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  1. We propose and test an exchange gas technique for improving the cooldown times of cryocooled gravitational-wave interferometers. The technique works by utilizing low-pressure dry nitrogen gas to create a path for heat conduction to test masses while protecting the rest of the in-vacuum equipment from unwanted heat leakage. We show that the technique is capable of shortening the total wait time to reach the operating temperature by a factor of 3.5. Additionally, our tests show that the improvement in the heat transfer rate can be predicted to be within 10% error by using the Sherman-Lees interpolation equation. The technique is compatible with vibration isolation requirements of the cryogenic shielding of 124 K silicon interferometers and has the potential to improve the iteration time for research and development. The scalability of the prototype, the ability to predict the heat conduction, and the simplicity of the engineering make the strategy a good candidate to be included in the cryogenic design of future cryocooled gravitational-wave interferometers. The findings mark a first step in the investigation for a strategy to mitigate ice formation on the interferometer optics during initial cooldown. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 13, 2024
  2. A covariant energy density functional is calibrated using a principled Bayesian statistical framework informed by experimental binding energies and charge radii of several magic and semi-magic nuclei. The Bayesian sampling required for the calibration is enabled by the emulation of the high-fidelity model through the implementation of a reduced basis method (RBM)—a set of dimensionality reduction techniques that can speed up demanding calculations involving partial differential equations by several orders of magnitude. The RBM emulator we build—using only 100 evaluations of the high-fidelity model—is able to accurately reproduce the model calculations in tens of milliseconds on a personal computer, an increase in speed of nearly a factor of 3,300 when compared to the original solver. Besides the analysis of the posterior distribution of parameters, we present model calculations for masses and radii with properly estimated uncertainties. We also analyze the model correlation between the slope of the symmetry energy L and the neutron skin of 48 Ca and 208 Pb. The straightforward implementation and outstanding performance of the RBM makes it an ideal tool for assisting the nuclear theory community in providing reliable estimates with properly quantified uncertainties of physical observables. Such uncertainty quantification tools will become essential given the expected abundance of data from the recently inaugurated and future experimental and observational facilities. 
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  3. null (Ed.)