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  • richardmitnick 4:12 pm on July 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "On the hunt for 'hierarchical' black holes", Black holes-detected by their gravitational wave signal as they collide with other black holes-could be the product of much earlier parent collisions., , , , , University of Birmingham UK,   

    From University of Birmingham (UK) : “On the hunt for ‘hierarchical’ black holes” 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    27 July 2021

    Beck Lockwood,
    Press Office, University of Birmingham,
    Tel: +44 (0)781 3343348.
    r.lockwood@bham.ac.uk

    Black holes-detected by their gravitational wave signal as they collide with other black holes-could be the product of much earlier parent collisions.

    1
    Credit: Riccardo Buscicchio.

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

    Such an event has only been hinted at so far, but scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and Northwestern University (US), believe we are getting close to tracking down the first of these so-called ‘hierarchical’ black holes.

    In a review paper, published in Nature Astronomy, Dr Davide Gerosa, of the University of Birmingham, and Dr Maya Fishbach of Northwestern University (US), suggest that recent theoretical findings together with astrophysical modelling and recorded gravitational wave data will enable scientists to accurately interpret gravitational wave signals from these events.

    Since the first gravitational wave was detected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors in September 2015, scientists have produced increasingly nuanced and sophisticated interpretations of these signals.

    There is now fervent activity to prove the existence of so-called ‘hierarchical mergers’ although the detection of GW190521 in 2019 – the most massive black hole merger yet detected – is thought to be the most promising candidate so far.

    “We believe that most of the gravitational waves so far detected are the result of first generation black holes colliding,” says Dr Gerosa. “But we think there’s a good chance that others will contain the remnants of previous mergers. These events will have distinctive gravitational wave signatures suggesting higher masses, and an unusual spin caused by the parent collision.”

    Understanding the characteristics of the environment in which such objects might be produced will also help narrow the search. This must be an environment with a large number of black holes, and one that is sufficiently dense to retain the black holes after they have merged, so they can go on and merge again.

    These could be, for example, nuclear star clusters, or accretion disks – containing a flow of gas, plasma and other particles – surrounding the compact regions at the centre of galaxies.

    “The LIGO and Virgo collaboration has already discovered more than 50 gravitational wave events,” says Dr Fishbach. “This will expand to thousands over the next few years, giving us so many more opportunities to discover and confirm unusual objects like hierarchical black holes in 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

    University of Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

    The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery), and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group (UK) of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

    The student population includes 23,155 undergraduate and 12,605 postgraduate students, which is the 7th largest in the UK (out of 169). The annual income of the institution for 2019–20 was £737.3 million of which £140.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £667.4 million.

    The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet; the Shakespeare Institute; the Cadbury Research Library, home to the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; the Lapworth Museum of Geology; and the 100-metre Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.

    Scientific discoveries and inventions

    The university has been involved in many scientific breakthroughs and inventions. From 1925 until 1948, Sir Norman Haworth was Professor and Director of the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science and acted as Vice-Principal from 1947 until 1948. His research focused predominantly on carbohydrate chemistry in which he confirmed a number of structures of optically active sugars. By 1928, he had deduced and confirmed the structures of maltose, cellobiose, lactose, gentiobiose, melibiose, gentianose, raffinose, as well as the glucoside ring tautomeric structure of aldose sugars. His research helped to define the basic features of the starch, cellulose, glycogen, inulin and xylan molecules. He also contributed towards solving the problems with bacterial polysaccharides. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937.

    The cavity magnetron was developed in the Department of Physics by Sir John Randall, Harry Boot and James Sayers. This was vital to the Allied victory in World War II. In 1940, the Frisch–Peierls memorandum, a document which demonstrated that the atomic bomb was more than simply theoretically possible, was written in the Physics Department by Sir Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. The university also hosted early work on gaseous diffusion in the Chemistry department when it was located in the Hills building.

    Physicist Sir Mark Oliphant made a proposal for the construction of a proton-synchrotron in 1943, however he made no assertion that the machine would work. In 1945, phase stability was discovered; consequently, the proposal was revived, and construction of a machine that could surpass proton energies of 1 GeV began at the university. However, because of lack of funds, the machine did not start until 1953. The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) managed to beat them; they started their Cosmotron in 1952, and had it entirely working in 1953, before the University of Birmingham.

    In 1947, Sir Peter Medawar was appointed Mason Professor of Zoology at the university. His work involved investigating the phenomenon of tolerance and transplantation immunity. He collaborated with Rupert E. Billingham and they did research on problems of pigmentation and skin grafting in cattle. They used skin grafting to differentiate between monozygotic and dizygotic twins in cattle. Taking the earlier research of R. D. Owen into consideration, they concluded that actively acquired tolerance of homografts could be artificially reproduced. For this research, Medawar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He left Birmingham in 1951 and joined the faculty at University College London (UK), where he continued his research on transplantation immunity. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1960.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:55 am on May 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Alien stars found in our Milky Way", Archeoastronomy, , , , , , , , , University of Birmingham UK,   

    From University of Birmingham (UK) via EarthSky : “Alien stars found in our Milky Way” 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    via

    1

    EarthSky

    May 25, 2021
    Theresa Wiegert

    1
    Infrared image of stars at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, via the Spitzer Space Telescope.

    Observing in infrared makes it possible to peer behind the gas clouds that otherwise cover the central region of the galaxy. There are around 10 million stars within just 3.3 light-years of the galactic center. These are dominated by red giants, the same kind of old stars found to be from another galaxy in this study. Image via National Aeronautics Space Agency (US)/ JPL-Caltech (US)/ S. Stolovy (NASA Spitzer Science Center (US)/California Institute of Technology (US)).

