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[en] We estimate the long-duration gamma-ray burst (LGRB) progenitor rate using our recent work on the effects of environmental metallically on LGRB formation in concert with supernovae (SNe) statistics via an approach patterned loosely off the Drake equation. Beginning with the cosmic star formation history, we consider the expected number of broad-line Type Ic events (the SNe type associated with LGRBs) that are in low-metallicity host environments adjusted by the contribution of high-metallicity host environments at a much reduced rate. We then compare this estimate to the observed LGRB rate corrected for instrumental selection effects to provide a combined estimate of the efficiency fraction of these progenitors to produce LGRBs and the fraction of which are beamed in our direction. From this we estimate that an aligned LGRB occurs for approximately every 4000 ± 2000 low-metallically broad-lined SNe Ic. Therefore, if one assumes a semi-nominal beaming factor of 100, then only about one such supernova out of 40 produce an LGRB. Finally, we propose an off-axis LGRB search strategy of targeting only broad-line Type Ic events that occur in low-metallicity hosts for radio observation.
[en] Recently, it has been suggested that the metallicity aversion of Long-duration Gamma Ray Bursts (LGRBs) is not intrinsic to their formation, but rather a consequence of the anti-correlation between star formation and metallicity seen in the general galaxy population. To investigate this proposal, we compare the metallicity of the hosts of LGRBs, broad-lined Type Ic (Ic-bl) supernovae (SNe), and Type II SNe to each other and to the metallicity distribution of star-forming galaxies using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to represent galaxies in the local universe and the Team Keck Redshift Survey (TKRS) for galaxies at intermediate redshifts. The differing metallicity distributions of LGRB hosts and the star formation in local galaxies forces us to conclude that the low-metallicity preference of LGRBs is not primarily driven by the anti-correlation between star formation and metallicity, but rather must be overwhelmingly due to the astrophysics of the LGRBs themselves. Three quarters of our LGRB sample are found at metallicities below 12+log(O/H) < 8.6, while less than a one-tenth of local star formation is at similarly low metallicities. However, our SN samples are statistically consistent with the metallicity distribution of the general galaxy population. Additionally, we show that the star formation rate distribution of the LGRB and SNe host populations are consistent with the star formation rate distribution of the SDSS galaxy sample. This provides further evidence that the low-metallicity distribution of LGRBs is not caused by the general properties of star-forming galaxies. Using the TKRS population of galaxies, we can exclude the possibility that the LGRB host metallicity aversion is caused by the decrease in galaxy metallicity with redshift, as this effect is clearly much smaller than the observed LGRB host metallicity bias over the redshift span of our sample. The presence of the strong metallicity difference between LGRBs and Type Ic-bl SNe largely eliminates the possibility that the observed LGRB metallicity bias is a byproduct of a difference in the initial mass functions of the galaxy populations. Rather, metallicity below half-solar must be a fundamental component of the evolutionary process that separates LGRBs from the vast majority of Type Ic-bl SNe and from the bulk of local star formation
[en] An unsteady formulation of the vortex lattice method, VLM, is presented that uses a force- free representation of the wake behind a horizontal axis wind turbine, HAWT, to calculate the aerodynamic loading on a turbine operating in the wake of an upstream rotor. A Cartesian velocity grid is superimposed over the computational domain to facilitate the representation of the atmospheric turbulence surrounding the turbine and wind shear. The wake of an upstream rotor is modelled using two methods: a mean velocity deficit with superimposed turbulence, based on experimental observations, and a purely numeric periodic boundary condition. Both methods are treated as frozen and propagated with the velocity grid. Measurements of the mean thrust and blade root bending moment on a three bladed horizontal axis rotor modelling a 5 MW HAWT at 1:250 scale were carried out in a wind tunnel. Comparisons are made between operation in uniform flow and in the wake of a similarly loaded rotor approximately 6.5 diameters upstream. The measurements were used to validate the output from the VLM simulations, assuming a completely rigid rotor. The trends in the simulation thrust predictions are found to compare well with the uniform flow case, except at low tip speed ratios where there are losses due to stall which are yet to be included in the model. The simple wake model predicts the mean deficit, whilst the periodic boundary condition captures more of the frequency content of the loading in an upstream wake. However, all the thrust loads are over-predicted. The simulation results severely overestimate the bending moment, which needs addressing. However, the reduction in bending due to the simple wake model is found to reflect the experimental data reasonably well
[en] There is now strong evidence that long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are preferentially formed in low-metallicity environments. However, the magnitude of this effect and its functional dependence on metallicity have not been well characterized. In our previous paper, we compared the metallicity distribution of LGRB host galaxies to that of star-forming galaxies in the local universe. Here we build upon this work by in effect dividing one distribution by the other, and thus directly determine the relative rate of LGRB formation as a function of metallicity in the low-redshift universe. We find a dramatic cutoff in LGRB formation above a metallicity of in the KK04 scale, with LGRBs forming between 10 and 50 times more frequently per unit star formation below this cutoff than above. Furthermore, our data suggest that the rate of LGRB formation per unit star formation continues to fall above this break. We estimate that the LGRB formation rate per unit star formation may drop by as much as a factor of 100 between one-third solar and solar metallicity.
