. In doing so, the observatory enabled Abbot to make critical refinements to the Solar constant, as well as to serendipitously discover Solar variability. It is likely that SAO’s early history as a solar observatory was part of the inspiration behind the Smithsonian’s “sunburst” logo, designed in 1965 by Crimilda Pontes.

    In 1955, the scientific headquarters of SAO moved from Washington, D.C. to Cambridge, Massachusetts to affiliate with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO). Fred Lawrence Whipple, then the chairman of the Harvard Astronomy Department, was named the new director of SAO. The collaborative relationship between SAO and HCO therefore predates the official creation of the CfA by 18 years. SAO’s move to Harvard’s campus also resulted in a rapid expansion of its research program. Following the launch of Sputnik (the world’s first human-made satellite) in 1957, SAO accepted a national challenge to create a worldwide satellite-tracking network, collaborating with the United States Air Force on Project Space Track.

    With the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration the following year and throughout the space race, SAO led major efforts in the development of orbiting observatories and large ground-based telescopes, laboratory and theoretical astrophysics, as well as the application of computers to astrophysical problems.

    History of Harvard College Observatory (HCO)

    Partly in response to renewed public interest in astronomy following the 1835 return of Halley’s Comet, the Harvard College Observatory was founded in 1839, when the Harvard Corporation appointed William Cranch Bond as an “Astronomical Observer to the University”. For its first four years of operation, the observatory was situated at the Dana-Palmer House (where Bond also resided) near Harvard Yard, and consisted of little more than three small telescopes and an astronomical clock. In his 1840 book recounting the history of the college, then Harvard President Josiah Quincy III noted that “…there is wanted a reflecting telescope equatorially mounted…”. This telescope, the 15-inch “Great Refractor”, opened seven years later (in 1847) at the top of Observatory Hill in Cambridge (where it still exists today, housed in the oldest of the CfA’s complex of buildings). The telescope was the largest in the United States from 1847 until 1867. William Bond and pioneer photographer John Adams Whipple used the Great Refractor to produce the first clear Daguerrotypes of the Moon (winning them an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London). Bond and his son, George Phillips Bond (the second Director of HCO), used it to discover Saturn’s 8th moon, Hyperion (which was also independently discovered by William Lassell).

    Under the directorship of Edward Charles Pickering from 1877 to 1919, the observatory became the world’s major producer of stellar spectra and magnitudes, established an observing station in Peru, and applied mass-production methods to the analysis of data. It was during this time that HCO became host to a series of major discoveries in astronomical history, powered by the Observatory’s so-called “Computers” (women hired by Pickering as skilled workers to process astronomical data). These “Computers” included Williamina Fleming; Annie Jump Cannon; Henrietta Swan Leavitt; Florence Cushman; and Antonia Maury, all widely recognized today as major figures in scientific history. Henrietta Swan Leavitt, for example, discovered the so-called period-luminosity relation for Classical Cepheid variable stars, establishing the first major “standard candle” with which to measure the distance to galaxies. Now called “Leavitt’s Law”, the discovery is regarded as one of the most foundational and important in the history of astronomy; astronomers like Edwin Hubble, for example, would later use Leavitt’s Law to establish that the Universe is expanding, the primary piece of evidence for the Big Bang model.

    Upon Pickering’s retirement in 1921, the Directorship of HCO fell to Harlow Shapley (a major participant in the so-called “Great Debate” of 1920). This era of the observatory was made famous by the work of Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin, who became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College (a short walk from the Observatory). Payne-Gapochkin’s 1925 thesis proposed that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, an idea thought ridiculous at the time. Between Shapley’s tenure and the formation of the CfA, the observatory was directed by Donald H. Menzel and then Leo Goldberg, both of whom maintained widely recognized programs in solar and stellar astrophysics. Menzel played a major role in encouraging the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to move to Cambridge and collaborate more closely with HCO.

    Joint history as the Center for Astrophysics (CfA)

    The collaborative foundation for what would ultimately give rise to the Center for Astrophysics began with SAO’s move to Cambridge in 1955. Fred Whipple, who was already chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department (housed within HCO since 1931), was named SAO’s new director at the start of this new era; an early test of the model for a unified Directorship across HCO and SAO. The following 18 years would see the two independent entities merge ever closer together, operating effectively (but informally) as one large research center.

