skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Vitral, Eduardo"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Experiments reveal that structural transitions in thin sheets are mediated by the passage of transient and stable mobile localized elastic excitations. These “crumples” or “d-cones” nucleate, propagate, interact, annihilate, and escape. Much of the dynamics occurs on millisecond time scales. Nucleation sites correspond to regions where generators of the ideal unstretched surface converge. Additional stable intermediate states illustrate two forms of quasistatic inter-crumple interaction through ridges or valleys. These interactions create pairs from which extended patterns may be constructed in larger specimens. The onset of localized transient deformation with increasing sheet size is correlated with a characteristic stable crumple size, whose measured scaling with thickness is consistent with prior theory and experiment for localized elastic features in thin sheets. We offer a new theoretical justification of this scaling.

    more » « less

    Recent studies of nearby globular clusters have discovered excess dark mass in their cores, apparently in an extended distribution, and simulations indicate that this mass is composed mostly of white dwarfs (respectively stellar-mass black holes) in clusters that are core collapsed (respectively with a flatter core). We perform mass-anisotropy modelling of the closest globular cluster, M4, with intermediate slope for the inner stellar density. We use proper motion data from Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) and from observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. We extract the mass profile employing Bayesian Jeans modelling, and check our fits with realistic mock data. Our analyses return isotropic motions in the cluster core and tangential motions (β ≈ −0.4 ± 0.1) in the outskirts. We also robustly measure a dark central mass of roughly $800\pm 300 \, \rm M_\odot$ , but it is not possible to distinguish between a point-like source, such as an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH), and a dark population of stellar remnants of extent ${\approx} 0.016\, {\rm pc} \simeq 3300\, {\rm au}$ . However, when removing a high-velocity star from the cluster centre, the same mass excess is found, but more extended (${\sim} 0.034\, {\rm pc} \approx 7000\, {\rm au}$ ). We use Monte Carlo N-body models of M4 to interpret the second outcome, and find that our excess mass is not sufficiently extended to be confidently associated with a dark population of remnants. Finally, we discuss the feasibility of these two scenarios (i.e. IMBH versus remnants), and propose new observations that could help to better grasp the complex dynamics in M4’s core.

    more » « less

    We analyse Gaia EDR3 and re-calibrated HST proper motion data from the core-collapsed and non-core-collapsed globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 3201, respectively, with the Bayesian mass-orbit modelling code MAMPOSSt-PM. We use Bayesian evidence and realistic mock data sets constructed with Agama to select between different mass models. In both clusters, the velocities are consistent with isotropy within the extent of our data. We robustly detect a dark central mass (DCM) of roughly $1000\, \rm M_\odot$ in both clusters. Our MAMPOSSt-PM fits strongly prefer an extended DCM in NGC 6397, while only presenting a mild preference for it in NGC 3201, with respective sizes of a roughly one and a few per cent of the cluster effective radius. We explore the astrophysics behind our results with the CMC Monte Carlo N-body code, whose snapshots best matching the phase space observations lead to similar values for the mass and size of the DCM. The internal kinematics are thus consistent with a population of hundreds of massive white dwarfs in NGC 6397, and roughly 100 segregated stellar-mass black holes in NGC 3201, as previously found with CMC. Such analyses confirm the accuracy of both mass-orbit modelling and Monte Carlo N-body techniques, which together provide more robust predictions on the DCM of globular clusters (core-collapsed or not). This opens possibilities to understand a vast range of interesting astrophysical phenomena in clusters, such as fast radio bursts, compact object mergers, and gravitational waves.

    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    A coupled phase-field and hydrodynamic model is introduced to describe a two-phase, weakly compressible smectic (layered phase) in contact with an isotropic fluid of different density. A non-conserved smectic order parameter is coupled to a conserved mass density in order to accommodate non-solenoidal flows near the smectic–isotropic boundary arising from density contrast between the two phases. The model aims to describe morphological transitions in smectic thin films under heat treatment, in which arrays of focal conic defects evolve into conical pyramids and concentric rings through curvature dependent evaporation of smectic layers. The model leads to an extended thermodynamic relation at a curved surface that includes its Gaussian curvature, non-classical stresses at the boundary and flows arising from density gradients. The temporal evolution given by the model conserves the overall mass of the liquid crystal while still allowing for the modulated smectic structure to grow or shrink. A numerical solution of the governing equations reveals that pyramidal domains are sculpted at the center of focal conics upon a temperature increase, which display tangential flows at their surface. Other cases investigated include the possible coalescence of two cylindrical stacks of smectic layers, formation of droplets, and the interactions between focal conic domains through flow. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)