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  1. Dague, Etienne (Ed.)
    The formation of neuron networks is a complex phenomenon of fundamental importance for understanding the development of the nervous system, and for creating novel bioinspired materials for tissue engineering and neuronal repair. The basic process underlying the network formation is axonal growth, a process involving the extension of axons from the cell body towards target neurons. Axonal growth is guided by environmental stimuli that include intercellular interactions, biochemical cues, and the mechanical and geometrical features of the growth substrate. The dynamics of the growing axon and its biomechanical interactions with the growing substrate remains poorly understood. In this paper, wemore »develop a model of axonal motility which incorporates mechanical interactions between the axon and the growth substrate. We combine experimental data with theoretical analysis to measure the parameters that describe axonal growth on surfaces with micropatterned periodic geometrical features: diffusion (cell motility) coefficients, speed and angular distributions, and axon bending rigidities. Experiments performed on neurons treated Taxol (inhibitor of microtubule dynamics) and Blebbistatin (disruptor of actin filaments) show that the dynamics of the cytoskeleton plays a critical role in the axon steering mechanism. Our results demonstrate that axons follow geometrical patterns through a contact-guidance mechanism, in which high-curvature geometrical features impart high traction forces to the growth cone. These results have important implications for our fundamental understanding of axonal growth as well as for bioengineering novel substrates that promote neuronal growth and nerve repair.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 23, 2022
  2. ABSTRACT The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger, GW170817, marked the dawn of a new era in time-domain astronomy. Monitoring of the radio emission produced by the merger, including high-resolution radio imaging, enabled measurements of merger properties including the energetics and inclination angle. In this work, we compare the capabilities of current and future gravitational wave facilities to the sensitivity of radio facilities to quantify the prospects for detecting the radio afterglows of gravitational wave events. We consider three observing strategies to identify future mergers – wide field follow-up, targeting galaxies within the merger localization and deepmore »monitoring of known counterparts. We find that while planned radio facilities like the Square Kilometre Array will be capable of detecting mergers at gigaparsec distances, no facilities are sufficiently sensitive to detect mergers at the range of proposed third-generation gravitational wave detectors that would operate starting in the 2030s.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We present the results from an Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder search for radio variables on timescales of hours. We conducted an untargeted search over a 30 deg2 field, with multiple 10-h observations separated by days to months, at a central frequency of 945 MHz. We discovered six rapid scintillators from 15-min model-subtracted images with sensitivity of $\sim\! 200\, \mu$Jy/beam; two of them are extreme intra-hour variables with modulation indices up to $\sim 40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and timescales as short as tens of minutes. Five of the variables are in a linear arrangement on the sky with angular width ∼1 arcminmore »and length ∼2 degrees, revealing the existence of a huge plasma filament in front of them. We derived kinematic models of this plasma from the annual modulation of the scintillation rate of our sources, and we estimated its likely physical properties: a distance of ∼4 pc and length of ∼0.1 pc. The characteristics we observe for the scattering screen are incompatible with published suggestions for the origin of intra-hour variability leading us to propose a new picture in which the underlying phenomenon is a cold tidal stream. This is the first time that multiple scintillators have been detected behind the same plasma screen, giving direct insight into the geometry of the scattering medium responsible for enhanced scintillation.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present a search for radio afterglows from long gamma-ray bursts using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). Our search used the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey, covering the entire celestial sphere south of declination +41○, and three epochs of the Variables and Slow Transients Pilot Survey (Phase 1), covering ∼5000 square degrees per epoch. The observations we used from these surveys spanned a nine-month period from 2019 April 21 to 2020 January 11. We cross-matched radio sources found in these surveys with 779 well-localized (to ≤15 arcsec) long gamma-ray bursts occurring after 2004 and determined whether the associationsmore »were more likely afterglow- or host-related through the analysis of optical images. In our search, we detected one radio afterglow candidate associated with GRB 171205A, a local low-luminosity gamma-ray burst with a supernova counterpart SN 2017iuk, in an ASKAP observation 511 d post-burst. We confirmed this detection with further observations of the radio afterglow using the Australia Telescope Compact Array at 859 and 884 d post-burst. Combining this data with archival data from early-time radio observations, we showed the evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution alone could reveal clear signatures of a wind-like circumburst medium for the burst. Finally, we derived semi-analytical estimates for the microphysical shock parameters of the burst: electron power-law index p = 2.84, normalized wind-density parameter A* = 3, fractional energy in electrons ϵe = 0.3, and fractional energy in magnetic fields ϵB = 0.0002.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present results from a circular polarization survey for radio stars in the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS). RACS is a survey of the entire sky south of δ = +41○ being conducted with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP) over a 288 MHz wide band centred on 887.5 MHz. The data we analyse include Stokes I and V polarization products to an RMS sensitivity of 250 μJy PSF−1. We searched RACS for sources with fractional circular polarization above 6 per cent, and after excluding imaging artefacts, polarization leakage, and known pulsars we identified radio emission coincident with 33 known stars.more »These range from M-dwarfs through to magnetic, chemically peculiar A- and B-type stars. Some of these are well-known radio stars such as YZ CMi and CU Vir, but 23 have no previous radio detections. We report the flux density and derived brightness temperature of these detections and discuss the nature of the radio emission. We also discuss the implications of our results for the population statistics of radio stars in the context of future ASKAP and Square Kilometre Array surveys.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We report the results of the rapid follow-up observations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi satellite to search for associated fast radio bursts. The observations were conducted with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder at frequencies from 1.2 to 1.4 GHz. A set of 20 bursts, of which four were short GRBs, were followed up with a typical latency of about 1 min, for a duration of up to 11 h after the burst. The data were searched using 4096 dispersion measure trials up to a maximum dispersion measure of 3763 pc cm−3, and for pulse widths w over a rangemore »of duration from 1.256 to 40.48 ms. No associated pulsed radio emission was observed above $26 \, {\rm Jy\, ms}\, (w/1\, {\rm ms})^{-1/2}$ for any of the 20 GRBs.« less