    Astronomers used a new technique – asteroseismology combined with spectroscopy – to pinpoint the ages of a sample of around 100 old red giant stars in the Milky Way.

    They were able to reach a much higher accuracy of the stars’ ages, they said in a statement on May 17, 2021. And they also found that a number of those red giant stars did not originate in the Milky Way! They are instead alien stars, which came here from another galaxy. Their original home in space was Gaia Enceladus (also known as the Gaia Sausage), a dwarf galaxy that collided and merged with our Milky way galaxy about 10 billion years ago.

    3
    Artist’s concept of the stars from dwarf galaxy Gaia Enceladus, which merged with the Milky Way some 10 billion years ago. The Milky Way is in the center of the illustration, shown from above, and the Gaia Enceladus stars – debris of the dwarf galaxy – are represented by little arrows – vectors – that show their position and the direction in which they move. The data are from a computer simulation. Image via European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU).

    2
    This Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of a dense swarm of stars shows the central region of the globular cluster NGC 2808 and its 3 generations of stars. NASA, European Space Agency, A. Sarajedini (University of Florida (US)) and G. Piotto (University of Padua [Università degli Studi di Padova] (IT))

    This new research was published on May 17, 2021, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Astronomy.

    What do alien stars tell us?

    So the idea here is that the Milky Way galaxy had already started forming many of its stars before a dwarf galaxy came by and merged with our galaxy, bringing its own stars with it. This event took place around 8-11 billion years ago. In contrast, the age of the Milky Way is about 13.6 billion years, give or take a few.

    This merger, then, happened early in our galaxy’s history.

    The dwarf galaxy – or the remnants of it – go today under the name Gaia Enceladus or the Gaia Sausage [above], because of the highly elongated shape it forms – like a sausage – as seen from data from the Gaia mission.

    In Greek mythology, Enceladus was the offspring of the goddess Gaia. It is also, incidentally, the name for one of Saturn’s moons.

    In this new research, the astronomers were able to identify stars that are remnants of the merger. These stars provide a way of looking back to the distant past, when the merger took place. Josefina Montalbán at the University of Birmingham is the lead author on the paper. She said:

    “The chemical composition, location and motion of the stars we can observe today in the Milky Way contain precious information about their origin. As we increase our knowledge of how and when these stars were formed, we can start to better understand how the merger of Gaia-Enceladus with the Milky Way affected the evolution of our galaxy.”

    How did astronomers find the stars?

    These astronomers had targeted a sample of 100 old stars observed with the Kepler mission.

    These are red giant stars, at the end of their lives.

    The team used data from three Milky Way research instruments to measure the stars’ ages, all with the task of mapping and analyzing Milky Way stars. One instrument was Kepler, as mentioned previously. The other two were the Gaia satellite and APOGEE.

    With data from these instruments, the astronomers used the technique of asteroseismology that studies how stars oscillate. That is, the technique measures regular variations within the star. Asteroseismology is similar to helioseismology, the study of oscillations in the sun. Learning how a star oscillates lets astronomers gain info about a star’s size and internal structure, which, in turn, will let them estimate the star’s age.

    Team member Mathieu Vrard at Ohio State University’s (US) Department of Astronomy, said:

    “[It] allows us to get very precise ages for the stars, which are important in determining the chronology of when events happened in the early Milky Way.”

    In addition, the astronomers also used spectroscopy – the study of the stellar spectrum – to learn the chemical composition of the stars. This also helps with age determination, and in combination, the methods let the astronomers determine the ages to an unprecedented precision.

    The astronomers noticed that a number of them were of the same age, and that this age was a bit younger than most of the stars that we know started their lives in the Milky Way.

    Team member Andrea Miglio at the University of Bologna [Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna](IT) added:

    “We have shown the huge potential of asteroseismology in combination with spectroscopy to deliver precise, accurate relative ages for individual, very old, stars. Taken together, these measurements contribute to sharpen our view on the early years of our galaxy and promise a bright future for [Milky Way] archeoastronomy.”

    Now the researchers want to apply their approach to larger samples of stars to get a better view of the Milky Way’s formation history and evolution.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

    The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery), and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group (UK) of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

    The student population includes 23,155 undergraduate and 12,605 postgraduate students, which is the 7th largest in the UK (out of 169). The annual income of the institution for 2019–20 was £737.3 million of which £140.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £667.4 million.

    The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet; the Shakespeare Institute; the Cadbury Research Library, home to the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; the Lapworth Museum of Geology; and the 100-metre Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.

    Scientific discoveries and inventions

    The university has been involved in many scientific breakthroughs and inventions. From 1925 until 1948, Sir Norman Haworth was Professor and Director of the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science and acted as Vice-Principal from 1947 until 1948. His research focused predominantly on carbohydrate chemistry in which he confirmed a number of structures of optically active sugars. By 1928, he had deduced and confirmed the structures of maltose, cellobiose, lactose, gentiobiose, melibiose, gentianose, raffinose, as well as the glucoside ring tautomeric structure of aldose sugars. His research helped to define the basic features of the starch, cellulose, glycogen, inulin and xylan molecules. He also contributed towards solving the problems with bacterial polysaccharides. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937.

    The cavity magnetron was developed in the Department of Physics by Sir John Randall, Harry Boot and James Sayers. This was vital to the Allied victory in World War II. In 1940, the Frisch–Peierls memorandum, a document which demonstrated that the atomic bomb was more than simply theoretically possible, was written in the Physics Department by Sir Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. The university also hosted early work on gaseous diffusion in the Chemistry department when it was located in the Hills building.