[en] The direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by extrasolar planets, spatially resolved from their parent star, is a major frontier in the study of other solar systems. Direct detection will provide statistical information on planets in 5-50 AU orbits, inaccessible to current Doppler searches, and allow spectral characterization of radius, temperature, surface gravity, and perhaps composition. Achieving this will require new dedicated high-contrast instruments. One such system under construction is the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI.) This combines a high-order/high-speed adaptive optics system to control wavefront errors from the Earth's atmosphere, an advanced coronagraph to block diffraction, ultrasmooth optics, a precision infrared interferometer to measure and correct systematic errors, and a integral field spectrograph/polarimeter to image and characterize target planetary systems. We predict that GPI will be able to detect planets with brightness less than 10-7 of their parent star, sufficient to observe warm self-luminous planets around a large population of targets
[en] Ground based adaptive optics is a potentially powerful technique for direct imaging detection of extrasolar planets. Turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere imposes some fundamental limits, but the large size of ground-based telescopes compared to spacecraft can work to mitigate this. We are carrying out a design study for a dedicated ultra-high-contrast system, the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager (XAOPI), which could be deployed on an 8-10m telescope in 2007. With a 4096-actuator MEMS deformable mirror it should achieve Strehl >0.9 in the near-IR. Using an innovative spatially filtered wavefront sensor, the system will be optimized to control scattered light over a large radius and suppress artifacts caused by static errors. We predict that it will achieve contrast levels of 107-108 at angular separations of 0.2-0.8 inches around a large sample of stars (R<7-10), sufficient to detect Jupiter-like planets through their near-IR emission over a wide range of ages and masses. We are constructing a high-contrast AO testbed to verify key concepts of our system, and present preliminary results here, showing an RMS wavefront error of <1.3 nm with a flat mirror
[en] A liquid para-hydrogen target, of 30 cm length and 30 cm diameter, has been set up and is under testing at LANL for the measurement of the parity-violating γ-asymmetry in the capture of polarized cold neutron by the proton i.e. n + p → d + γ
[en] This paper describes the use of an inviscid approach to model a ducted turbine – also known as a diffuser augmented turbine – and a comparison of results with a particular one-dimensional theory. The aim of the investigation was to gain a better understanding of the relationship between a real duct and the ideal diffuser, which is a concept that is developed in the theory. A range of right angled ducts, which have a rim for a 90° exit angle, were modelled. As a result, the performance of right angled ducts has been characterised in inviscid flow. It was concluded that right angled ducts cannot match the performance of their associated ideal diffuser and that the optimum rotor loading for these turbines varies with the duct dimensions
[en] We quantify possible differences between turbulent dynamo action in the Sun and the dynamo action studied in idealized simulations. For this purpose, we compare Fourier-space shell-to-shell energy transfer rates of three incrementally more complex dynamo simulations: an incompressible, periodic simulation driven by random flow, a simulation of Boussinesq convection, and a simulation of fully compressible convection that includes physics relevant to the near-surface layers of the Sun. For each of the simulations studied, we find that the dynamo mechanism is universal in the kinematic regime because energy is transferred from the turbulent flow to the magnetic field from wavenumbers in the inertial range of the energy spectrum. The addition of physical effects relevant to the solar near-surface layers, including stratification, compressibility, partial ionization, and radiative energy transport, does not appear to affect the nature of the dynamo mechanism. The role of inertial-range shear stresses in magnetic field amplification is independent from outer-scale circumstances, including forcing and stratification. Although the shell-to-shell energy transfer functions have similar properties to those seen in mean-flow driven dynamos in each simulation studied, the saturated states of these simulations are not universal because the flow at the driving wavenumbers is a significant source of energy for the magnetic field.
[en] Coupling magnetic elements to metamaterial structures creates hybrid metamolecules with new opportunities. Here we report on the magnetic control of a metamolecule resonance, by utilizing the interaction between a single split ring resonator (SRR) and a magnetic thin film of permalloy. To suppress eddy current shielding, the permalloy films are patterned into arrays of 30–500 μm diameter discs. Strong hybridized resonances were observed at the anticrossing between the split ring resonance and the ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) of the permalloy. In particular, it is possible to achieve 40 dB modulation of the electric (symmetric) mode of the SRR on sweeping the applied magnetic field through the SRR/FMR anticrossing. The results open the way to the design of planar metamaterials, with potential applications in nonlinear metamaterials, tunable metamaterials and spintronics. (papers)