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  1. ABSTRACT Efforts are underway to use high-precision timing of pulsars in order to detect low-frequency gravitational waves. A limit to this technique is the timing noise generated by dispersion in the plasma along the line of sight to the pulsar, including the solar wind. The effects due to the solar wind vary with time, influenced by the change in solar activity on different time-scales, ranging up to ∼11 yr for a solar cycle. The solar wind contribution depends strongly on the angle between the pulsar line of sight and the solar disc, and is a dominant effect at small separations. Althoughmore »solar wind models to mitigate these effects do exist, they do not account for all the effects of the solar wind and its temporal changes. Since low-frequency pulsar observations are most sensitive to these dispersive delays, they are most suited to test the efficacy of these models and identify alternative approaches. Here, we investigate the efficacy of some solar wind models commonly used in pulsar timing using long-term, high-cadence data on six pulsars taken with the Long Wavelength Array, and compare them with an operational solar wind model. Our results show that stationary models of the solar wind correction are insufficient to achieve the timing noise desired by pulsar timing experiments, and we need to use non-stationary models, which are informed by other solar wind observations, to obtain accurate timing residuals.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 22, 2023
  2. 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
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Jadbabaie, Ali ; Lygeros, John ; Pappas, George J. ; Parrilo, Pablo ; Recht, Benjamin ; Scaramuzza, Davide ; Tomlin, Claire J. ; Zeilinger, Melanie N. (Ed.)
  5. Using molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained implicit solvent model, we investigate the binding of crescent-shaped nanoparticles (NPs) on tubular lipid membranes. The NPs adhere to the membrane through their concave side. We found that the binding/unbinding transition is first-order, with the threshold binding energy being higher than the unbinding threshold, and the energy barrier between the bound and unbound states at the transition that increases with increasing the NP's arclength L np or curvature mismatch μ = R c / R np , where R c and R np are the radii of curvature of the tubular membrane andmore »the NP, respectively. Furthermore, we found that the threshold binding energy increases with increasing either L np or μ . NPs with curvature larger than that of the tubule ( μ > 1) lie perpendicularly to the tubule's axis. However, for μ smaller than a specific arclength-dependent mismatch μ *, the NPs are tilted with respect to the tubule's axis, with the tilt angle that increases with decreasing μ . We also investigated the self-assembly of the NPs on the tubule at relatively weak adhesion strength and found that for μ > 1 and high values of L np , the NPs self-assemble into linear chains, and lie side-by-side. For μ < μ * and high L np , the NPs also self-assemble into chains, while being tilted with respect to the tubule's axis.« less