    Physicist Sir Mark Oliphant made a proposal for the construction of a proton-synchrotron in 1943, however he made no assertion that the machine would work. In 1945, phase stability was discovered; consequently, the proposal was revived, and construction of a machine that could surpass proton energies of 1 GeV began at the university. However, because of lack of funds, the machine did not start until 1953. The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) managed to beat them; they started their Cosmotron in 1952, and had it entirely working in 1953, before the University of Birmingham.

    In 1947, Sir Peter Medawar was appointed Mason Professor of Zoology at the university. His work involved investigating the phenomenon of tolerance and transplantation immunity. He collaborated with Rupert E. Billingham and they did research on problems of pigmentation and skin grafting in cattle. They used skin grafting to differentiate between monozygotic and dizygotic twins in cattle. Taking the earlier research of R. D. Owen into consideration, they concluded that actively acquired tolerance of homografts could be artificially reproduced. For this research, Medawar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He left Birmingham in 1951 and joined the faculty at University College London (UK), where he continued his research on transplantation immunity. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1960.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:44 pm on May 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dating the stars- most accurate red giant age yet", , , , , Gaia Data Release 2, , The Milky Way had already started making stars before it merged with Gaia-Enceladus., University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham (UK) via COSMOS (AU): “Dating the stars- most accurate red giant age yet” 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS (AU)

    18 May 2021
    Deborah Devis

    1
    Artist’s impression of the structure of a solar-like star and a red giant. The two images are not to scale – the scale is given in the lower right corner. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    Researchers have successfully dated some of our galaxy’s oldest stars back to a cosmic collision, using data from Gaia Data Release 2 and other spectroscopic surveys on their oscillations and chemical composition.

    The team, led by Josefina Montalbán of the University of Birmingham, UK, investigated the age of some red giant stars that were originally part of a satellite dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus, which collided with the Milky Way 11.5 billion years ago.

    In their study, published in Nature Astronomy, the researchers surveyed 100 red giant stars and found that the Gaia-Enceladus stars were all similar in age or slightly younger than the other stars that began life in the Milky Way. This builds on the existing theory that the Milky Way had already started making stars before it merged with Gaia-Enceladus.

    “The chemical composition, location and motion of the stars we can observe today in the Milky Way contain precious information about their origin,” says Montalbán.

    “As we increase our knowledge of how and when these stars were formed, we can start to better understand how the merger of Gaia-Enceladus with the Milky Way affected the evolution of our Galaxy.”

    As part of their analysis, they used a technique called asteroseismology, which measures relative frequency and amplitudes of the natural modes of oscillations of stars. This gives information about the size and internal structure of stars, which then helps estimate star age.

    They combined this data with spectroscopy – a technique that measures light and radiation produced by matter – to identify the chemical composition of the stars, which also reveals information about age.

    “We have shown the huge potential of asteroseismology in combination with spectroscopy to deliver precise, accurate relative ages for individual, very old, stars,” says co-author Andrea Miglio of the University of Bologna [Alma mater studiorum – Università di Bologna](IT).

    “Taken together, these measurements contribute to sharpen our view on the early years of our Galaxy and promise a bright future for Galactic archeoastronomy.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

    The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery), and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group (UK) of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

    The student population includes 23,155 undergraduate and 12,605 postgraduate students, which is the 7th largest in the UK (out of 169). The annual income of the institution for 2019–20 was £737.3 million of which £140.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £667.4 million.

    The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet; the Shakespeare Institute; the Cadbury Research Library, home to the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; the Lapworth Museum of Geology; and the 100-metre Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.

    Scientific discoveries and inventions

    The university has been involved in many scientific breakthroughs and inventions. From 1925 until 1948, Sir Norman Haworth was Professor and Director of the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science and acted as Vice-Principal from 1947 until 1948. His research focused predominantly on carbohydrate chemistry in which he confirmed a number of structures of optically active sugars. By 1928, he had deduced and confirmed the structures of maltose, cellobiose, lactose, gentiobiose, melibiose, gentianose, raffinose, as well as the glucoside ring tautomeric structure of aldose sugars. His research helped to define the basic features of the starch, cellulose, glycogen, inulin and xylan molecules. He also contributed towards solving the problems with bacterial polysaccharides. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937.

    The cavity magnetron was developed in the Department of Physics by Sir John Randall, Harry Boot and James Sayers. This was vital to the Allied victory in World War II. In 1940, the Frisch–Peierls memorandum, a document which demonstrated that the atomic bomb was more than simply theoretically possible, was written in the Physics Department by Sir Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. The university also hosted early work on gaseous diffusion in the Chemistry department when it was located in the Hills building.

    Physicist Sir Mark Oliphant made a proposal for the construction of a proton-synchrotron in 1943, however he made no assertion that the machine would work. In 1945, phase stability was discovered; consequently, the proposal was revived, and construction of a machine that could surpass proton energies of 1 GeV began at the university. However, because of lack of funds, the machine did not start until 1953. The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) managed to beat them; they started their Cosmotron in 1952, and had it entirely working in 1953, before the University of Birmingham.

