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  1. The Breakthrough Starshot Initiative aims to send a gram-scale probe to our nearest extrasolar neighbors using a laser-accelerated lightsail traveling at relativistic speeds. Thermal management is a key lightsail design objective because of the intense laser powers required but has generally been considered secondary to accelerative performance. Here, we demonstrate nanophotonic photonic crystal slab reflectors composed of 2H-phase molybdenum disulfide and crystalline silicon nitride, highlight the inverse relationship between the thermal band extinction coefficient and the lightsail’s maximum temperature, and examine the trade-off between minimizing acceleration distance and setting realistic sail thermal limits, ultimately realizing a thermally endurable acceleration minimummore »distance of 23.3 Gm. We additionally demonstrate multiscale photonic structures featuring thermal-wavelength-scale Mie resonant geometries and characterize their broadband Mie resonance-driven emissivity enhancement and acceleration distance reduction. More broadly, our results highlight new possibilities for simultaneously controlling optical and thermal response over broad wavelength ranges in ultralight nanophotonic structures.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 11, 2023
  2. A core collapse supernova occurs when exothermic fusion ceases in the core of a massive star, which is typically caused by exhaustion of nuclear fuel. Theory predicts that fusion could be interrupted earlier by merging of the star with a compact binary companion. We report a luminous radio transient, VT J121001+495647, found in the Very Large Array Sky Survey. The radio emission is consistent with supernova ejecta colliding with a dense shell of material, potentially ejected by binary interaction in the centuries before explosion. We associate the supernova with an archival x-ray transient, which implies that a relativistic jet wasmore »launched during the explosion. The combination of an early relativistic jet and late-time dense interaction is consistent with expectations for a merger-driven explosion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 3, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  4. We present SNIascore, a deep-learning based method for spectroscopic classification of thermonuclear supernovae (SNe Ia) based on very low-resolution (R ∼100) data. The goal of SNIascore is fully automated classification of SNe Ia with a very low false-positive rate (FPR) so that human intervention can be greatly reduced in large-scale SN classification efforts, such as that undertaken by the public Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Bright Transient Survey (BTS). We utilize a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture with a combination of bidirectional long short-term memory and gated recurrent unit layers. SNIascore achieves a <0.6% FPR while classifying up to 90% ofmore »the low-resolution SN Ia spectra obtained by the BTS. SNIascore simultaneously performs binary classification and predicts the redshifts of secure SNe Ia via regression (with a typical uncertainty of <0.005 in the range from z=0.01 to z=0.12). For the magnitude-limited ZTF BTS survey (≈70% SNe Ia), deploying SNIascore reduces the amount of spectra in need of human classification or confirmation by ≈60%. Furthermore, SNIascore allows SN Ia classifications to be automatically announced in real-time to the public immediately following a finished observation during the night.« less
  5. Yael Tauman Kalai and Adam D. Smith and Daniel Wichs (Ed.)
    Constructions of locally decodable codes (LDCs) have one of two undesirable properties: low rate or high locality (polynomial in the length of the message). In settings where the encoder/decoder have already exchanged cryptographic keys and the channel is a probabilistic polynomial time (PPT) algorithm, it is possible to circumvent these barriers and design LDCs with constant rate and small locality. However, the assumption that the encoder/decoder have exchanged cryptographic keys is often prohibitive. We thus consider the problem of designing explicit and efficient LDCs in settings where the channel is slightly more constrained than the encoder/decoder with respect to somemore »resource e.g., space or (sequential) time. Given an explicit function f that the channel cannot compute, we show how the encoder can transmit a random secret key to the local decoder using f(⋅) and a random oracle 𝖧(⋅). We then bootstrap the private key LDC construction of Ostrovsky, Pandey and Sahai (ICALP, 2007), thereby answering an open question posed by Guruswami and Smith (FOCS 2010) of whether such bootstrapping techniques are applicable to LDCs in channel models weaker than just PPT algorithms. Specifically, in the random oracle model we show how to construct explicit constant rate LDCs with locality of polylog in the security parameter against various resource constrained channels.« less
  6. Recent efforts in coding theory have focused on building codes for insertions and deletions, called insdel codes, with optimal trade-offs between their redundancy and their error-correction capabilities, as well as {\em efficient} encoding and decoding algorithms. In many applications, polynomial running time may still be prohibitively expensive, which has motivated the study of codes with {\em super-efficient} decoding algorithms. These have led to the well-studied notions of Locally Decodable Codes (LDCs) and Locally Correctable Codes (LCCs). Inspired by these notions, Ostrovsky and Paskin-Cherniavsky (Information Theoretic Security, 2015) generalized Hamming LDCs to insertions and deletions. To the best of our knowledge,more »these are the only known results that study the analogues of Hamming LDCs in channels performing insertions and deletions. Here we continue the study of insdel codes that admit local algorithms. Specifically, we reprove the results of Ostrovsky and Paskin-Cherniavsky for insdel LDCs using a different set of techniques. We also observe that the techniques extend to constructions of LCCs. Specifically, we obtain insdel LDCs and LCCs from their Hamming LDCs and LCCs analogues, respectively. The rate and error-correction capability blow up only by a constant factor, while the query complexity blows up by a poly log factor in the block length. Since insdel locally decodable/correctble codes are scarcely studied in the literature, we believe our results and techniques may lead to further research. In particular, we conjecture that constant-query insdel LDCs/LCCs do not exist.« less
  7. The many unusual properties of the enigmatic AT2018cow suggested that at least some subset of the empirical class of fast blue optical transients (FBOTs) represents a genuinely new astrophysical phenomenon. Unfortunately, the intrinsic rarity and fleeting nature of these events have made it difficult to identify additional examples early enough to acquire the observations necessary to constrain theoretical models. We present here the Zwicky Transient Facility discovery of AT2020xnd (ZTF20acigmel, the "Camel") at z=0.243, the first unambiguous AT2018cow analog to be found and confirmed in real time. AT2018cow and AT2020xnd share all key observational properties: a fast optical rise, sustainedmore »high photospheric temperature, absence of a second peak attributable to ejection of a radioactively-heated stellar envelope, extremely luminous radio, millimetre, and X-ray emission, and a dwarf-galaxy host. This supports the argument that AT2018cow-like events represent a distinct phenomenon from slower-evolving radio-quiet supernovae, likely requiring a different progenitor or a different central engine. The sample properties of the four known members of this class to date disfavour tidal disruption models but are consistent with the alternative model of an accretion powered jet following the direct collapse of a massive star to a black hole. Contextual filtering of alert streams combined with rapid photometric verification using multi-band imaging provides an efficient way to identify future members of this class, even at high redshift.« less