Reports on progress in physics. Physical Society (Great Britain) 79 (2016) 066901-
Much of astrophysics consists of the study of ionized gas under the influence of gravitational and magnetic fields. Thus, it is not possible to understand the astrophysical universe without a detailed knowledge of the dynamics of magnetized fluids. Fluid dynamics is, however, a notoriously tricky subject, in which it is all too easy for one's a priori intuition to go astray. In this review, we seek to guide the reader through a series of illuminating yet deceptive problems, all with an enlightening twist. We cover a broad range of topics including the instabilities acting in accretion discs, the hydrodynamics governing the convective zone of the Sun, the magnetic shielding of a cooling galaxy cluster, and the behaviour of thermal instabilities and evaporating clouds. The aim of this review is to surprise and intrigue even veteran astrophysical theorists with an idiosyncratic choice of problems and counterintuitive results. At the same time, we endeavour to bring forth the fundamental ideas, to set out important assumptions, and to describe carefully whatever novel techniques may be appropriate to the problem at hand. By beginning at the beginning, and analysing a wide variety of astrophysical settings, we seek not only to make this review suitable for fluid dynamic veterans, but to engage novice recruits as well with what we hope will be an unusual and instructive introduction to the subject.
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2016 (2016)
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab srl .Cosmology has made enormous progress through studies of the cosmic microwave background, however the subtle signals being now sought such as B-mode polarisation due to primordial gravitational waves are increasingly hard to disentangle from residual Galactic foregrounds in the derived CMB maps. We revisit our finding that on large angular scales there are traces of the nearby old supernova remnant Loop I in the WMAP 9-year map of the CMB and confirm this with the new SMICA map from the Planck satellite.
Nature Communications 7 (2016)
© The Author(s) 2016.The remarkable discovery by the Chandra X-ray observatory that the Crab nebula's jet periodically changes direction provides a challenge to our understanding of astrophysical jet dynamics. It has been suggested that this phenomenon may be the consequence of magnetic fields and magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, but experimental demonstration in a controlled laboratory environment has remained elusive. Here we report experiments that use high-power lasers to create a plasma jet that can be directly compared with the Crab jet through well-defined physical scaling laws. The jet generates its own embedded toroidal magnetic fields; as it moves, plasma instabilities result in multiple deflections of the propagation direction, mimicking the kink behaviour of the Crab jet. The experiment is modelled with three-dimensional numerical simulations that show exactly how the instability develops and results in changes of direction of the jet.
PLASMA PHYSICS AND CONTROLLED FUSION 58 (2016) ARTN 045023
Nature Communications 7 (2016)
© 2016, Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.Twisted Laguerre-Gaussian lasers, with orbital angular momentum and characterized by doughnut-shaped intensity profiles, provide a transformative set of tools and research directions in a growing range of fields and applications, from super-resolution microcopy and ultra-fast optical communications to quantum computing and astrophysics. The impact of twisted light is widening as recent numerical calculations provided solutions to long-standing challenges in plasma-based acceleration by allowing for high-gradient positron acceleration. The production of ultra-high-intensity twisted laser pulses could then also have a broad influence on relativistic laser-matter interactions. Here we show theoretically and with ab initio three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations that stimulated Raman backscattering can generate and amplify twisted lasers to petawatt intensities in plasmas. This work may open new research directions in nonlinear optics and high-energy-density science, compact plasma-based accelerators and light sources.
Astrophysical Journal Letters 825 (2016)
© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.The firehose and mirror instabilities are thought to arise in a variety of space and astrophysical plasmas, constraining the pressure anisotropies and drifts between particle species. The plasma stability depends on all species simultaneously, meaning that a combined analysis is required. Here, we present the first such analysis in the solar wind, using the long-wavelength stability parameters to combine the anisotropies and drifts of all major species (core and beam protons, alphas, and electrons). At the threshold, the firehose parameter was found to be dominated by protons (67%), but also to have significant contributions from electrons (18%) and alphas (15%). Drifts were also found to be important, contributing 57% in the presence of a proton beam. A similar situation was found for the mirror, with contributions of 61%, 28%, and 11% for protons, electrons, and alphas, respectively. The parallel electric field contribution, however, was found to be small at 9%. Overall, the long-wavelength thresholds constrain the data well (<1% unstable), and the implications of this are discussed.
Physics of Plasmas American Institute of Physics (AIP) (2016)
Erratum: Towards simulating star formation in turbulent high-z galaxies with mechanical supernova feedback [MNRAS, (2015), 451, 290]
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 459 (2016) 256-256
The radiative zone of the Sun and the tachocline: stability of baroclinic patterns of differential rotation
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 457 (2016) 1711-1721
Improved limits on dark matter annihilation in the Sun with the 79-string IceCube detector and implications for supersymmetry
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2016 (2016)
We present an improved event-level likelihood formalism for including neutrino telescope data in global fits to new physics. We derive limits on spin-dependent dark matter-proton scattering by employing the new formalism in a re-analysis of data from the 79-string IceCube search for dark matter annihilation in the Sun, including explicit energy information for each event. The new analysis excludes a number of models in the weak-scale minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM) for the first time. This work is accompanied by the public release of the 79-string IceCube data, as well as an associated computer code for applying the new likelihood to arbitrary dark matter models.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 829 (2016) 76-82
© 2016 The AuthorsThe Advanced Proton Driven Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Experiment (AWAKE) aims at studying plasma wakefield generation and electron acceleration driven by proton bunches. It is a proof-of-principle R&D experiment at CERN and the world׳s first proton driven plasma wakefield acceleration experiment. The AWAKE experiment will be installed in the former CNGS facility and uses the 400 GeV/c proton beam bunches from the SPS. The first experiments will focus on the self-modulation instability of the long (rms ~12 cm) proton bunch in the plasma. These experiments are planned for the end of 2016. Later, in 2017/2018, low energy (~15 MeV) electrons will be externally injected into the sample wakefields and be accelerated beyond 1 GeV. The main goals of the experiment will be summarized. A summary of the AWAKE design and construction status will be presented.
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 451 (2015) 3437-3452
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 447 (2015) 2181-2197
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 454 (2015) 3653-3663
A COMBINED MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD ANALYSIS OF THE HIGH-ENERGY ASTROPHYSICAL NEUTRINO FLUX MEASURED WITH ICECUBE
ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 809 (2015) ARTN 98
Determining neutrino oscillation parameters from atmospheric muon neutrino disappearance with three years of IceCube DeepCore data
PHYSICAL REVIEW D 91 (2015) ARTN 072004
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 450 (2015) 4184-4197
HIGH ENERGY DENSITY PHYSICS 17 (2015) 24-31
Nature communications 6 (2015) 8905-
High-intensity lasers can be used to generate shockwaves, which have found applications in nuclear fusion, proton imaging, cancer therapies and materials science. Collisionless electrostatic shocks are one type of shockwave widely studied for applications involving ion acceleration. Here we show a novel mechanism for collisionless electrostatic shocks to heat small amounts of solid density matter to temperatures of ∼keV in tens of femtoseconds. Unusually, electrons play no direct role in the heating and it is the ions that determine the heating rate. Ions are heated due to an interplay between the electric field of the shock, the local density increase during the passage of the shock and collisions between different species of ion. In simulations, these factors combine to produce rapid, localized heating of the lighter ion species. Although the heated volume is modest, this would be one of the fastest heating mechanisms discovered if demonstrated in the laboratory.
MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 454 (2015) 3472-3479