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  1. Abstract

    We build random forests models to predict elastic properties and mechanical hardness of a compound, using only its chemical formula as input. The model training uses over 10,000 target compounds and 60 features based on stoichiometric attributes, elemental properties, orbital occupations, and ionic bonding levels. Using the models, we construct triangular graphs for B-C-N compounds to map out their bulk and shear moduli, as well as hardness values. The graphs indicate that a 1:1 B-N ratio can lead to various superhard compositions. We also validate the machine learning results by evolutionary structure prediction and density functional theory. Our study shows that BC10N, B4C5N3, and B2C3N exhibit dynamically stable phases with hardness values >40 GPa, which are superhard materials that potentially could be synthesized by low-temperature plasma methods.

  2. Abstract

    The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) entered a region of sub-Alfvénic solar wind during encounter 8, and we present the first detailed analysis of low-frequency turbulence properties in this novel region. The magnetic field and flow velocity vectors were highly aligned during this interval. By constructing spectrograms of the normalized magnetic helicity, cross-helicity, and residual energy, we find that PSP observed primarily Alfvénic fluctuations, a consequence of the highly field-aligned flow that renders quasi-2D fluctuations unobservable to PSP. We extend Taylor’s hypothesis to sub- and super-Alfvénic flows. Spectra for the fluctuating forward and backward Elsässer variables (z±, respectively) are presented, showing thatz+modes dominatezby an order of magnitude or more, and thez+spectrum is a power law in frequency (parallel wavenumber)f−3/2(k3/2) compared to the convexzspectrum withf−3/2(k3/2) at low frequencies, flattening around a transition frequency (at which the nonlinear and Alfvén timescales are balanced) tof−1.25at higher frequencies. The observed spectra are well fitted using a spectral theory for nearly incompressible magnetohydrodynamics assuming a wavenumber anisotropykk3/4, that thez+fluctuations experience primarily nonlinear interactions, and that the minorityzfluctuations experience both nonlinear and Alfvénic interactions withz+fluctuations. The density spectrum is a powermore »law that resembles neither thez±spectra nor the compressible magnetic field spectrum, suggesting that these are advected entropic rather than magnetosonic modes and not due to the parametric decay instability. Spectra in the neighboring modestly super-Alfvénic intervals are similar.

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  3. Abstract

    We report bias enhanced nucleation and growth of boron-rich deposits through systematic study of the effect of a negative direct current substrate bias during microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition. The current flowing through a silicon substrate with an applied bias of −250 V was investigated for a feedgas containing fixed hydrogen (H2) flow rate but with varying argon (Ar) flow rates for 1330, 2670, and 4000 Pa chamber pressure. For 1330 and 2670 Pa, the bias current goes through a maximum with increasing Ar flow rate. This maximum current also corresponds to a peak in substrate temperature. However, at 4000 Pa, no maximum in bias current or substrate temperature is observed for the range of argon flow rates tested. Using these results, substrate bias pre-treatment experiments were performed at 1330 Pa in an Ar/H2plasma, yielding the maximum bias current. Nucleation density of boron deposits were measured after subsequent exposure to B2H6in H2plasma and found to be a factor of 200 times higher than when no bias and no Ar was used. Experiments were repeated at 2670 and 4000 Pa (fixed bias voltage and Ar flow rate) in order to test the effect of chamber pressure on the nucleation density.more »Compared to 4000 Pa, we find nearly 7 times higher boron nucleation densities for both 1330 and 2670 Pa when the substrate was negatively biased in the Ar/H2plasma. Results are explained by incorporating measurements of plasma optical emission and by use of heterogeneous nucleation theory. The optimal conditions at 1330 Pa for nucleation were used to grow boron-rich amorphous films with measured hardness as high as 58 GPa, well above the 40 GPa threshold for superhardness.