    In 1947, Sir Peter Medawar was appointed Mason Professor of Zoology at the university. His work involved investigating the phenomenon of tolerance and transplantation immunity. He collaborated with Rupert E. Billingham and they did research on problems of pigmentation and skin grafting in cattle. They used skin grafting to differentiate between monozygotic and dizygotic twins in cattle. Taking the earlier research of R. D. Owen into consideration, they concluded that actively acquired tolerance of homografts could be artificially reproduced. For this research, Medawar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He left Birmingham in 1951 and joined the faculty at University College London (UK), where he continued his research on transplantation immunity. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1960.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:25 pm on May 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Trace gases from ocean are source of particles accelerating Antarctic climate change", , , , New particle formation is globally one of the major sources of aerosol particles and cloud condensation nuclei., The research team identified numerous sulphuric acid–amine cluster peaks during new particle formation events - providing evidence that alkylamines provided the basis for sulphuric acid nucleation., University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham (UK) : “Trace gases from ocean are source of particles accelerating Antarctic climate change” 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    14 May 2021

    Scientists exploring the drivers of Antarctic climate change have discovered a new and more efficient pathway for the creation of natural aerosols and clouds which contribute significantly to temperature increases.

    1
    Antactica – new particles formed from ice-covered sea may contribute to climate change.

    The Antarctic Peninsula has shown some of the largest global increases in near-surface air temperature over the last 50 years, but experts have struggled to predict temperatures because little was known about how natural aerosols and clouds affect the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back into space.

    Studying data from seas around the Peninsula, experts have discovered that most new particles are formed in air masses arriving from the partially ice-covered Weddell Sea – a significant source of the sulphur gases and alkylamines responsible for ‘seeding’ the particles.

    A new study shows that increased concentrations of sulphuric acid and alkylamines are essential for the formation of new particles around the northern Antarctic Peninsula. High concentrations of other acids and oxygenated organics coincided with high levels of sulphuric acid, but by themselves did not lead to measurable particle formation and growth.

    An international team of researchers from the University of Birmingham; Institute of Marine Sciences [Institut de Ciències del Mar] (ES), Barcelona, Spain; and King Abdulaziz University [ جامعة الملك عبد العزيز‎] (SA), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia studied summertime open ocean and coastal new particle formation in the region, based on data from ship and land stations, and today published its findings in Nature Geoscience.

    The researchers revealed that the newly discovered pathway is more efficient than the ion-induced sulphuric acid–ammonia pathway previously observed in Antarctica and can occur rapidly under neutral conditions.

    Study co-author Roy Harrison OBE, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham, commented: “New particle formation is globally one of the major sources of aerosol particles and cloud condensation nuclei. This previously overlooked pathway to natural aerosol formation could prove a key tool in predicting the future climate of polar regions.

    “The key to unlocking Antarctica’s climate change lies in examining particles created in the atmosphere by the chemical reaction of gases. These particles start tiny and grow bigger, becoming cloud condensation nuclei leading to more reflective clouds which direct outgoing terrestrial radiation back to earth and warm the lower atmosphere.”

    New particle formation is globally one of the major sources of aerosol particles and cloud condensation nuclei. Existing research suggests that natural aerosols contribute disproportionately to global warming, whilst sulphuric acid is thought to be responsible for most aerosol seeding observed in the atmosphere.

    The research team identified numerous sulphuric acid–amine cluster peaks during new particle formation events – providing evidence that alkylamines provided the basis for sulphuric acid nucleation.

    “We found that sulphuric acid–amine–water nucleation is a dominant process in the Antarctic Peninsula, with the amines coming from regions of sea ice in the Antarctic Peninsula–western Weddell Sea region,” added Professor Harrison. “Waters in this region with significant amounts of sea ice are rich in amines, and aerosols originating from such regions show a near five-fold enhancement in amine concentrations.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

    The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1825 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery), and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group (UK) of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

    The student population includes 23,155 undergraduate and 12,605 postgraduate students, which is the 7th largest in the UK (out of 169). The annual income of the institution for 2019–20 was £737.3 million of which £140.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £667.4 million.

    The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet; the Shakespeare Institute; the Cadbury Research Library, home to the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; the Lapworth Museum of Geology; and the 100-metre Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.

    Scientific discoveries and inventions

    The university has been involved in many scientific breakthroughs and inventions. From 1925 until 1948, Sir Norman Haworth was Professor and Director of the Department of Chemistry. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science and acted as Vice-Principal from 1947 until 1948. His research focused predominantly on carbohydrate chemistry in which he confirmed a number of structures of optically active sugars. By 1928, he had deduced and confirmed the structures of maltose, cellobiose, lactose, gentiobiose, melibiose, gentianose, raffinose, as well as the glucoside ring tautomeric structure of aldose sugars. His research helped to define the basic features of the starch, cellulose, glycogen, inulin and xylan molecules. He also contributed towards solving the problems with bacterial polysaccharides. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937.

    The cavity magnetron was developed in the Department of Physics by Sir John Randall, Harry Boot and James Sayers. This was vital to the Allied victory in World War II. In 1940, the Frisch–Peierls memorandum, a document which demonstrated that the atomic bomb was more than simply theoretically possible, was written in the Physics Department by Sir Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch. The university also hosted early work on gaseous diffusion in the Chemistry department when it was located in the Hills building.

    Physicist Sir Mark Oliphant made a proposal for the construction of a proton-synchrotron in 1943, however he made no assertion that the machine would work. In 1945, phase stability was discovered; consequently, the proposal was revived, and construction of a machine that could surpass proton energies of 1 GeV began at the university. However, because of lack of funds, the machine did not start until 1953. The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) managed to beat them; they started their Cosmotron in 1952, and had it entirely working in 1953, before the University of Birmingham.

