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  1. Abstract We measured hardness, modulus of elasticity, and, for the first time, loss tangent, energy of fracture, abrasion resistance, and impact resistance of zinc- and manganese-enriched materials from fangs, stings and other “tools” of an ant, spider, scorpion and nereid worm. The mechanical properties of the Zn- and Mn-materials tended to cluster together between plain and biomineralized “tool” materials, with the hardness reaching, and most abrasion resistance values exceeding, those of calcified salmon teeth and crab claws. Atom probe tomography indicated that Zn was distributed homogeneously on a nanometer scale and likely bound as individual atoms to more than ¼ of the protein residues in ant mandibular teeth. This homogeneity appears to enable sharper, more precisely sculpted “tools” than materials with biomineral inclusions do, and also eliminates interfaces with the inclusions that could be susceptible to fracture. Based on contact mechanics and simplified models, we hypothesize that, relative to plain materials, the higher elastic modulus, hardness and abrasion resistance minimize temporary or permanent tool blunting, resulting in a roughly 2/3 reduction in the force, energy, and muscle mass required to initiate puncture of stiff materials, and even greater force reductions when the cumulative effects of abrasion are considered. We suggestmore »that the sharpness-related force reductions lead to significant energy savings, and can also enable organisms, especially smaller ones, to puncture, cut, and grasp objects that would not be accessible with plain or biomineralized “tools”.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
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  7. Abstract Isolated neutron stars that are asymmetric with respect to their spin axis are possible sources of detectable continuous gravitational waves. This paper presents a fully coherent search for such signals from eighteen pulsars in data from LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run (O3). For known pulsars, efficient and sensitive matched-filter searches can be carried out if one assumes the gravitational radiation is phase-locked to the electromagnetic emission. In the search presented here, we relax this assumption and allow both the frequency and the time derivative of the frequency of the gravitational waves to vary in a small range around those inferred from electromagnetic observations. We find no evidence for continuous gravitational waves, and set upper limits on the strain amplitude for each target. These limits are more constraining for seven of the targets than the spin-down limit defined by ascribing all rotational energy loss to gravitational radiation. In an additional search, we look in O3 data for long-duration (hours–months) transient gravitational waves in the aftermath of pulsar glitches for six targets with a total of nine glitches. We report two marginal outliers from this search, but find no clear evidence for such emission either. The resulting duration-dependent strain uppermore »limits do not surpass indirect energy constraints for any of these targets.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  8. Abstract We report the results of the first joint observation of the KAGRA detector with GEO 600. KAGRA is a cryogenic and underground gravitational-wave detector consisting of a laser interferometer with 3 km arms, located in Kamioka, Gifu, Japan. GEO 600 is a British–German laser interferometer with 600 m arms, located near Hannover, Germany. GEO 600 and KAGRA performed a joint observing run from April 7 to 20, 2020. We present the results of the joint analysis of the GEO–KAGRA data for transient gravitational-wave signals, including the coalescence of neutron-star binaries and generic unmodeled transients. We also perform dedicated searches for binary coalescence signals and generic transients associated with gamma-ray burst events observed during the joint run. No gravitational-wave events were identified. We evaluate the minimum detectable amplitude for various types of transient signals and the spacetime volume for which the network is sensitive to binary neutron-star coalescences. We also place lower limits on the distances to the gamma-ray bursts analyzed based on the non-detection of an associated gravitational-wave signal for several signal models, including binary coalescences. These analyses demonstrate the feasibility and utility of KAGRA as a member of the global gravitational-wave detector network.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023