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    We describe how gravitational lensing of fast radio bursts (FRBs) is affected by a plasma screen in the vicinity of the lens or somewhere between the source and the observer. Wave passage through a turbulent medium affects gravitational image magnification, lensing probability (particularly for strong magnification events), and the time delay between images. The magnification is suppressed because of the broadening of the angular size of the source due to scattering by the plasma. The time delay between images is modified as the result of different dispersion measures (DM) along photon trajectories for different images. Each of the image light curves is also broadened due to wave scattering so that the images could have distinct temporal profiles. The first two effects are most severe for stellar and sub-stellar mass lens, and the last one (scatter broadening) for lenses and plasma screens at cosmological distances from the source/observer. This could limit the use of FRBs to measure their cosmic abundance. On the other hand, when the time delay between images is large, such that the light curve of a transient source has two or more well-separated peaks, the different DMs along the wave paths of different images can probe densitymore »fluctuations in the IGM on scales ≲10−6 rad and explore the patchy reionization history of the universe using lensed FRBs at high redshifts. Different rotation measures (RM) along two-image paths can convert linearly polarized radiation from a source to partial circular polarization.

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    We show that the 216.8 ± 0.1 ms periodicity reported for the fast radio burst (FRB) 20191221A is very constraining for burst models. The high accuracy of burst periodicity (better than one part in 103), and the 2 per cent duty cycle (ratio of burst duration and interburst interval), suggest a pulsar-like rotating beam model for the observed activity; the radio waves are produced along open field lines within ∼107 cm of the neutron star surface, and the beam periodically sweeps across the observer as the star spins. According to this picture, FRB 20191221A is a factor ∼1012 scaled up version of galactic pulsars with one major difference, whereas pulsars convert rotational kinetic energy to EM waves and the outbursts of 20191221A require conversion of magnetic energy to radiation.


    One widely discussed mechanism to produce highly coherent radio emission of fast radio bursts (FRBs) is coherent emission by bunches, either via curvature radiation or inverse Compton scattering (ICS). It has been suggested that the plasma oscillation effect can significantly suppress coherent emission power by bunches. We examine this criticism in this paper. The suppression factor formalism was derived within the context of radio pulsars in which radio waves are in the low-amplitude, linear regime and cannot directly be applied to the large-amplitude, non-linear regime relevant for FRBs. Even if one applies this linear treatment, plasma suppression is not important for two physical reasons. First, for an efficient radiation mechanism, such as ICS, the required plasma density is not high so that a high-density plasma may not exist. Secondly, both bunched coherent mechanisms demand that a large global parallel electric field (E∥) must exist in the emission region in order to continuously inject energy to the bunches to power an FRB. In order to produce typical FRB duration via coherent curvature or ICS radiation, a parallel electric field must be present to balance the acceleration and radiation back reaction. The plasma suppression factor should be modified with the existencemore »of E∥. We show that the correction factor for curvature radiation, fcur, increases with E∥ and becomes 1 when E∥ reaches the radiation-reaction-limited regime. We conclude that the plasma suppression effect can be ignored for realistic FRB emission models invoking bunched coherent radio emission.

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    We present numerical simulation results for the propagation of Alfvén waves in the charge starvation regime. This is the regime where the plasma density is below the critical value required to supply the current for the wave. We analyse a conservative scenario where Alfvén waves pick up charges from the region where the charge density exceeds the critical value and advect them along at a high Lorentz factor. The system consisting of the Alfvén wave and charges being carried with it, which we call charge-carrying Alfvén wave (CC-AW), moves through a medium with small, but non-zero, plasma density. We find that the interaction between CC-AW and the stationary medium has a two-stream like instability which leads to the emergence of a strong electric field along the direction of the unperturbed magnetic field. The growth rate of this instability is of the order of the plasma frequency of the medium encountered by the CC-AW. Our numerical code follows the system for hundreds of wave periods. The numerical calculations suggest that the final strength of the electric field is of the order of a few per cent of the AW amplitude. Little radiation is produced by the sinusoidally oscillating currents associated with themore »instability during the linear growth phase. However, in the non-linear phase, the fluctuating current density produces strong EM radiation near the plasma frequency and limits the growth of the instability.

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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 7, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2023

    We describe how the observed polarization properties of an astronomical object are related to its intrinsic polarization properties and the finite temporal and spectral resolutions of the observing device. Moreover, we discuss the effect that a scattering screen, with non-zero magnetic field, between the source and observer has on the observed polarization properties. We show that the polarization properties are determined by the ratio of observing bandwidth and coherence bandwidth of the scattering screen and the ratio of temporal resolution of the instrument and the variability time of screen, as long as the length over which the Faraday rotation induced by the screen changes by ∼π is smaller than the size of the screen visible to the observer. We describe the conditions under which a source that is 100 per cent linearly polarized intrinsically might be observed as partially depolarized, and how the source’s temporal variability can be distinguished from the temporal variability induced by the scattering screen. In general, linearly polarized waves passing through a magnetized scattering screen can develop a significant circular polarization. We apply the work to the observed polarization properties of a few fast radio bursts (FRBs), and outline potential applications to pulsars.


    A repeating source of fast radio bursts (FRBs) is recently discovered from a globular cluster of M81. Association with a globular cluster (or other old stellar systems) suggests that strongly magnetized neutron stars, which are the most likely objects responsible for FRBs, are born not only when young massive stars undergo core-collapse, but also by mergers of old white dwarfs. We find that the fractional contribution to the total FRB rate by old stellar populations is at least a few per cent, and the precise fraction can be constrained by FRB searches in the directions of nearby galaxies, both star-forming and elliptical ones. Using very general arguments, we show that the activity time of the M81-FRB source is between 104 and 106 yr, and more likely of the order of 105 yr. The energetics of radio outbursts put a lower limit on the magnetic field strength of 10$^{13}\,$G, and the spin period $\gtrsim 0.2\,$s, thereby ruling out the source being a milli-second pulsar. The upper limit on the persistent X-ray luminosity (provided by Chandra), together with the high FRB luminosity and frequent repetitions, severely constrains (or rules out) the possibility that the M81-FRB is a scaled-up version of giant pulses frommore »Galactic pulsars. Finally, the 50-ns variability time of the FRB light curve suggests that the emission is produced in a compact region inside the neutron star magnetosphere, as it cannot be accounted for when the emission is at distances $\gtrsim 10^{10}\rm \, cm$.

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  10. Abstract

    Ruthenium (Ru) is the one of the most promising catalysts for polyolefin hydrogenolysis. Its performance varies widely with the support, but the reasons remain unknown. Here, we introduce a simple synthetic strategy (using ammonia as a modulator) to tune metal-support interactions and apply it to Ru deposited on titania (TiO2). We demonstrate that combining deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with temperature variation and density functional theory can reveal the complex nature, binding strength, and H amount. H2activation occurs heterolytically, leading to a hydride on Ru, an H+on the nearest oxygen, and a partially positively charged Ru. This leads to partial reduction of TiO2and high coverages of H for spillover, showcasing a threefold increase in hydrogenolysis rates. This result points to the key role of the surface hydrogen coverage in improving hydrogenolysis catalyst performance.