    This joint relationship was formalized as the new Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on July 1, 1973. George B. Field, then affiliated with University of California- Berkeley, was appointed as its first Director. That same year, a new astronomical journal, the CfA Preprint Series was created, and a CfA/SAO instrument flying aboard Skylab discovered coronal holes on the Sun. The founding of the CfA also coincided with the birth of X-ray astronomy as a new, major field that was largely dominated by CfA scientists in its early years. Riccardo Giacconi, regarded as the “father of X-ray astronomy”, founded the High Energy Astrophysics Division within the new CfA by moving most of his research group (then at American Sciences and Engineering) to SAO in 1973. That group would later go on to launch the Einstein Observatory (the first imaging X-ray telescope) in 1976, and ultimately lead the proposals and development of what would become the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra, the second of NASA’s Great Observatories and still the most powerful X-ray telescope in history, continues operations today as part of the CfA’s Chandra X-ray Center. Giacconi would later win the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his foundational work in X-ray astronomy.

    Shortly after the launch of the Einstein Observatory, the CfA’s Steven Weinberg won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on electroweak unification. The following decade saw the start of the landmark CfA Redshift Survey (the first attempt to map the large scale structure of the Universe), as well as the release of the Field Report, a highly influential Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey chaired by the outgoing CfA Director George Field. He would be replaced in 1982 by Irwin Shapiro, who during his tenure as Director (1982 to 2004) oversaw the expansion of the CfA’s observing facilities around the world.

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration SOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency NASA Kepler Space Telescope

    CfA-led discoveries throughout this period include canonical work on Supernova 1987A, the “CfA2 Great Wall” (then the largest known coherent structure in the Universe), the best-yet evidence for supermassive black holes, and the first convincing evidence for an extrasolar planet.

    The 1990s also saw the CfA unwittingly play a major role in the history of computer science and the internet: in 1990, SAO developed SAOImage, one of the world’s first X11-based applications made publicly available (its successor, DS9, remains the most widely used astronomical FITS image viewer worldwide). During this time, scientists at the CfA also began work on what would become the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), one of the world’s first online databases of research papers. By 1993, the ADS was running the first routine transatlantic queries between databases, a foundational aspect of the internet today.

    The CfA Today

    Research at the CfA

    Charles Alcock, known for a number of major works related to massive compact halo objects, was named the third director of the CfA in 2004. Today Alcock overseas one of the largest and most productive astronomical institutes in the world, with more than 850 staff and an annual budget in excess of $100M. The Harvard Department of Astronomy, housed within the CfA, maintains a continual complement of approximately 60 Ph.D. students, more than 100 postdoctoral researchers, and roughly 25 undergraduate majors in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard College. SAO, meanwhile, hosts a long-running and highly rated REU Summer Intern program as well as many visiting graduate students. The CfA estimates that roughly 10% of the professional astrophysics community in the United States spent at least a portion of their career or education there.

    The CfA is either a lead or major partner in the operations of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, the Submillimeter Array, MMT Observatory, the South Pole Telescope, VERITAS, and a number of other smaller ground-based telescopes. The CfA’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan includes the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope as a driving priority for the Center.

    CFA Harvard Smithsonian Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, Altitude 4,205 m (13,796 ft).

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL. The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen (mostly North American) institutions, including The University of Chicago ; The University of California-Berkeley ; Case Western Reserve University; Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; The University of Colorado- Boulder; McGill (CA) University, The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; The University of California- Davis; Ludwig Maximilians Universität München(DE); DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; and The National Institute for Standards and Technology.

    Along with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the CfA plays a central role in a number of space-based observing facilities, including the recently launched Parker Solar Probe, Kepler Space Telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and HINODE. The CfA, via the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, recently played a major role in the Lynx X-ray Observatory, a NASA-Funded Large Mission Concept Study commissioned as part of the 2020 Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (“Astro2020”). If launched, Lynx would be the most powerful X-ray observatory constructed to date, enabling order-of-magnitude advances in capability over Chandra.

    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Dynamics Observatory.

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構] (JP)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration HINODE spacecraft.

    SAO is one of the 13 stakeholder institutes for the Event Horizon Telescope Board, and the CfA hosts its Array Operations Center. In 2019, the project revealed the first direct image of a black hole.

    Messier 87*, The first image of the event horizon of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released on 10 April 2019 via National Science Foundation.

    The result is widely regarded as a triumph not only of observational radio astronomy, but of its intersection with theoretical astrophysics. Union of the observational and theoretical subfields of astrophysics has been a major focus of the CfA since its founding.

    In 2018, the CfA rebranded, changing its official name to the “Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian” in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the CfA receives roughly 70% of its funding from NASA, 22% from Smithsonian federal funds, and 4% from the National Science Foundation. The remaining 4% comes from contributors including the United States Department of Energy, the Annenberg Foundation, as well as other gifts and endowments.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: