SpaceX Scientific Advances In Computational Fluid Dynamics

by Tommy on 28/03/2015

http://www.theplatform.net/2015/03/27/rockets-shake-and-rattle-so-spacex-rolls-homegrown-cfd/

Rockets Shake And Rattle, So SpaceX Rolls Homegrown CFD, Timothy Prickett Morgan, The Platform (27 March 2015)

The Platform is a new publication, which formally launched February 23, 2015, in partnership with The Register. It will offer in-depth coverage of high-end computing at large enterprises, supercomputing centers, hyperscale data centers, and public clouds.

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Something Funny Going On at University of Alabama Huntsville

by Tommy on 27/03/2015

The Guardian Article

One Satellite Data Set is Underestimating Global Warming

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00767.1

Removing Diurnal Cycle Contamination in Satellite-Derived Tropospheric Temperatures: Understanding Tropical Tropospheric Trend Discrepancies, Stephen Po-Chedley, Tyler J. Thorsen, and Qiang Fu, J. Climate, 28, 2274–2290 (March 2015)

doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00767.1

Independent research teams have constructed long-term tropical time series of the temperature of the middle troposphere (TMT) using satellite Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) and Advanced MSU (AMSU) measurements. Despite careful efforts to homogenize the MSU/AMSU measurements, tropical TMT trends beginning in 1979 disagree by more than a factor of 3. Previous studies suggest that the discrepancy in tropical TMT trends is caused by differences in both the NOAA-9 warm target factor and diurnal drift corrections. This work introduces a new observationally based method for removing biases related to satellite diurnal drift. Over land, the derived diurnal correction is similar to a general circulation model (GCM) diurnal cycle. Over ocean, the diurnal corrections have a negligible effect on TMT trends, indicating that oceanic biases are small. It is demonstrated that this method is effective at removing biases between coorbiting satellites and biases between nodes of individual satellites. Using a homogenized TMT dataset, the ratio of tropical tropospheric temperature trends relative to surface temperature trends is in accord with the ratio from GCMs. It is shown that bias corrections for diurnal drift based on a GCM produce tropical trends very similar to those from the observationally based correction, with a trend difference smaller than 0.02 K decade−1. Differences between various TMT datasets are explored further. Large differences in tropical TMT trends between this work and that of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are attributed to differences in the treatment of the NOAA-9 target factor and the diurnal cycle correction.

Roy Spencer and John Christy, that’s what’s funny.

Some splainin’ will be goin on.

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So How Many Launch Vehicles Has The Aerospace Corporation Built and Flown Again?

by Tommy on 27/03/2015

Answer : Zero.

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The Normal State of the Cuprate Pseudogap is Not Intertwined

by Tommy on 27/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.07572

Wiedemann-Franz law in the underdoped cuprate superconductor YBa2Cu3Oy, G. Grissonnanche, F. Laliberte, S. Dufour-Beausejour, M. Matusiak, S. Badoux, F. F. Tafti, B. Michon, A. Riopel, O. Cyr-Choiniere, J. C. Baglo, B. J. Ramshaw, R. Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, S. Kramer, D. LeBoeuf, D. Graf, N. Doiron-Leyraud and L. Taillefer

The recent detection of charge-density modulations in YBa2Cu3Oy and other cuprate superconductors raises new questions about the normal state of underdoped cuprates. In one class of theories, the modulations are intertwined with pairing in a dual state, expected to persist up to high magnetic fields as a vortex liquid. In support of such a state, specific heat and magnetisation data on YBa2Cu3Oy have been interpreted in terms of a vortex liquid persisting above the vortex-melting field Hvs at T = 0. Here we report high-field measurements of the electrical and thermal Hall conductivities in YBa2Cu3O6.54 that allow us to probe the Wiedemann-Franz law, a sensitive test of the presence of superconductivity in a metal. In the T = 0 limit, we find that the law is satisfied for fields immediately above Hvs. This rules out the existence of a vortex liquid and it places strict constraints on the nature of the normal state in underdoped cuprates.

Well I guess it’s back to the drawing boards again.

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The Acceleration of Antarctic Ice Shelf Loss Has Begun

by Tommy on 26/03/2015

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/03/25/science.aaa0940

Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating, Fernando S. Paolo, Helen A. Fricker and Laurie Padman, Science (26 March 2015), DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0940

The floating ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic Ice Sheet restrain the grounded ice-sheet flow. Thinning of an ice shelf reduces this effect, leading to an increase in ice discharge to the ocean. Using eighteen years of continuous satellite radar altimeter observations we have computed decadal-scale changes in ice-shelf thickness around the Antarctic continent. Overall, average ice-shelf volume change accelerated from negligible loss at 25 ± 64 km3 per year for 1994-2003 to rapid loss of 310 ± 74 km3 per year for 2003-2012. West Antarctic losses increased by 70% in the last decade, and earlier volume gain by East Antarctic ice shelves ceased. In the Amundsen and Bellingshausen regions, some ice shelves have lost up to 18% of their thickness in less than two decades.

The Antarctic ice sheets can’t be far behind.

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Quasiparticle Mass Enhancement Observed in High-Tc Cuprate

by Tommy on 26/03/2015

This result has been out there for a while now.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/03/25/science.aaa4990

Quasiparticle mass enhancement approaching optimal doping in a high-Tc superconductor, B. J. Ramshaw, S. E. Sebastian, R. D. McDonald, James Day, B. S. Tan, Z. Zhu, J. B. Betts, Ruixing Liang, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy and N. Harrison, Science (26 March 2015), DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4990

In the quest for superconductors with higher transition temperatures (Tc), one emerging motif is that electronic interactions favorable for superconductivity can be enhanced by fluctuations of a broken-symmetry phase. Recent experiments have suggested the existence of the requisite broken symmetry phase in the high-Tc cuprates, but the impact of such a phase on the ground-state electronic interactions has remained unclear. We use magnetic fields exceeding 90 Tesla to access the underlying metallic state of the cuprate YBa2Cu3O6+δ over a wide range of doping, and observe magnetic quantum oscillations that reveal a strong enhancement of the quasiparticle effective mass toward optimal doping. This mass enhancement results from increasing electronic interactions approaching optimal doping, and suggests a quantum-critical point at a hole doping of pcrit ≈ 0.18.

See also: http://meeting.aps.org/Meeting/MAR15/Session/B9.14

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.3990

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Recent Mini Younger Dryas Effect Observed in the North Atlantic

by Tommy on 26/03/2015
Mini Younger Dryas Effect - AMOC Slowdown

Mini Younger Dryas Effect – AMOC Slowdown

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2554.html

Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation, Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner, Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson, Scott Rutherford and Erik J. Schaffernicht, Nature Climate Change (23 March 2015), doi:10.1038/nclimate2554

Possible changes in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) provide a key source of uncertainty regarding future climate change. Maps of temperature trends over the twentieth century show a conspicuous region of cooling in the northern Atlantic. Here we present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that this cooling may be due to a reduction in the AMOC over the twentieth century and particularly after 1970. Since 1990 the AMOC seems to have partly recovered. This time evolution is consistently suggested by an AMOC index based on sea surface temperatures, by the hemispheric temperature difference, by coral-based proxies and by oceanic measurements. We discuss a possible contribution of the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet to the slowdown. Using a multi-proxy temperature reconstruction for the AMOC index suggests that the AMOC weakness after 1975 is an unprecedented event in the past millennium (p > 0.99). Further melting of Greenland in the coming decades could contribute to further weakening of the AMOC.

Damn, it’s cold here. I mean hot. Conservation of energy is weird that way.

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Planetesimal Formation by Aerodynamic Chondrule Accretion

by Tommy on 26/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.07347

Growth of asteroids, planetary embryos and Kuiper belt objects by chondrule accretion, Anders Johansen, Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, Pedro Lacerda and Martin Bizzarro, Accepted for Publication in Science Advances (A New AAAS Journal)

Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas-drag-assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo run-away accretion of chondrules within ~3 Myr, forming planetary embryos up to Mars sizes along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size-sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of mm-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disk life time outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is minor. In contrast, planetesimal accretion and chondrule accretion play more equal roles for the formation of Moon-sized embryos in the terrestrial planet formation region. These embryos are isolated from each other and accrete planetesimals only at a low rate. However, the continued accretion of chondrules destabilizes the oligarchic configuration and leads to the formation of Mars-sized embryos and terrestrial planets by a combination of direct chondrule accretion and giant impacts.

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The Vast Majority of ARM Accessible Asteroids are Stony

by Tommy on 26/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.07454

On the rotation rates and axis ratios of the smallest known near-Earth asteroids – the archetypes of the Asteroid Redirect Mission targets, Patrick Hatch and Paul Wiegert, Accepted by Planetary and Space Science

NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) has been proposed with the aim to capture a small asteroid a few meters in size and redirect it into an orbit around the Moon. There it can be investigated at leisure by astronauts aboard an Orion or other spacecraft. The target for the mission has not yet been selected, and there are very few potential targets currently known. Though sufficiently small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are thought to be numerous, they are also difficult to detect and characterize with current observational facilities. Here we collect the most up-to-date information on the smallest known near-Earth asteroids to outline the properties of these small NEAs as currently understood, in order to examine what the eventual ARM target might be like. Observational biases certainly mean that our sample is not an ideal representation of the true population of small NEAs. However our sample is representative of the eventual target list for the ARM mission, which will be compiled under very similar observational constraints unless dramatic changes are made to the way near-Earth asteroids are searched for and studied.

We find that the typical rotation period is 40 minutes. The mean and median axis ratios were 1.43 and 1.29. Rotation rates much faster than the spin barrier are seen, reaching below 30 seconds, and implying that most of these bodies are monoliths. Non-principal axis rotation is uncommon. Axial ratios often reach values as high as two, though no undisputed results reach above three. We find little correlation of axis ratio with size. The most common spectral type in the sample of small NEAs is S-type (> 90%), with only a handful of C and X types known.

This result basically kills the NASA ARM Asteroid Redirect Mission as originally designed.

So … let’s get a big boulder. A giant barbecue briquette.

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New Form of Two Dimensional Nano Ice Found in Graphene

by Tommy on 25/03/2015

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7544/full/nature14295.html

Square ice in graphene nanocapillaries, G. Algara-Siller, O. Lehtinen, F. C. Wang, R. R. Nair, U. Kaiser, H. A. Wu, A. K. Geim and I. V. Grigorieva, Nature, 519, 443–445 (26 March 2015), doi:10.1038/nature14295

Bulk water exists in many forms, including liquid, vapour and numerous crystalline and amorphous phases of ice, with hexagonal ice being responsible for the fascinating variety of snowflakes. Much less noticeable but equally ubiquitous is water adsorbed at interfaces and confined in microscopic pores. Such low-dimensional water determines aspects of various phenomena in materials science, geology, biology, tribology and nanotechnology. Theory suggests many possible phases for adsorbed and confined water, but it has proved challenging to assess its crystal structure experimentally. Here we report high-resolution electron microscopy imaging of water locked between two graphene sheets, an archetypal example of hydrophobic confinement. The observations show that the nanoconfined water at room temperature forms ‘square ice’—a phase having symmetry qualitatively different from the conventional tetrahedral geometry of hydrogen bonding between water molecules. Square ice has a high packing density with a lattice constant of 2.83 Å and can assemble in bilayer and trilayer crystallites. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that square ice should be present inside hydrophobic nanochannels independently of their exact atomic nature.

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Gas Giant Migration Causes Sparse Terrestrial Planet Formation

by Tommy on 24/03/2015

Here we have yet another university press release without a link to the published literature.

http://news.ucsc.edu/2015/03/wandering-jupiter.html

Somebody dug it up. Not me, though.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/03/18/1423252112

Jupiter’s decisive role in the inner Solar System’s early evolution, Konstantin Batygin and Greg Laughlin, PNAS (23 March 2015), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1423252112

The Solar System is an unusual member of the galactic planetary census in that it lacks planets that reside in close proximity to the Sun. In this work, we propose that the primordial nebula-driven process responsible for retention of Jupiter and Saturn at large orbital radii and sculpting Mars’ low mass is also responsible for clearing out the Solar System’s innermost region. Cumulatively, our results place the Solar System and the mechanisms that shaped its unique orbital architecture into a broader, extrasolar context.

The statistics of extrasolar planetary systems indicate that the default mode of planet formation generates planets with orbital periods shorter than 100 days and masses substantially exceeding that of the Earth. When viewed in this context, the Solar System is unusual. Here, we present simulations which show that a popular formation scenario for Jupiter and Saturn, in which Jupiter migrates inward from a > 5 astronomical units (AU) to a ≈ 1.5 AU before reversing direction, can explain the low overall mass of the Solar System’s terrestrial planets, as well as the absence of planets with a < 0.4 AU. Jupiter’s inward migration entrained s ≳ 10−100 km planetesimals into low-order mean motion resonances, shepherding and exciting their orbits. The resulting collisional cascade generated a planetesimal disk that, evolving under gas drag, would have driven any preexisting short-period planets into the Sun. In this scenario, the Solar System’s terrestrial planets formed from gas-starved mass-depleted debris that remained after the primary period of dynamical evolution.

Update: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.06945

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Greenhouse Gas Atmospheres of Water Planets Analyzed

by Tommy on 23/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.04835

Habitability of waterworlds: runaway greenhouses, atmospheric expansion and multiple climate states of pure water atmospheres, Colin Goldblatt, Accepted for Publication in Astrobiology

There are four different stable climate states for pure water atmospheres, as might exist on so-called “waterworlds”. I map these as a function of solar constant for planets ranging in size from Mars size to 10 Earth-mass. The states are: globally ice covered (Ts < 245 K), cold and damp (270 K < Ts < 290 K), hot and moist (350 K < Ts < 550 K) and very hot and dry (Ts < 900 K). No stable climate exists for 290 K < Ts < 350 K or 550 K < Ts < 900 K. The union of hot moist and cold damp climates describe the liquid water habitable zone, the width and location of which depends on planet mass. At each solar constant, two or three different climate states are stable. This is a consequence of strong non-linearities in both thermal emission and the net absorption of sunlight.

Across the range of planet sizes, I account for the atmospheres expanding to high altitudes as they warm. The emitting and absorbing surfaces (optical depth of unity) move to high altitude, making their area larger than the planet surface, so more thermal radiation is emitted and more sunlight absorbed (the former dominates). The atmospheres of small planets expand more due to weaker gravity: the effective runaway greenhouse threshold is about 35 Wm-2 higher for Mars, 10 Wm-2 higher for Earth or Venus but only a few Wm-2 higher for a 10 Earth-mass planet. There is an underlying (expansion neglected) trend of increasing runaway greenhouse threshold with planetary size (40 Wm-2 higher for a 10 Earth-mass planet than for Mars). Summing these opposing trends means that Venus-size (or slightly smaller) planets are most susceptible to a runaway greenhouse.

The habitable zone for pure water atmospheres is very narrow, with an insolation range of 0.07 times the solar constant. A wider habitable zone requires background gas and greenhouse gas; N2 and CO2 on Earth, which are biologically controlled. Thus, habitability depends on inhabitance.

It’s gotta be tough running a space program on these planets.

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Quantum Critical Superconducting Density Fluctuations Analyzed

by Tommy on 23/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.05997

Interplay between density and superconducting quantum critical fluctuations, S. Caprara, N. Bergeal, J. Lesueur and M. Grilli

We consider the case of a density-driven metal-superconductor transition in the proximity of an electronic phase separation. In particular we investigate the interplay between superconducting fluctuations and density fluctuations, which become quantum critical when the electronic phase separation vanishes at zero temperature into a quantum critical point. In this situation the critical dynamical density fluctuations strongly affect the dynamics of the Cooper pair fluctuations, which acquire a more singular character with a z=3 dynamical critical index. This gives rise to a scenario that possibly rules the disappearance of superconductivity when the electron density is reduced by elecrostatic gating at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface.

These crazy Italians just won’t quit!

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Electronic Properties of Bismuth Under Strain Analyzed

by Tommy on 22/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.04050

Electronic phase transitions of bismuth under strain from relativistic self-consistent GW calculations, Irene Aguilera, Christoph Friedrich and Stefan Blügel

We present quasiparticle self-consistent GW (QSGW) calculations of semimetallic bulk Bi. We go beyond the conventional QSGW method by including the spin-orbit coupling throughout the self-consistency cycle. This approach improves the description of the electron and the hole pockets considerably with respect to standard density functional theory (DFT), leading to excellent agreement with experiment. We employ this relativistic QSGW approach to conduct a study of the semimetal-to-semiconductor and the trivial-to-topological transitions that Bi experiences under strain. DFT predicts that an unphysically large strain is needed for such transitions. We show, by means of the relativistic QSGW description of the electronic structure, that an in-plane tensile strain of only 0.3% and a compressive strain of 0.4% are sufficient to cause the semimetal-to-semiconductor and the trivial-to-topological phase transitions, respectively. Thus, the required strain moves into a regime that is likely to be realizable in experiment, which opens up the possibility to explore bulklike topological behavior of pure Bi.

This should give you a hint of what is yet to come with bismuth.

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Hydrogenated Bismuth Honeycomb Layers on Silicon Carbide Proposed As Room Temperature Topological Insulators

by Tommy on 20/03/2015

http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/17/2/025005

The nontrivial electronic structure of Bi/Sb honeycombs on SiC(0001), Chia-Hsiu Hsu, Zhi-Quan Huang, Feng-Chuan Chuang, Chien-Cheng Kuo, Yu-Tzu Liu, Hsin Lin and Arun Bansil, New J. Phys., 17, 025005 (February 2015), doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/2/025005

We discuss two-dimensional (2D) topological insulators (TIs) based on planar Bi/Sb honeycombs on a SiC(0001) substrate using first-principles computations. The Bi/Sb planar honeycombs on SiC(0001) are shown to support a nontrivial band gap as large as 0.56 eV, which harbors a Dirac cone lying within the band gap. Effects of hydrogen atoms placed on either just one side or on both sides of the planar honeycombs are examined. The hydrogenated honeycombs are found to exhibit topologically protected edge states for zigzag as well as armchair edges, with a wide band gap of 1.03 and 0.41 eV in bismuth and antimony films, respectively. Our findings pave the way for using planar bismuth and antimony honeycombs as potential new 2D-TI platforms for room-temperature applications.

http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR15/Session/W7.5

Whoo hoo, Whoop de doo.

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Dawn Will Wreck Your Ceres Theories

by Tommy on 19/03/2015
Ceres Rotating

Ceres Rotating

Dawn will wreck your Ceres theories.

Try saying that five times really fast.

LPSC 2015 Session PDF

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Trillions and Trillions of Habitable Planets in the Universe

by Tommy on 18/03/2015
Hubble Space Telescope Galaxies

Hubble Space Telescope Galaxies

Niels Bohr Institute Press Release

http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/448/4/3608

Using the inclinations of Kepler systems to prioritize new Titius–Bode-based exoplanet predictions, Using the inclinations of Kepler systems to prioritize new Titius–Bode-based exoplanet predictions, Timothy Bovaird, Charles H. Lineweaver and Steffen K. Jacobsen, MNRAS, 448 (4): 3608-3627 (April 21, 2015) doi: 10.1093/mnras/stv221

We analyse a sample of multiple-exoplanet systems which contain at least three transiting planets detected by the Kepler mission (‘Kepler multiples’). We use a generalized Titius–Bode relation to predict the periods of 228 additional planets in 151 of these Kepler multiples. These Titius–Bode-based predictions suggest that there are, on average, 2 ± 1 planets in the habitable zone of each star. We estimate the inclination of the invariable plane for each system and prioritize our planet predictions by their geometric probability to transit. We highlight a short list of 77 predicted planets in 40 systems with a high geometric probability to transit, resulting in an expected detection rate of ∼15  percent, ∼3 times higher than the detection rate of our previous Titius–Bode-based predictions.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.6230

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Barack Obama Thinks Stoners Should Solve His Problems

by Tommy on 16/03/2015

Let’s see, carbon emissions and climate change, religious nutjobs the world over, rampant banking corruption, police fascism, war and drug cartels, debt and default, all problems that he either created himself or has done absolutely nothing about, and yet he thinks that innovating ourselves out of these really bad situations that are no fault of stoners, using a ubiquitous fast growing versatile weed, should still be prosecuted. Fuck you, dude. I just can’t wait until 2017.

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Optical Anti-Stokes Fluorescence Cooling Down To 91 K

by Tommy on 13/03/2015
Optical Anti-Stokes Fluorescence Cooling Efficiency

Optical Anti-Stokes Fluorescence Cooling Efficiency

http://spie.org/x112976.xml

First solid-state cooling below 100K, Seth Melgaard, Denis Seletskiy, Alexander Albrecht and Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, SPIE Newsroom (13 March 2013)

Advances in material purity and laser light absorption offer new possibilities for vibration-free cryogenic cooling.

DOI: 10.1117/2.1201503.005790

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New Technique Observes Sharp Superconducting Fluctuations

by Tommy on 13/03/2015
Superconducting Fluctuations Near Critical Transition Temperature Tc

Superconducting Fluctuations Near Critical Transition Temperature Tc

http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150209/srep08315/full/srep08315.html

Resonant tunneling of fluctuation Cooper pairs, Alexey Galda, A. S. Mel’nikov and V. M. Vinokur, Scientific Reports, 5, 8315 (9 February 2015) doi:10.1038/srep08315

Superconducting fluctuations have proved to be an irreplaceable source of information about microscopic and macroscopic material parameters that could be inferred from the experiment. According to common wisdom, the effect of thermodynamic fluctuations in the vicinity of the superconducting transition temperature, Tc, is to round off all of the sharp corners and discontinuities, which otherwise would have been expected to occur at Tc. Here we report the current spikes due to radiation-induced resonant tunneling of fluctuation Cooper pairs between two superconductors which grow even sharper and more pronounced upon approach to Tc. This striking effect offers an unprecedented tool for direct measurements of fluctuation Cooper pair lifetime, which is key to our understanding of the fluctuation regime, most notably to nature of the pseudogap state in high-temperature superconductors. Our finding marks a radical departure from the conventional view of superconducting fluctuations as a blurring and rounding phenomenon.

This should clear things up a bit. Russia and America play nice for once.

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Single Site Atom Imaging of Ultracold Fermions Developed

by Tommy on 10/03/2015
Site Resolved Fermionic Ultracold Atom Image

Site Resolved Fermionic Ultracold Atom Image

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.02648

A Quantum Gas Microscope for Fermionic Atoms, Lawrence W. Cheuk, Matthew A. Nichols, Melih Okan, Thomas Gersdorf, Vinay V. Ramasesh, Waseem S. Bakr, Thomas Lompe and Martin W. Zwierlein

Strongly interacting fermions define the properties of complex matter at all densities, from atomic nuclei to modern solid state materials and neutron stars. Ultracold atomic Fermi gases have emerged as a pristine platform for the study of many-fermion systems. Here we realize a quantum gas microscope for fermionic 40K atoms trapped in an optical lattice, which allows one to probe strongly correlated fermions at the single atom level. We combine 3D Raman sideband cooling with high-resolution optics to simultaneously cool and image individual atoms with single lattice site resolution at a detection fidelity above 95%. The imaging process leaves each atom predominantly in the 3D ground state of its lattice site, inviting the implementation of a Maxwell’s demon to assemble low-entropy many-body states. Single site resolved imaging of fermions enables the direct observation of magnetic order, time resolved measurements of the spread of particle correlations, and the detection of many-fermion entanglement.

Maxwell’s Demon has officially escaped from the box.

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Preliminary Analysis of Electron Phonon Coupling Performed

by Tommy on 9/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.01858

Classification of Charge Density Waves Based on Their Nature, Xuetao Zhu, Yanwei Cao, Jiandi Zhang, E. W. Plummer and Jiandong Guo, PNAS, 112, 8, 2367-2371 (24 February 2015)

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424791112

The concept of a Charge Density Wave (CDW) permeates much of condensed matter physics and chemistry. Conceptually, CDWs have their origin rooted in the instability of a one-dimensional system described by Peierls. The extension of this concept to reduced dimensional systems has led to the concept of Fermi surface nesting (FSN), which dictates the wave vector qCDW of the CDW and the corresponding lattice distortion. The idea is that segments of the Fermi contours are connected by qCDW, resulting in the effective screening of phonons inducing Kohn Anomalies in their dispersion at qCDW, driving a lattice restructuring at low temperatures. There is growing theoretical and experimental evidence that this picture fails in many real systems and in fact it is the momentum dependence of the electron-phonon coupling (EPC) matrix element that determines the characteristic of CDW phase (qCDW). Here, based on the published results for the prototypical CDW system 2H-NbSe2, we show how well the q-dependent EPC matrix element, but not the FSN, can describe the origin of CDW. We further demonstrate a procedure of combing electronic band and phonon (dispersion and linewidth) measurements to extract the EPC matrix element, allowing the electronic states involved in the EPC to be identified. Thus we show that a large EPC does not necessarily induce the CDW phase, with Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ (Bi2212) as the example, and the charge ordered phenomena observed in various cuprates are not driven by FSN or EPC. To experimentally resolve the microscopic picture of EPC will lead to a fundamental change in the way we think about, write about, and classify Charge Density Waves.

Questions, questions and more questions.

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Pressure Reverses the Charge Density Wave CDW Suppression of the YBCO Superconducting Dome

by Tommy on 9/03/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.02033

Suppression of charge order by pressure in the cuprate superconductor YBa2Cu3Oy : Restoring the full superconducting dome, O. Cyr-Choinière, D. LeBoeuf, S. Badoux, S. Dufour-Beauséjour, D. A. Bonn, W. N. Hardy, R. Liang, N. Doiron-Leyraud and Louis Taillefer

It has recently become clear that cuprate superconductors have a universal tendency to form charge-density-wave order. A fundamental question is the relation between this charge order and the pseudogap phase. A key feature is that this tendency is strongest at a doping p≃0.12, irrespective of the modulation period. Here we show that pressure suppresses charge order in YBa2Cu3Oy, but does not affect the pseudogap phase. The latter is therefore not simply a precursor of the former. Looking at high-pressure data, we find that when charge order is suppressed, the superconducting dome in the phase diagram of YBa2Cu3Oy is transformed so that it no longer dips but instead now peaks at p≃0.12. The fact that in the absence of mutual competition the domes of superconductivity and of charge order both peak at the same doping is strong evidence for the existence of a third phase that competes with both orders at low doping, thereby shaping the phase diagram of cuprates.

Here is one for the books.

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The Surface of the Fifth Planet Ceres is Now Fully Revealed

by Tommy on 6/03/2015
Ceres Surface Map

Ceres Surface Map

Are we there yet?

No Comments

SpaceX Broadcasts Upper Stage Oxygen Tank Fluid Dynamics

by Tommy on 4/03/2015
SpaceX Upper Stage Oxygen Tank Fluid Dynamics

SpaceX Upper Stage Oxygen Tank Fluid Dynamics

Live on the internet.

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Lockheed Martin Space Systems Satellite Explodes at 800 km

by Tommy on 3/03/2015

What a bunch of fuckwads. These are the same people that brought you the Orion debacle.

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Existence of Widespread Ultra Small Nanobacteria Confirmed

by Tommy on 2/03/2015

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150227/ncomms7372/full/ncomms7372.html

Diverse uncultivated ultra-small bacterial cells in groundwater, Birgit Luef, Kyle R. Frischkorn, Kelly C. Wrighton, Hoi-Ying N. Holman, Giovanni Birarda, Brian C. Thomas, Andrea Singh, Kenneth H. Williams, Cristina E. Siegerist, Susannah G. Tringe, Kenneth H. Downing, Luis R. Comolli and Jillian F. Banfield, Nature Communications, 6, 6372 (27 February 2015)

Bacteria from phyla lacking cultivated representatives are widespread in natural systems and some have very small genomes. Here we test the hypothesis that these cells are small and thus might be enriched by filtration for coupled genomic and ultrastructural characterization. Metagenomic analysis of groundwater that passed through a ~0.2-μm filter reveals a wide diversity of bacteria from the WWE3, OP11 and OD1 candidate phyla. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that, despite morphological variation, cells consistently have small cell size (0.009±0.002 μm3). Ultrastructural features potentially related to cell and genome size minimization include tightly packed spirals inferred to be DNA, few densely packed ribosomes and a variety of pili-like structures that might enable inter-organism interactions that compensate for biosynthetic capacities inferred to be missing from genomic data. The results suggest that extremely small cell size is associated with these relatively common, yet little known organisms.

doi:10.1038/ncomms7372

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The Mysterious Fifth Planet Ceres Begins to Reveal its Secrets

by Tommy on 26/02/2015
Ceres Bright Crater Spots

Ceres Bright Crater Spots

Whoa!

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The Surface of the Fifth Planet Ceres is Now Fully Resolved

by Tommy on 25/02/2015
Ceres Dawn Fully Resolved

Ceres Dawn Fully Resolved

Screw Mars! The IAU can now get moving on their vitally important task of naming craters.

Everything has got to have a name, right?

Graboids!

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A Modern Discussion of the Seebeck Coefficient is Presented

by Tommy on 24/02/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.05697

A note on the electrochemical nature of the thermoelectric power, Y. Apertet, H. Ouerdane, C. Goupil and Ph. Lecoeur

While thermoelectric transport theory is well established and widely applied, there remains some degree of confusion on the proper thermodynamic definition of the Seebeck coefficient (or thermoelectric power) which is a measure of the strength of the mutual interaction between electric charge transport and heat transport. Indeed, as one considers a thermoelectric system, it is not always clear whether the Seebeck coefficient is to be related to the gradient of the system’s chemical potential or to the gradient of its electrochemical potential. This pedagogical article aims to shed light on this confusion and clarify the thermodynamic definition of the thermoelectric coupling. First, we recall how the Seebeck coefficient is experimentally determined. We then turn to the analysis of the relationship between the thermoelectric power and the relevant potentials in the thermoelectric system: As the definitions of the chemical and electrochemical potentials are clarified, we show that, with a proper consideration of each potential, one may derive the Seebeck coefficient of a non-degenerate semiconductor without the need to introduce a contact potential as seen sometimes in the literature. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the phenomenological expression of the electrical current resulting from thermoelectric effects may be directly obtained from the drift-diffusion equation.

This is extremely enlightening.

