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  1. Following rapid decompression in the conduit of a volcano, magma breaks into ash- to block-sized fragments, powering explosive sub-Plinian and Plinian eruptions that may generate destructive pyroclastic falls and flows. It is thus crucial to assess how magma breaks up into fragments. This task is difficult, however, because of the subterranean nature of the entire process and because the original size of pristine fragments is modified by secondary fragmentation and expansion. New textural observations of sub-Plinian and Plinian pumice lapilli reveal that some primary products of magma fragmentation survive by sintering together within seconds of magma break-up. Their size distributionsmore »reflect the energetics of fragmentation, consistent with products of rapid decompression experiments. Pumice aggregates thus offer a unique window into the previously inaccessible primary fragmentation process and could be used to determine the potential energy of fragmentation.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Abstract The EXO-200 experiment searched for neutrinoless double-beta decay of 136 Xe with a single-phase liquid xenon detector. It used an active mass of 110 kg of 80.6%-enriched liquid xenon in an ultra-low background time projection chamber with ionization and scintillation detection and readout. This paper describes the design and performance of the various support systems necessary for detector operation, including cryogenics, xenon handling, and controls. Novel features of the system were driven by the need to protect the thin-walled detector chamber containing the liquid xenon, to achieve high chemical purity of the Xe, and to maintain thermal uniformity acrossmore »the detector.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. In the classical Steiner tree problem, given an undirected, connected graph G=(V,E) with non-negative edge costs and a set of terminals T⊆V, the objective is to find a minimum-cost tree E′⊆E that spans the terminals. The problem is APX-hard; the best known approximation algorithm has a ratio of ρ=ln(4)+ε<1.39. In this paper, we study a natural generalization, the multi-level Steiner tree (MLST) problem: given a nested sequence of terminals Tℓ⊂⋯⊂T1⊆V, compute nested trees Eℓ⊆⋯⊆E1⊆E that span the corresponding terminal sets with minimum total cost. The MLST problem and variants thereof have been studied under various names including Multi-level Network Design,more »Quality-of-Service Multicast tree, Grade-of-Service Steiner tree, and Multi-Tier tree. Several approximation results are known. We first present two simple O(ℓ)-approximation heuristics. Based on these, we introduce a rudimentary composite algorithm that generalizes the above heuristics, and determine its approximation ratio by solving a linear program. We then present a method that guarantees the same approximation ratio using at most 2ℓ Steiner tree computations. We compare these heuristics experimentally on various instances of up to 500 vertices using three different network generation models. We also present various integer linear programming (ILP) formulations for the MLST problem, and compare their running times on these instances. To our knowledge, the composite algorithm achieves the best approximation ratio for up to ℓ=100 levels, which is sufficient for most applications such as network visualization or designing multi-level infrastructure.« less