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  1. The problem of continuous inverse optimal control (over finite time horizon) is to learn the unknown cost function over the sequence of continuous control variables from expert demonstrations. In this article, we study this fundamental problem in the framework of energy-based model, where the observed expert trajectories are assumed to be random samples from a probability density function defined as the exponential of the negative cost function up to a normalizing constant. The parameters of the cost function are learned by maximum likelihood via an “analysis by synthesis” scheme, which iterates (1) synthesis step: sample the synthesized trajectories from the current probability density using the Langevin dynamics via back-propagation through time, and (2) analysis step: update the model parameters based on the statistical difference between the synthesized trajectories and the observed trajectories. Given the fact that an efficient optimization algorithm is usually available for an optimal control problem, we also consider a convenient approximation of the above learning method, where we replace the sampling in the synthesis step by optimization. Moreover, to make the sampling or optimization more efficient, we propose to train the energy-based model simultaneously with a top-down trajectory generator via cooperative learning, where the trajectory generator ismore »used to fast initialize the synthesis step of the energy-based model. We demonstrate the proposed methods on autonomous driving tasks, and show that they can learn suitable cost functions for optimal control.« less
  2. Abstract We show that highly confined superfluid films are extremely nonlinear mechanical resonators, offering the prospect to realize a mechanical qubit. Specifically, we consider third-sound surface waves, with nonlinearities introduced by the van der Waals interaction with the substrate. Confining these waves to a disk, we derive analytic expressions for the cubic and quartic nonlinearities and determine the resonance frequency shifts they introduce. We predict single-phonon shifts that are three orders of magnitude larger than in current state-of-the-art nonlinear resonators. Combined with the exquisitely low intrinsic dissipation of superfluid helium and the strongly suppressed acoustic radiation loss in phononic crystal cavities, we predict that this could allow blockade interactions between phonons as well as two-level-system-like behavior. Our work provides a pathway towards extreme mechanical nonlinearities, and towards quantum devices that use mechanical resonators as qubits.
  3. High rates of dispersal can breakdown coadapted gene complexes. However, concentrated genomic architecture (i.e., genomic islands of divergence) can suppress recombination to allow evolution of local adaptations despite high gene flow. Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus) is a highly dispersive anadromous fish. Observed trait diversity and evidence for genetic basis of traits suggests it may be locally adapted. We addressed whether concentrated genomic architecture could influence local adaptation for Pacific lamprey. Using two new whole genome assemblies and genotypes from 7,716 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci in 518 individuals from across the species range, we identified four genomic islands of divergence (on chromosomes 01, 02, 04, and 22). We determined robust phenotype-by-genotype relationships by testing multiple traits across geographic sites. These trait associations probably explain genomic divergence across the species’ range. We genotyped a subset of 302 broadly distributed SNPs in 2,145 individuals for association testing for adult body size, sexual maturity, migration distance and timing, adult swimming ability, and larval growth. Body size traits were strongly associated with SNPs on chromosomes 02 and 04. Moderate associations also implicated SNPs on chromosome 01 as being associated with variation in female maturity. Finally, we used candidate SNPs to extrapolate a heterogeneous spatiotemporalmore »distribution of these predicted phenotypes based on independent data sets of larval and adult collections. These maturity and body size results guide future elucidation of factors driving regional optimization of these traits for fitness. Pacific lamprey is culturally important and imperiled. This research addresses biological uncertainties that challenge restoration efforts.« less
  4. Abstract The positron, the antiparticle of the electron, predicted by Dirac in 1931 and discovered by Anderson in 1933, plays a key role in many scientific and everyday endeavours. Notably, the positron is a constituent of antihydrogen, the only long-lived neutral antimatter bound state that can currently be synthesized at low energy, presenting a prominent system for testing fundamental symmetries with high precision. Here, we report on the use of laser cooled Be + ions to sympathetically cool a large and dense plasma of positrons to directly measured temperatures below 7 K in a Penning trap for antihydrogen synthesis. This will likely herald a significant increase in the amount of antihydrogen available for experimentation, thus facilitating further improvements in studies of fundamental symmetries.