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  4. Abstract We present a theoretical and observational study of 2D and slab turbulence cascade (or heating) rates of transverse total turbulence energies, transverse cross helicity, transverse outward and inward Elsässer energy, transverse fluctuating magnetic energy density, and transverse fluctuating kinetic energy from the perihelion of the first Parker Solar Probe (PSP) orbit at ∼36.6 R ⊙ to Solar Orbiter (SolO) at ∼177 R ⊙ . We use the Adhikari et al. (2021a) approach to calculate the observed transverse turbulence heating rate, and the nearly incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (NI MHD) turbulence transport theory to calculate the theoretical turbulence cascade rate. We find from the 1 day long PSP measurements at 66.5 R ⊙ , and the SolO measurements at 176.3 R ⊙ that various transverse turbulent cascade rates increase with increasing angle, from 10° to 98°, between the mean solar wind speed and mean magnetic field ( θ UB ), indicating that the 2D heating rate is largest in the inner heliosphere. Similarly, we find from the theoretical and observed results that the 2D heating rate is larger than the slab heating rate as a function of heliocentric distance. We present a comparison between the theoretical and observed 2D and slab turbulencemore »cascade rates as a function of heliocentric distance.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  5. Abstract This letter exploits the radial alignment between the Parker Solar Probe and BepiColombo in late 2022 February, when both spacecraft were within Mercury’s orbit. This allows the study of the turbulent evolution, namely, the change in spectral and intermittency properties, of the same plasma parcel during its expansion from 0.11 to 0.33 au, a still unexplored region. The observational analysis of the solar wind turbulent features at the two different evolution stages is complemented by a theoretical description based on the turbulence transport model equations for nearly incompressible magnetohydrodynamics. The results provide strong evidence that the solar wind turbulence already undergoes significant evolution at distances less than 0.3 au from the Sun, which can be satisfactorily explained as due to evolving slab fluctuations. This work represents a step forward in understanding the processes that control the transition from weak to strong turbulence in the solar wind and in properly modeling the heliosphere.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  6. Owing to the ever-present solar wind, our vast solar system is full of plasmas. The turbulent solar wind, together with sporadic solar eruptions, introduces various space plasma processes and phenomena in the solar atmosphere all the way to the Earth's ionosphere and atmosphere and outward to interact with the interstellar media to form the heliopause and termination shock. Remarkable progress has been made in space plasma physics in the last 65 years, mainly due to sophisticated in-situ measurements of plasmas, plasma waves, neutral particles, energetic particles, and dust via space-borne satellite instrumentation. Additionally high technology ground-based instrumentation has led to new and greater knowledge of solar and auroral features. As a result, a new branch of space physics, i.e., space weather, has emerged since many of the space physics processes have a direct or indirect influence on humankind. After briefly reviewing the major space physics discoveries before rockets and satellites, we aim to review all our updated understanding on coronal holes, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which are central to space weather events at Earth, solar wind, storms and substorms, magnetotail and substorms, emphasizing the role of the magnetotail in substorm dynamics, radiation belts/energetic magnetospheric particles, structures and spacemore »weather dynamics in the ionosphere, plasma waves, instabilities, and wave-particle interactions, long-period geomagnetic pulsations, auroras, geomagnetically induced currents (GICs), planetary magnetospheres and solar/stellar wind interactions with comets, moons and asteroids, interplanetary discontinuities, shocks and waves, interplanetary dust, space dusty plasmas and solar energetic particles and shocks, including the heliospheric termination shock. This paper is aimed to provide a panoramic view of space physics and space weather.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 29, 2023