    In 1947, Sir Peter Medawar was appointed Mason Professor of Zoology at the university. His work involved investigating the phenomenon of tolerance and transplantation immunity. He collaborated with Rupert E. Billingham and they did research on problems of pigmentation and skin grafting in cattle. They used skin grafting to differentiate between monozygotic and dizygotic twins in cattle. Taking the earlier research of R. D. Owen into consideration, they concluded that actively acquired tolerance of homografts could be artificially reproduced. For this research, Medawar was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He left Birmingham in 1951 and joined the faculty at University College London (UK), where he continued his research on transplantation immunity. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1960.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:32 pm on April 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Spinning stars speedier than expected", , , , , , , University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham (UK) via COSMOS (AU)</a: "Spinning stars speedier than expected" 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS (AU)

    23 April 2021
    Lauren Fuge

    1
    The study of vibrations within stars (called asteroseismology) can be used to measure properties such as a star’s rotation, mass and age. Credit: Mark Garlick / University of Birmingham.

    Asteroseismologists confirm older stars rotate faster than previously thought.

    From planets to galaxies, asteroids to black holes, everything in the universe moves and spins, largely thanks to the good old conservation of angular momentum.

    Stars are born spinning too, but as they age, they begin to slow down. Astronomers theorise that this is due to a process called “magnetic braking”, where solar winds are caught by the star’s magnetic field and rob it of angular momentum.

    Now, a new study led by the UK’s University of Birmingham shows that old stars aren’t slowing down as quickly as the magnetic braking theory predicts.

    This confirms previous observations made back in 2016, which studied the spinning of stars by tracking the movement of dark spots across their surface. But this new paper – published in Nature Astronomy – uses a different method called asteroseismology.

    Seismology may be a more familiar field: it’s the study of seismic waves (vibrations) through the Earth’s crust, used to predict and understand earthquakes. Asteroseismology uses a similar principle to study the sound waves that move through the internal structure of stars.

    These waves cause oscillations of certain frequencies, which are visible on the surface of the star as vibrations. As the stars spin, the frequencies change slightly – imagine listening to the sirens of two ambulances change as they drive around a roundabout.

    By observing how the surface vibrations vary over time, the research team could calculate the star’s rate of rotation – as well as other properties like its mass and age.

    “Although we’ve suspected for some time that older stars rotate faster than magnetic braking theories predict, these new asteroseismic data are the most convincing yet to demonstrate that this ‘weakened magnetic braking’ is actually the case,” says lead author Oliver Hall from the University of Birmingham.

    “Models based on young stars suggest that the change in a star’s spin is consistent throughout their lifetime, which is different to what we see in these new data.”

    The team is now working on understanding how a star’s magnetic field interacts with its rotation, which may be key to solving this inconsistency.

    This kind of research could also help astronomers understand how our Sun will evolve over the next few billion years.

    “This work helps place in perspective whether or not we can expect reduced solar activity and harmful space weather in the future,” concludes co-author Guy Davies, also from the University of Birmingham.

    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 Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:05 pm on February 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Exploring the unanswered questions of our universe with quantum technologies", , , , Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), , QSNET is a multi-disciplinary consortium which aims to search for spatial and temporal variations of fundamental constants of nature using a network of quantum clocks., Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, , The funding is part of a £31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics., The Quantum Interferometry (QI) collaboration aims to search for dark matter and for quantum aspects of space-time with quantum technologies., The University of Birmingham (UK) is a key partner in three quantum technology projects awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)., University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham (UK): “Exploring the unanswered questions of our universe with quantum technologies” 

    From University of Birmingham (UK)

    13 Jan 2021 [Just now in social media]
    Beck Lockwood The University of Birmingham (UK) is a key partner in three quantum technology projects awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
    Press Office
    University of Birmingham
    +44 (0)781 3343348.
    r.lockwood@bham.ac.uk

    The University of Birmingham (UK) is a key partner in three quantum technology projects awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The funding is part of a £31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics.

    1

    The projects are supported through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund.

    This is a new programme which aims to demonstrate how the application of quantum technologies will advance the understanding of fundamental physics questions. It is supported by the Quantum Technology Hubs comprising the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme

    The three projects awarded funding are:

    Searching for variations of fundamental constants of nature

    QSNET is a multi-disciplinary consortium which aims to search for spatial and temporal variations of fundamental constants of nature, using a network of quantum clocks. Led by Dr Giovanni Barontini, from the University of Birmingham, and partnered with the National Physical Laboratory; Imperial College London; University of Sussex; MPG Institute for Nuclear Physics [MPG Institut für Kernphysik] (DE); National Metrology Institute of the Federal Republic of Germany [Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt] (DE);National Institute of Metrological Research [Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica] (IT); University of Delaware (US); U Tokyo [(東京大学] (JP) and the The Paris Observatory [Observatoire de Paris]. The project, which has received £3.7 million in funding, is also linked to three of the Quantum Technology Hubs in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

    QSNET proposes to build a national network of advanced atomic, molecular and highly-charged ion clocks. The network will achieve unprecedented sensitivities in testing variations of the fine structure constant and the electron-to-proton mass ratio. These are two of the parameters of the Standard Model of particle physics, which is the pillar of our understanding of the Universe, but that famously fails to describe 95% of its content: the so-called dark matter and dark energy. QSNET will test the fundamental assumption that the constants of the Standard Model are immutable, as this could be the key in solving the dark matter/dark energy enigma.

    Investigating dark matter and detecting gravitational waves

    The Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network (AION) is a consortium project comprising Imperial College London, Kings College London, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the University of Liverpool and the University of Birmingham.