  5. Abstract The photon—the quantum excitation of the electromagnetic field—is massless but carries momentum. A photon can therefore exert a force on an object upon collision 1 . Slowing the translational motion of atoms and ions by application of such a force 2,3 , known as laser cooling, was first demonstrated 40 years ago 4,5 . It revolutionized atomic physics over the following decades 6–8 , and it is now a workhorse in many fields, including studies on quantum degenerate gases, quantum information, atomic clocks and tests of fundamental physics. However, this technique has not yet been applied to antimatter. Here we demonstrate laser cooling of antihydrogen 9 , the antimatter atom consisting of an antiproton and a positron. By exciting the 1S–2P transition in antihydrogen with pulsed, narrow-linewidth, Lyman-α laser radiation 10,11 , we Doppler-cool a sample of magnetically trapped antihydrogen. Although we apply laser cooling in only one dimension, the trap couples the longitudinal and transverse motions of the anti-atoms, leading to cooling in all three dimensions. We observe a reduction in the median transverse energy by more than an order of magnitude—with a substantial fraction of the anti-atoms attaining submicroelectronvolt transverse kinetic energies. We also report the observationmore »of the laser-driven 1S–2S transition in samples of laser-cooled antihydrogen atoms. The observed spectral line is approximately four times narrower than that obtained without laser cooling. The demonstration of laser cooling and its immediate application has far-reaching implications for antimatter studies. A more localized, denser and colder sample of antihydrogen will drastically improve spectroscopic 11–13 and gravitational 14 studies of antihydrogen in ongoing experiments. Furthermore, the demonstrated ability to manipulate the motion of antimatter atoms by laser light will potentially provide ground-breaking opportunities for future experiments, such as anti-atomic fountains, anti-atom interferometry and the creation of antimatter molecules.« less
  6. Objective: The purpose of this paper is to briefly describe the initial stages of our efforts towards the development of easy to manufacture, low-cost, three-dimensional (3D) printed prosthetics. Specifically, here we describe the design of an upper-limb prosthetic for youths. When private insurance and public funding are insufficient, financial resources are limiting factors in obtaining quality prosthetics for the amputee. The need for cost-effective, economical solutions for prosthetics is particularly important for children in that they frequently outgrow them and costs are prohibitively expensive. Thus, 3D printed prosthetics may pose as a potential solution. In parallel to the above objective, additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) knowledge and training, within the rapidly growing field of Biomedical Engineering (or BME), is becoming increasingly important, in that it may provide solutions for numerous medically-related applications. As such, it is imperative that 3D printing exposure be incorporated, for research-based, as well as experiential project-based, contexts. Methods: Well-known mechanical design processes and quality function deployment were implemented here to design a prosthetic that could aid youths suffering from upper-limb loss. Computer-generated designs were used to in conjunction with a Cubify 3D printer to create the prosthetic hand components. Results: A simple, accessible, affordable design formore »an upper-limb was assembled that costed only $25. Conclusions: In the near-future, commercially available 3D printers, may make developing one’s own prosthetics an easy to accomplish task within their home environment. In essence, this process would create a tighter coupling between how a product is conceived, developed, and manufactured, as well as alleviate costs.« less
  7. At the historic Shelter Island Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in 1947, Willis Lamb reported an unexpected feature in the fine structure of atomic hydrogen: a separation of the 2S1/2 and 2P1/2 states1. The observation of this separation, now known as the Lamb shift, marked an important event in the evolution of modern physics, inspiring others to develop the theory of quantum electrodynamics2–5. Quantum electrodynamics also describes antimatter, but it has only recently become possible to synthesize and trap atomic antimatter to probe its structure. Mirroring the historical development of quantum atomic physics in the twentieth century, modern measurements on anti-atoms represent a unique approach for testing quantum electrodynamics and the foundational symmetries of the standard model. Here we report measurements of the fine structure in the n = 2 states of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of the hydrogen atom. Using optical excitation of the 1S–2P Lyman-α transitions in antihydrogen6, we determine their frequencies in a magnetic field of 1 tesla to a precision of 16 parts per billion. Assuming the standard Zeeman and hyperfine interactions, we infer the zero-field fine-structure splitting (2P1/2–2P3/2) in antihydrogen. The resulting value is consistent with the predictions of quantum electrodynamics to amore »precision of 2 per cent. Using our previously measured value of the 1S–2S transition frequency6,7, we find that the classic Lamb shift in antihydrogen (2S1/2–2P1/2 splitting at zero field) is consistent with theory at a level of 11 per cent. Our observations represent an important step towards precision measurements of the fine structure and the Lamb shift in the antihydrogen spectrum as tests of the charge– parity–time symmetry8 and towards the determination of other fundamental quantities, such as the antiproton charge radius9,10, in this antimatter system.« less