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Metastable Excitonic Impurity States Found in a Fermi Gas

by Tommy on 24/02/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.06044

Excitonic states of an impurity in a Fermi gas, Zhihao Lan and Carlos Lobo

We study excitonic states of an atomic impurity in a Fermi gas, i.e., bound states consisting of the impurity and a hole. Previous studies considered bound states of the impurity with particles from the Fermi sea where the holes only formed part of the particle-hole dressing. Within a two-channel model, we find that, for a wide range of parameters, excitonic states are not ground but metastable states. We further calculate the decay rates of the excitonic states to polaronic and dimeronic states and find they are long lived, scaling as ΓExcPol ∝ (Δω)5.5 and ΓExcDim ∝ (Δω)4. We also find that a new continuum of exciton-particle states should be considered alongside the previously known dimeron-hole continuum in spectroscopic measurements. Excitons must therefore be considered as a new ingredient in the study of metastable physics currently being explored experimentally.

Ok then. There you have it.

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New Analytic Results on the BCS-BEC Transition Derived

by Tommy on 24/02/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.06452

Scattering length of composite bosons in the 3D BCS-BEC crossover, L. Salasnich and G. Bighin, Accepted for Publication in Phys. Rev. A

We study the zero-temperature grand potential of a three-dimensional superfluid made of ultracold fermionic alkali-metal atoms in the BCS-BEC crossover. In particular, we analyze the zero-point energy of both fermionic single-particle excitations and bosonic collective excitations. The bosonic elementary excitations, which are crucial to obtain a reliable equation of state in the BEC regime, are obtained with a low-momentum expansion up to the forth order of the quadratic (Gaussian) action of the fluctuating pairing field. By performing a cutoff regularization and renormalization of Gaussian fluctuations, we find that the scattering length aB of composite bosons, bound states of fermionic pairs, is given by aB=(2/3)aF, where aF is the scattering length of fermions.

This is a new crop of crazy Italians.

Very good stuff.

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T-Matrix Approximation Yields BCS-BEC Pseudogap Behavior and the Breakdown of Fermi Liquid Theory in the Normal State

by Tommy on 22/02/2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.05022

Quasiparticle Dispersions and Lifetimes in the Normal State of the BCS-BEC Crossover, Matthew D. Reichl and Erich J. Mueller

We compute the spectral density in the normal phase of an interacting homogenous Fermi gas using a T-matrix approximation. We fit the quasiparticle peaks of the spectral density to BCS-like dispersion relations, and extract estimates of a “pseudo-gap” energy scale and an effective Fermi-wavevector as a function of interaction strength. We find that the effective Fermi-wavevector of the quasiparticles vanishes when the inverse scattering length exceeds some positive threshold. We also find that near unitarity the quasiparticle lifetimes, estimated from the widths of the peaks in the spectral density, approach values on the order of the inverse Fermi-energy. These results are consistent with the “breakdown of Fermi liquid theory” observed in recent experiments.

Superstars!

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Behold the Surface of the Mysterious Fifth Planet Ceres

by Tommy on 17/02/2015
Fifth Planet Ceres Dawn

Fifth Planet Ceres Dawn

Now 50,000 miles away.

They’re giant sinkholes!

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Red Luminescence in Zero Dimensional Organic Bismuth Iodide

by Tommy on 15/02/2015

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022231315000137

Structural characterization, vibrational, optical properties and DFT investigation of a new luminescent organic–inorganic material: (C6H14N)3Bi2I9, Hajer Dammak, Aymen Yangui, Smail Triki, Younes Abid and Habib Feki, Journal of Luminescence, Volume 161, Pages 214–220 (May 2015)

The new organic–inorganic compound (C6H14N)3Bi2I9 has been grown by the solvent evaporation method. The zero-dimensional (0-D) structure for the bismuth-iodide (C6H14N)3Bi2I9 has been determined by the single X-ray diffraction. It crystallizes at room temperature in the non-centrosymmetric space group P1c1 and consists of a cyclohexylammonium cations and a discrete (0-D) anion built up of face-sharing bioctahedra which are interconnected by means of hydrogen bonding contacts N–H⋯I. The optimized molecular structure and vibrational spectra were calculated by the Density Functional Theory (DFT) method using the B3LYP function with the LanL2DZ basis set. Good consistency is found between the calculated results and the experimental structure, IR, and Raman spectra. The detailed interpretation of the vibrational modes was carried out. Optical transmission measurements performed on thin films of (C6H14N)3Bi2I9 revealed three absorption bands at 3.51, 2.91 and 2.46 eV. Photoluminescence measurements showed a peak at around 2.06 eV. The unaided-eye-detectable red luminescence emission comes from the excitonic transition in the Bi2I9 anions.

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