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  1. Current approaches to novelty or anomaly detection are based on deep neural networks. Despite their effectiveness, neural networks are also vulnerable to imperceptible deformations of the input data. This is a serious issue in critical applications, or when data alterations are generated by an adversarial attack. While this is a known problem that has been studied in recent years for the case of supervised learn- ing, the case of novelty detection has received very limited attention. Indeed, in this latter setting the learning is typically unsupervised because outlier data is not available during training, and new approaches for this case need to be investigated. We propose a new prior that aims at learning a robust likelihood for the novelty test, as a defense against attacks. We also integrate the same prior with a state-of-the- art novelty detection approach. Because of the geometric properties of that approach, the resulting robust training is computationally very efficient. An initial evaluation of the method indicates that it is effective at improving performance with respect to the standard models in the absence and presence of attacks. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 19, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  3. Optically active defects in 2D materials, such as hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), are an attractive class of single-photon emitters with high brightness, room-temperature operation, site-specific engineering of emitter arrays, and tunability with external strain and electric fields. In this work, we demonstrate a novel approach to precisely align and embed hBN and TMDs within background-free silicon nitride microring resonators. Through the Purcell effect, high-purity hBN emitters exhibit a cavity-enhanced spectral coupling efficiency up to 46% at room temperature, which exceeds the theoretical limit for cavity-free waveguide-emitter coupling and previous demonstrations by nearly an order-of-magnitude. The devices are fabricated with a CMOS-compatible process and exhibit no degradation of the 2D material optical properties, robustness to thermal annealing, and 100 nm positioning accuracy of quantum emitters within single-mode waveguides, opening a path for scalable quantum photonic chips with on-demand single-photon sources. 
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  4. Abstract The ground-based gamma-ray observatory Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS, ) is sensitive to photons of astrophysical origin with energies in the range between ≈85 GeV and ≈30 TeV. The instrument consists of four 12 m diameter imaging Cherenkov telescopes operating at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. VERITAS started four-telescope operations in 2007 and collects about 1100 hr of good-weather data per year. The VERITAS collaboration has published over 100 journal articles since 2008 reporting on gamma-ray observations of a large variety of objects: Galactic sources like supernova remnants, pulsar wind nebulae, and binary systems; extragalactic sources like star-forming galaxies, dwarf-spheroidal galaxies, and highly variable active galactic nuclei. This note presents VTSCat: the catalog of high-level data products from all VERITAS publications. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 10, 2024
  5. Manto, Mario (Ed.)
    Background Cerebellar electrical stimulation has shown promise in improving motor recovery post-stroke in both rodent and human studies. Past studies have used motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to evaluate how cerebellar stimulation modulates ongoing activity in the cortex, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here we used invasive electrophysiological recordings from the intact and stroke-injured rodent primary motor cortex (M1) to assess how epidural cerebellar stimulation modulates neural dynamics at the level of single neurons as well as at the level of mesoscale dynamics. Methods We recorded single unit spiking and local field potentials (LFPs) in both the intact and acutely stroke-injured M1 contralateral to the stimulated cerebellum in adult Long-Evans rats under anesthesia. We analyzed changes in the firing rates of single units, the extent of synchronous spiking and power spectral density (PSD) changes in LFPs during and post-stimulation. Results Our results show that post-stimulation, the firing rates of a majority of M1 neurons changed significantly with respect to their baseline rates. These firing rate changes were diverse in character, as the firing rate of some neurons increased while others decreased. Additionally, these changes started to set in during stimulation. Furthermore, cross-correlation analysis showed a significant increase in coincident firing amongst neuronal pairs. Interestingly, this increase in synchrony was unrelated to the direction of firing rate change. We also found that neuronal ensembles derived through principal component analysis were more active post-stimulation. Lastly, these changes occurred without a significant change in the overall spectral power of LFPs post-stimulation. Conclusions Our results show that cerebellar stimulation caused significant, long-lasting changes in the activity patterns of M1 neurons by altering firing rates, boosting neural synchrony and increasing neuronal assemblies’ activation strength. Our study provides evidence that cerebellar stimulation can directly modulate cortical dynamics. Since these results are present in the perilesional cortex, our data might also help explain the facilitatory effects of cerebellar stimulation post-stroke. 
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  6. Abstract

    Superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) are a rare class of stellar explosions with luminosities ∼ 10–100 times greater than ordinary core-collapse supernovae. One popular model to explain the enhanced optical output of hydrogen-poor (Type I) SLSNe invokes energy injection from a rapidly spinning magnetar. A prediction in this case is that high-energy gamma-rays, generated in the wind nebula of the magnetar, could escape through the expanding supernova ejecta at late times (months or more after optical peak). This paper presents a search for gamma-ray emission in the broad energy band from 100 MeV to 30 TeV from two Type I SLSNe, SN2015bn, and SN2017egm, using observations from Fermi-LAT and VERITAS. Although no gamma-ray emission was detected from either source, the derived upper limits approach the putative magnetar’s spin-down luminosity. Prospects are explored for detecting very-high-energy (VHE; 100 GeV–100 TeV) emission from SLSNe-I with existing and planned facilities such as VERITAS and CTA.

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  7. Context. The response of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes to incident γ -ray-initiated showers in the atmosphere changes as the telescopes age due to exposure to light and weather. These aging processes affect the reconstructed energies of the events and γ -ray fluxes. Aims. This work discusses the implementation of signal calibration methods for the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) to account for changes in the optical throughput and detector performance over time. Methods. The total throughput of a Cherenkov telescope is the product of camera-dependent factors, such as the photomultiplier tube gains and their quantum efficiencies, and the mirror reflectivity and Winston cone response to incoming radiation. This document summarizes different methods to determine how the camera gains and mirror reflectivity have evolved over time and how we can calibrate this changing throughput in reconstruction pipelines for imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The implementation is validated against seven years of observations with the VERITAS telescopes of the Crab Nebula, which is a reference object in very-high-energy astronomy. Results. Regular optical throughput monitoring and the corresponding signal calibrations are found to be critical for the reconstruction of extensive air shower images. The proposed implementation is applied as a correction to the signals of the photomultiplier tubes in the telescope simulation to produce fine-tuned instrument response functions. This method is shown to be effective for calibrating the acquired γ -ray data and for recovering the correct energy of the events and photon fluxes. At the same time, it keeps the computational effort of generating Monte Carlo simulations for instrument response functions affordably low. 
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