    This interdisciplinary team of academics will develop the science and technology to build and reap the scientific rewards from the first large-scale atom interferometer in the UK. This programme of research will enable a ground-breaking search for ultra-light dark matter and pave the way for the exploration of gravitational waves in a previously inaccessible frequency range, opening a new window on the mergers of massive black holes and novel physics in the early universe.

    The University of Birmingham team, led by Dr Michael Holynski, Prof Kai Bongs, Dr Mehdi Langlois, Dr Samuel Lellouch, Sam Hedges and Dr Yeshpal Singh will bring their atom interferometry expertise to AION and focus on realising new levels of large momentum transfer to enable the exquisite sensitivity required to achieve the scientific goals of the project, while also providing leadership on the realisation of economic impact.

    The AION project, which has been awarded £7.2 million in funding, will be linked to the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme through the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, led by the University of Birmingham, and project work will be undertaken at the Hub’s Technology Transfer Centre. This will be an opportunity for matter-wave interferometry and strontium optical clocks technology to be developed with industry through to commercialisation.

    Quantum-enhanced interferometry for new physics

    The Quantum Interferometry (QI) collaboration aims to search for dark matter and for quantum aspects of space-time with quantum technologies. The international QI consortium, led by Cardiff, includes the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Warwick in the UK, MIT, Caltech, NIST, and Fermilab in the US, DESY and AEI Hannover in Germany.

    QI will build four table-top experiments (two of them in Birmingham) to search for dark matter in the galactic halo, improve 100-m scale ALPS light-shining-through-the-wall experiment at DESY with novel single photon detectors, search for quantisation of space-time, and test models of semiclassical gravity. These experiments will allow us to explore new parameter spaces of photon – dark matter interaction, and seek answers to the long-standing research question: How can gravity be united with the other fundamental forces?

    The project is linked to two UK National Quantum Hubs and will apply state-of-the-art technologies, including optical cavities, quantum states of light, transition-edge sensors, and extreme-performance optical coatings, to a broad class of fundamental physics problems. Dr Vincent Boyer, Dr Haixing Miao and Dr Denis Martynov will be leading the £4 million-funded project from the University of Birmingham. Visit QI Labs for more information.

    Professor Kai Bongs, Principal Investigator at the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, led by the University of Birmingham, says: “The UK Government’s investment in these projects enables us to draw together experts in quantum physics research to explore some of the key mysteries of our universe. These projects will allow us to build on the momentum already generated through the Quantum Technology Hubs and build a pipeline feeding novel technologies into the future multi-£bn Quantum Technology economy.”

    Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “As we build back better from the pandemic, it’s critical that we throw our weight behind new transformative technologies, such as quantum, that could help to unearth new scientific discoveries and cement the UK’s status as a science superpower.

    “Today’s funding will enable Birmingham’s most ambitious quantum researchers to use the precision of atomic clocks to help solve important unanswered questions about our universe, such as detecting dark matter and understanding the 95% of unaccounted energy content of the universe.”

    Announcing the awards, Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: “STFC is proud to support these projects that utilise cutting-edge quantum technologies for novel and exciting research into fundamental physics.

    “Major scientific discoveries often arise from the application of new technologies and techniques. With the application of emerging quantum technologies, I believe we have an opportunity to change the way we search for answers to some of the biggest mysteries of the universe. These include exploring what dark matter is made of, finding the absolute mass of neutrinos and establishing how quantum mechanics fits with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    “I believe strongly that this exciting new research programme will enable the UK to take the lead in a new way of exploring profound questions in fundamental physics.”

    About the Strategic Priorities Fund

    The Strategic Priorities Fund is an £830 million investment in multi- and interdisciplinary research across 34 themes. It is funded through the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund and managed by UK Research and Innovation.

    The fund aims to:

    increase high-quality multi- and interdisciplinary research and innovation
    ensure UKRI investment links up effectively with government research and innovation priorities
    respond to strategic priorities and opportunities

    About the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing

    The UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing (led by the University of Birmingham) brings together experts from Physics and Engineering from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Imperial, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, NPL, the British Geological Survey and over 70 industry partners. The Hub has over 100 projects, valued at approximately £100 million, and has 17 patent applications.

    The UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), which was established in 2014 and has EPSRC, IUK, STFC, MOD, NPL, BEIS, and GCHQ as partners. Four Quantum Technology Hubs were set up at the outset, each focussing on specific application areas with anticipated societal and economic impact. The Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge (funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund) is part of the NQTP and was launched to accelerate the development of quantum enabled products and services, removing barriers to productivity and competitiveness. The NQTP is set to invest £1B of public and private sector funds over its ten-year lifetime.

    About the Strategic Priorities Fund

    The Strategic Priorities Fund is an £830 million investment in multi- and interdisciplinary research across 34 themes. It is funded through the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund and managed by UK Research and Innovation.

    The fund aims to:

    increase high-quality multi- and interdisciplinary research and innovation
    ensure UKRI investment links up effectively with government research and innovation priorities
    respond to strategic priorities and opportunities

    About the National Quantum Technologies Programme

    The National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) was established in 2014 by the partners (EPSRC, STFC, IUK, Dstl, MoD, NPL, BEIS, GCHQ, NCSC2) to make the UK a global leader in the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies. World class research and dynamic innovation, as the Government’s R&D Roadmap stresses, are part of an interconnected system. The NQTP’s achievements to-date have been enabled by the coherent approach which brings this interconnected system together. NQTP has ambition to grow and evolve research and technology development activities within the programme to continue to ensure that the UK has a balanced portfolio, is flexible and open, so that promising quantum technologies continue to emerge.

