Refining mass formulas for astrophysical applications: a Bayesian neural network approach [CL]

Exotic nuclei, particularly those near the driplines, are at the core of one of the fundamental questions driving nuclear structure and astrophysics today: what are the limits of nuclear binding? Exotic nuclei play a critical role in both informing theoretical models as well as in our understanding of the origin of the heavy elements. Our purpose is to refine existing mass models through the training of an artificial neural network that will mitigate the large model discrepancies far away from stability. The basic paradigm of our two-pronged approach is an existing mass model that captures as much as possible of the underlying physics followed by the implementation of a Bayesian Neural Network (BNN) refinement to account for the missing physics. Bayesian inference is employed to determine the parameters of the neural network so that model predictions may be accompanied by theoretical uncertainties. Despite the undeniable quality of the mass models adopted in this work, we observe a significant improvement (of about 40%) after the BNN refinement is implemented. Indeed, in the specific case of the Duflo-Zuker mass formula, we find that the rms deviation relative to experiment is reduced from rms =0.503MeV to rms=0.286 MeV. These newly refined mass tables are used to map the neutron drip lines (or rather “drip bands”) and to study a few critical r-process nuclei. The BNN approach is highly successful in refining the predictions of existing mass models. In particular, the large discrepancy displayed by the original “bare” models in regions where experimental data is unavailable is considerably quenched after the BNN refinement. This lends credence to our approach and has motivated us to publish refined mass tables that we trust will be helpful for future astrophysical applications.

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Utama and J. Piekarewicz
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: N/A

The Memory Effect for Plane Gravitational Waves [CL]

We give an account of the “gravitational memory effect” in the presence of an exact plane wave solution of Einstein’s vacuum equations. This allows an elementary but exact description of the soft gravitons and how their presence may be detected by observing the motion of freely falling particles.

Read this paper on arXiv…

P. Zhang, C. Duval, G. Gibbons, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures

Seven Years of Imaging the Global Heliosphere with IBEX [CL]

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has now operated in space for 7 years and returned nearly continuous observations that have led to scientific discoveries and reshaped our entire understanding of the outer heliosphere and its interaction with the local interstellar medium. Here we extend prior work, adding the 2014-2015 data for the first time, and examine, validate, initially analyze, and provide a complete 7-year set of Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) observations from ~0.1 to 6 keV. The data, maps, and documentation provided here represent the 10th major release of IBEX data and include improvements to various prior corrections to provide the citable reference for the current version of IBEX data. We are now able to study time variations in the outer heliosphere and interstellar interaction over more than half a solar cycle. We find that the Ribbon has evolved differently than the globally distributed flux (GDF), with a leveling off and partial recovery of ENAs from the GDF, owing to solar wind output flattening and recovery. The Ribbon has now also lost its latitudinal ordering, which reflects the breakdown of solar minimum solar wind conditions and exhibits a greater time delay than for the surrounding GDF. Together, the IBEX observations strongly support a secondary ENA source for the Ribbon, and we suggest that this be adopted as the nominal explanation of the Ribbon going forward.

Read this paper on arXiv…

D. McComas, E. Zirnstein, M. Bzowski, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: Pre-print, 59 pages, 33 figures, published in ApJS

Relativistic Static Thin Disks of Polarized Matter [CL]

An infinite family of exact solutions of the electrovacuum Einstein-Maxwell equations is presented. The family is static, axially symmetric and describe thin disks composed by electrically polarized material in a conformastatic spacetime. The form of the conformastatic metric allows us to write down the metric functions and the electromagnetic potentials in terms of a solution of the Laplace equation. We find a general expression for the surface energy density of the disk, the pressure, the polarization vector, the electromagnetic fields and the velocity rotation for circular orbits. As an example, we present the first model of the family and show the behavior of the different physical variables.

Read this paper on arXiv…

A. Navarro, F. Lora-Clavijo and G. Gonzalez
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures, 70 and 70 Gravitation Fest, 28 September 2016, Cartagena, Colombia

Displacement Damage dose and DLTS Analyses on Triple and Single Junction solar cells irradiated with electrons and protons [CL]

Space solar cells radiation hardness is of fundamental importance in view of the future missions towards harsh radiation environment (like e.g. missions to Jupiter) and for the new spacecraft using electrical propulsion. In this paper we report the radiation data for triple junction (TJ) solar cells and related component cells. Triple junction solar cells, InGaP top cells and GaAs middle cells degrade after electron radiation as expected. With proton irradiation, a high spread in the remaining factors was observed, especially for the TJ and bottom cells. Very surprising was the germanium bottom junction that showed very high degradation after protons whereas it is quite stable against electrons. Radiation results have been analyzed by means of the Displacement Damage Dose method and DLTS spectroscopy.

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. Baur, R. Campesato, M. Casale, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: Abstract accepted for poster session at 2017 IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference, July 17-21, New Orleans

Superradiance in rotating stars and pulsar-timing constraints on dark photons [CL]

In the presence of massive bosonic degrees of freedom, rotational superradiance can trigger an instability that spins down black holes. This leads to peculiar gravitational-wave signatures and distribution in the spin-mass plane, which in turn can impose stringent constraints on ultralight fields. Here, we demonstrate that there is an analogous spindown effect for conducting stars. We show that rotating stars amplify low frequency electromagnetic waves, and that this effect is largest when the time scale for conduction within the star is of the order of a light crossing time. This has interesting consequences for dark photons, as massive dark photons would cause stars to spin down due to superradiant instabilities. The time scale of the spindown depends on the mass of the dark photon, and on the rotation rate, compactness, and conductivity of the star. Existing measurements of the spindown rate of pulsars place direct constraints on models of dark sectors. Our analysis suggests that dark photons of mass $m_V \sim 10^{-12}$ eV are excluded by pulsar-timing observations. These constraints also exclude superradiant instabilities triggered by dark photons as an explanation for the spin limit of observed pulsars.

Read this paper on arXiv…

V. Cardoso, P. Pani and T. Yu
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 13 pages, 4 figures

Decoupling gravitational sources in general relativity: from perfect to anisotropic fluids [CL]

We show the first simple, systematic and direct approach to decoupling gravitational sources in general relativity. As a direct application, a robust and simple way to generate anisotropic solutions for self-gravitating systems from perfect fluid solutions is presented.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Ovalle
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 5 pages