  7. Abstract We present the first theoretical modeling of joint Parker Solar Probe (PSP)–Metis/Solar Orbiter (SolO) quadrature observations. The combined observations describe the evolution of a slow solar wind plasma parcel from the extended solar corona (3.5–6.3 R ⊙ ) to the very inner heliosphere (23.2 R ⊙ ). The Metis/SolO instrument remotely measures the solar wind speed finding a range from 96 to 201 km s −1 , and PSP measures the solar wind plasma in situ, observing a radial speed of 219.34 km s −1 . We find theoretically and observationally that the solar wind speed accelerates rapidly within 3.3–4 R ⊙ and then increases more gradually with distance. Similarly, we find that the theoretical solar wind density is consistent with the remotely and in-situ observed solar wind density. The normalized cross helicity and normalized residual energy observed by PSP are 0.96 and −0.07, respectively, indicating that the slow solar wind is very Alfvénic. The theoretical NI/slab results are very similar to PSP measurements, which is a consequence of the highly magnetic field-aligned radial flow ensuring that PSP can measure slab fluctuations and not 2D ones. Finally, we calculate the theoretical 2D and slab turbulence pressure, finding that themore »theoretical slab pressure is very similar to that observed by PSP.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 27, 2023
  8. Abstract Switchbacks are sudden, large radial deflections of the solar wind magnetic field, widely revealed in interplanetary space by the Parker Solar Probe. The switchbacks’ formation mechanism and sources are still unresolved, although candidate mechanisms include Alfvénic turbulence, shear-driven Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities, interchange reconnection, and geometrical effects related to the Parker spiral. This Letter presents observations from the Metis coronagraph on board a Solar Orbiter of a single large propagating S-shaped vortex, interpreted as the first evidence of a switchback in the solar corona. It originated above an active region with the related loop system bounded by open-field regions to the east and west. Observations, modeling, and theory provide strong arguments in favor of the interchange reconnection origin of switchbacks. Metis measurements suggest that the initiation of the switchback may also be an indicator of the origin of slow solar wind.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  9. Abstract The solar wind (SW) and local interstellar medium (LISM) are turbulent media. Their interaction is governed by complex physical processes and creates heliospheric regions with significantly different properties in terms of particle populations, bulk flow and turbulence. Our knowledge of the solar wind turbulence nature and dynamics mostly relies on near-Earth and near-Sun observations, and has been increasingly improving in recent years due to the availability of a wealth of space missions, including multi-spacecraft missions. In contrast, the properties of turbulence in the outer heliosphere are still not completely understood. In situ observations by Voyager and New Horizons , and remote neutral atom measurements by IBEX strongly suggest that turbulence is one of the critical processes acting at the heliospheric interface. It is intimately connected to charge exchange processes responsible for the production of suprathermal ions and energetic neutral atoms. This paper reviews the observational evidence of turbulence in the distant SW and in the LISM, advances in modeling efforts, and open challenges.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  10. Abstract This article is devoted to the memory of Yuri P Raizer, who passed away in 2021. He left a noticeable trace in gas discharge physics. The principle of minimal power (the state that requires minimal power is most probable) is thoroughly used in his books. Although the fundamental laws of physics do not imply this ad hoc principle, a detailed analysis of underlying phenomena can often reveal why nature prefers this path. Raizer illustrated this principle for plasma stratification, formation of electrode spots, discharge constriction, the shape of an arc channel, etc. We argue that the nonlinearity of equations describing gas discharges can often justify the realization of a plasma state maintained at minimal electric power. This nonlinearity appears because small groups of energetic electrons often control the ionization processes. The number of these electrons depends strongly on the ratio of the electric field to gas density, E / N . Under certain conditions, the ionization rate can also depend nonlinearly on electron density due to stepwise ionization and Coulomb collisions. We use the principle of minimal power to illustrate some of Raizer’s contributions to gas discharge physics from a single point of view. We demonstrate that nonlinearity ofmore »ionization processes in gas discharges can substantiate this principle for plasma stratification. However, striations of s , p , and r types in neon could exist with minimal or no ionization enhancement. This reminds us of Raizer’s warning that applying the minimal power principle could lead to erroneous predictions, and a proper theory is required in each case to justify its use. ‘The phenomenon of striations satisfies the principle of minimal power’ – Yuri Raizer« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023