    The NQTP is set to invest £1billion of public and private sector funds over its ten-year lifetime.

    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 Birmingham (UK) has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:49 am on September 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Where do black-hole parents meet? LIGO/Virgo may provide answers", , , , University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham UK: “Where do black-hole parents meet? LIGO/Virgo may provide answers” 

    From University of Birmingham UK

    03 Sep 2020
    Beck Lockwood
    r.lockwood@bham.ac.uk
    Press Office
    University of Birmingham
    Tel: +44 (0)781 3343348.

    1
    Astrophysicists investigating gravitational-wave data from the far reaches of the Universe believe they may have found an explanation for a curious signal detected from the collision of two black holes.

    The signal, named GW190412, was picked up by the LIGO/Virgo detectors, which are set up to observe gravitational waves – the ripples in space and time caused by huge astronomical objects – and use them to make new discoveries about our Universe.

    MIT /Caltech Advanced aLigo .

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Hanford, WA, USA.

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy.

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy.

    GW190412 is unusual for a number of reasons. Firstly, scientists calculated that one of the two black holes which produced it had an unusually large mass. In addition, unlike other black holes detected previously, the more massive black hole is definitely spinning, and spinning in an unusual way.

    A team of scientists from the University of Birmingham, MIT, and Johns Hopkins University set out to find out more about the black holes that produced GW190412. Their results, published in Physical Review Letters, suggest the unusual characteristics could be explained by one of the black holes being formed as a result of a previous “parent” black hole collision.

    Lead author Dr Davide Gerosa, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy, says: “Black holes are usually thought to be born when massive stars run out of nuclear ‘fuel’, and gravity takes over, making their iron core collapse. But what if they could also be formed by the collision of two parent black holes? This would explain the key features of GW190412.”

    The team also modeled the type of environment in which this sort of collision might take place. They suggest it must have occurred in an environment with a large number of black holes, namely a star clusters. The most studied clusters to form black holes are the so-called “globulars” –group of stars in the outskirts of most galaxies. However, GW190412 is exceptional: the team found that globular clusters are not suitable for this event: their density is too low to retain black holes after their merger.

    Dr Salvatore Vitale, Assistant Professor of Physics at MIT and co-author on the paper, says: “Second-generation black holes can merge only in particularly dense astrophysical environments. This is because if only a few black holes were around, the parent black holes would simply not get a chance to meet.”

    Dr Gerosa adds: “All these findings come together to suggest that GW190412 is not just unusual, it must also come from an unusual place in our 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

    Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:17 pm on July 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Gravitational wave researchers go beyond the quantum limit", , , , , , , , University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham UK: “Gravitational wave researchers go beyond the quantum limit” 

    From University of Birmingham UK

    14 Jul 2020

    1
    Scientists working at the LIGO facility in the United States, including a team from the University of Birmingham, have demonstrated how the ultra-fine tuning of the instruments enable it to push the boundaries of fundamental laws of physics.


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project


    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger-Zib

    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    The US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detects gravitational waves produced by catastrophic events in the universe, such as mergers of neutron stars and black holes. These space-time ripples are enabling scientists to observe gravitational effects in extreme conditions and probe fundamental questions about the universe and its history.

    In the core of the LIGO detectors are km-scale laser interferometers that measure the distance between 40 kg suspended mirrors with the best precision ever achieved. Typical LIGO sources – the gravitational waves – modulate the distance between the mirrors by 1/1000 of a nucleus size but are still observed with high fidelity. The unprecedented level of the LIGO sensitivity is achieved by the state-of-the-art engineering required to suppress vibrational and thermal noises in the detectors.

    At these levels of sensitivity, quantum mechanics starts to play an important role. The revolutionary and counter-intuitive theories developed in the 20th century typically describe the microscopic world, such as atoms and molecules, but also puts stringent constraints on the continuous measurement of the giant LIGO mirrors.

    Scientists at the LIGO site have now succeeded in looking below the so-called standard quantum limit – the limit when only natural quantum states are utilised in the measurement. Their results are published in Nature.

    The experiment the LIGO team carried out used non-classical ‘squeezed light’ which reduces quantum fluctuations of the laser field. Denis Martynov, one of the Birmingham scientists who contributed to the research, says: “Just a few years ago, this type of quantum behaviour would have been too weak to be observed. But new measurement techniques are now enabling us to go beyond these limits. Not only that, but the approach taken by LIGO scientists in these experiments means that future improvements and upgrades to the instruments can be made with increased confidence that they will yield the improved sensitivity that we are looking for.”

    The ability to make these measurements, opens up the possibility of reducing the effects of quantum mechanics and improving overall the sensitivity of the instruments. The research marks an important step towards making further improvements in the sensitivity of gravitational wave technologies, enabling instruments in the future to reach even further through space and time to detect the echoes of these massive collisions.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:59 pm on May 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New gravitational-wave model can bring neutron stars into even sharper focus", , , , , University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham UK via phys.org: “New gravitational-wave model can bring neutron stars into even sharper focus” 

    From University of Birmingham UK

    via


    phys.org

    May 21, 2020

    1
    The results from a numerical relativity simulation of two merging neutron stars similar to GW170817. Credit: University of Birmingham

    Gravitational-wave researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a new model that promises to yield fresh insights into the structure and composition of neutron stars.

    The model shows that vibrations, or oscillations, inside the stars can be directly measured from the gravitational-wave signal alone. This is because neutron stars will become deformed under the influence of tidal forces, causing them to oscillate at characteristic frequencies, and these encode unique information about the star in the gravitational-wave signal.

    This makes asteroseismology—the study of stellar oscillations—with gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars a promising new tool to probe the elusive nature of extremely dense nuclear matter.

    Neutron stars are the ultradense remnants of collapsed massive stars. They have been observed in the thousands in the electromagnetic spectrum and yet little is known about their nature. Unique information can be gleaned through measuring the gravitational waves emitted when two neutron stars meet and form a binary system. First predicted by Albert Einstein, these ripples in spacetime were first detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015.

    By utilising the gravitational wave signal to measure the oscillations of the neutron stars, researchers will be able to discover new insights into the interior of these stars. The study is published in Nature Communications.

    Dr. Geraint Pratten, of the University of Birmingham’s Gravitational Wave Institute, is lead author of the study. He explained: “As the two stars spiral around each other, their shapes become distorted by the gravitational force exerted by their companion. This becomes more and more pronounced and leaves a unique imprint in the gravitational wave signal.

    “The tidal forces acting on the neutron stars excite oscillations inside the star giving us insight into their internal structure. By measuring these oscillations from the gravitational-wave signal, we can extract information about the fundamental nature and composition of these mysterious objects that would otherwise be inaccessible.”

    The model developed by the team enables the frequency of these oscillations to be determined directly from gravitational-wave measurements for the first time. The researchers used their model on the first observed gravitational-wave signal from a binary neutron star merger—GW170817.

    Co-lead author, Dr. Patricia Schmidt, added: “Almost three years after the first gravitational-waves from a binary neutron star were observed, we are still finding new ways to extract more information about them from the signals. The more information we can gather by developing ever more sophisticated theoretical models, the closer we will get to revealing the true nature of neutron stars.”

    Next generation gravitational wave observatories planned for the 2030s, will be capable of detecting far more binary neutron stars and observing them in much greater detail than is currently possible. The model produced by the Birmingham team will make a significant contribution to this science.

    “The information from this initial event was limited as there was quite a lot of background noise that made the signal difficult to isolate,” says Dr. Pratten. “With more sophisticated instruments we can measure the frequencies of these oscillations much more precisely and this should start to yield some really interesting insights.”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:03 pm on January 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Collisions of supermassive black holes may be simultaneously observable in both gravitational waves and X-rays at the beginning of the next decade., , , , , , University of Birmingham UK   

    From University of Birmingham UK: “X-rays and gravitational waves will combine to illuminate massive black hole collisions” 

    From University of Birmingham UK

    14 Jan 2020
    Beck Lockwood, Press Office
    University of Birmingham UK
    tel: +44 (0)121 414 2772.
    r.lockwood@bham.ac.uk

    A new study by a group of researchers at the University of Birmingham has found that collisions of supermassive black holes may be simultaneously observable in both gravitational waves and X-rays at the beginning of the next decade.

    1
    An image of the use of Athena and LISA to observe the same source. Credits: R.Buscicchio (University of Birmingham), based on content from NASA, ESA, IFCA, the Athena Community Office, G. Alexandrov, A. Burrows

    ESA/Athena spacecraft depiction

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide


    ESA/NASA eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently announced that its two major space observatories of the 2030s will have their launches timed for simultaneous use. These missions, Athena, the next generation X-ray space telescope and LISA, the first space-based gravitational wave observatory, will be coordinated to begin observing within a year of each other and are likely to have at least four years of overlapping science operations.

    According to the new study, published this week in Nature Astronomy, ESA’s decision will give astronomers an unprecedented opportunity to produce multi-messenger maps of some of the most violent cosmic events in the Universe, which have not been observed so far and which lie at the heart of long-standing mysteries surrounding the evolution of the Universe.

    They include the collision of supermassive black holes in the core of galaxies in the distant universe and the “swallowing up” of stellar compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes by massive black holes harboured in the centres of most galaxies.

    The gravitational waves measured by LISA will pinpoint the ripples of space time that the mergers cause while the X-rays observed with Athena reveal the hot and highly energetic physical processes in that environment. Combining these two messengers to observe the same phenomenon in these systems would bring a huge leap in our understanding of how massive black holes and galaxies co-evolve, how massive black holes grow their mass and accrete, and the role of gas around these black holes.

    These are some of the big unanswered questions in astrophysics that have puzzled scientists for decades.

    Dr Sean McGee, Lecturer in Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham and a member of both the Athena and LISA consortiums, led the study. He said, “The prospect of simultaneous observations of these events is uncharted territory, and could lead to huge advances. This promises to be a revolution in our understanding of supermassive black holes and how they growth within galaxies.”

    Professor Alberto Vecchio, Director of the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy, University of Birmingham, and a co-author on the study, said: “I have worked on LISA for twenty years and the prospect of combining forces with the most powerful X-ray eyes ever designed to look right at the centre of galaxies promises to make this long haul even more rewarding. It is difficult to predict exactly what we’re going to discover: we should just buckle up, because it is going to be quite a ride”.

    During the life of the missions, there may be as many as 10 mergers of black holes with masses of 100,000 to 10,000,000 times the mass of the sun that have signals strong enough to be observed by both observatories. Although due to our current lack of understanding of the physics occurring during these mergers and how frequently they occur, the observatories could observe many more or many fewer of these events. Indeed, these are questions which will be answered by the observations.

    In addition, LISA will detect the early stages of stellar mass black holes mergers which will conclude with the detection in ground based gravitational wave observatories. This early detection will allow Athena to be observing the binary location at the precise moment the merger will occur.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

     
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