Magnetic reconnection is thought to be an important driver of energetic particles in a variety of astrophysical phenomena such as solar flares and magnetospheric storms. However, the observed fraction of energy imparted to a nonthermal component can vary widely in different regimes. We use kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations to demonstrate the important role of the non-reversing (guide) field in controlling the efficiency of electron acceleration in collisionless reconnection. In reconnection where the guide field is smaller than the reconnecting component, the dominant electron accelerator is a Fermi-type mechanism that preferentially energizes the most energetic particles. In strong guide field reconnection, the field-line contraction that drives the Fermi mechanism becomes weak. Instead, parallel electric fields are primarily responsible for driving electron heating but are ineffective in driving the energetic component of the spectrum. Three-dimensional simulations reveal that the stochastic magnetic field that develops during 3D guide field reconnection plays a vital role in particle acceleration and transport. The reconnection outflows that drive Fermi acceleration also expel accelerating particles from energization regions. In 2D reconnection, electrons are trapped in island cores and acceleration ceases, whereas in 3D the stochastic magnetic field enables energetic electrons to leak out of islands and freely sample regions of energy release. A finite guide field is required to break initial 2D symmetry and facilitate escape from island structures. We show that reconnection with a guide field comparable to the reconnecting field generates the greatest number of energetic electrons, a regime where both (a) the Fermi mechanism is an efficient driver and (b) energetic electrons may freely access acceleration sites. These results have important implications for electron acceleration in solar flares and reconnection-driven dissipation in turbulence.
Voice disorders are medical conditions that often result from vocal abuse/misuse which is referred to generically as vocal hyperfunction. Standard voice assessment approaches cannot accurately determine the actual nature, prevalence, and pathological impact of hyperfunctional vocal behaviors because such behaviors can vary greatly across the course of an individual's typical day and may not be clearly demonstrated during a brief clinical encounter. Thus, it would be clinically valuable to develop noninvasive ambulatory measures that can reliably differentiate vocal hyperfunction from normal patterns of vocal behavior. As an initial step toward this goal we used an accelerometer taped to the neck surface to provide a continuous, noninvasive acceleration signal designed to capture some aspects of vocal behavior related to vocal cord nodules, a common manifestation of vocal hyperfunction. We gathered data from 12 female adult patients diagnosed with vocal fold nodules and 12 control speakers matched for age and occupation. We derived features from weeklong neck-surface acceleration recordings by using distributions of sound pressure level and fundamental frequency over 5-min windows of the acceleration signal and normalized these features so that intersubject comparisons were meaningful. We then used supervised machine learning to show that the two groups exhibit distinct vocal behaviors that can be detected using the acceleration signal. We were able to correctly classify 22 of the 24 subjects, suggesting that in the future measures of the acceleration signal could be used to detect patients with the types of aberrant vocal behaviors that are associated with hyperfunctional voice disorders.
Barriers to expanding access to medicines include weak pharmaceutical sector governance, lack of transparency and accountability, inadequate attention to social services on the political agenda, and financing challenges. Multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) may help overcome these barriers. Between 2008 and 2015, MeTA engaged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sectors of seven countries (Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Philippines, Uganda, and Zambia) to promote access goals through greater transparency. We reviewed archival data to document MeTA activities and results related to transparency and accountability in the seven countries where it was implemented. We identified common themes and content areas, noting specific activities used to make information transparent and accessible, how data were used to inform discussions, and the purpose and timing of meetings and advocacy activities to help set priorities and influence governance decisions. The cross-case analysis looked for pathways which might link the MeTA strategies to results such as better policies or program improvements. Countries used evidence gathering, open meetings, and proactive information dissemination to increase transparency. MeTA fostered policy dialogue to bring together the many government, civil society and private company stakeholders concerned with access issues, and provided them with information to understand barriers to access at policy, organizational, and community levels. We found strong evidence that transparency was enhanced. Some evidence suggests that MeTA efforts contributed to new policies and civil society capacity strengthening although the impact on government accountability is not clear. MeTA appears to have achieved its goal of creating a multi-stakeholder shared policy space in which government, civil society, and private sector players can come together and have a voice in the national pharmaceutical policy making process
Particle acceleration induced by magnetic reconnection is thought to be a promising candidate for producing the nonthermal emissions associated with explosive phenomena such as solar flares, pulsar wind nebulae, and jets from active galactic nuclei. Laboratory experiments can play an important role in the study of the detailed microphysics of magnetic reconnection and the dominant particle acceleration mechanisms. We have used two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to study particle acceleration in high Lundquist number reconnection regimes associated with laser-driven plasma experiments. For current experimental conditions, we show that nonthermal electrons can be accelerated to energies more than an order ofmore » magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy. The nonthermal electrons gain their energy mainly from the reconnection electric field near the X points, and particle injection into the reconnection layer and escape from the finite system establish a distribution of energies that resembles a power-law spectrum. Energetic electrons can also become trapped inside the plasmoids that form in the current layer and gain additional energy from the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. We compare simulations for finite and infinite periodic systems to demonstrate the importance of particle escape on the shape of the spectrum. Based on our findings, we provide an analytical estimate of the maximum electron energy and threshold condition for observing suprathermal electron acceleration in terms of experimentally tunable parameters. We also discuss experimental signatures, including the angular distribution of the accelerated particles, and construct synthetic detector spectra. Finally, these results open the way for novel experimental studies of particle acceleration induced by reconnection.« less
Compact laser-driven accelerators are pursued heavily worldwide because they make novel methods and tools invented at national laboratories widely accessible in science, health, security, and technology [V. Malka et al., Principles and applications of compact laser-plasma accelerators, Nat. Phys. 4, 447 (2008)]. Current leading laser-based accelerator technologies [S. P. D. Mangles et al., Monoenergetic beams of relativistic electrons from intense laser-plasma interactions, Nature (London) 431, 535 (2004); T. Toncian et al., Ultrafast laser-driven microlens to focus and energy-select mega-electron volt protons, Science 312, 410 (2006); S. Tokita et al. Single-shot ultrafast electron diffraction with a laser-accelerated sub-MeV electron pulse, Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 111911 (2009)] rely on a medium to assist the light to particle energy transfer. The medium imposes material limitations or may introduce inhomogeneous fields [J. R. Dwyer et al., Femtosecond electron diffraction: "Making the molecular movie,", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 364, 741 (2006)]. The advent of few cycle ultraintense radially polarized lasers [S. Carbajo et al., Efficient generation of ultraintense few-cycle radially polarized laser pulses, Opt. Lett. 39, 2487 (2014)] has ushered in a novel accelerator concept [L. J. Wong and F. X. Kärtner, Direct acceleration of an electron in infinite vacuum by a pulsed radially polarized laser beam, Opt. Express 18, 25035 (2010); F. Pierre-Louis et al. Direct-field electron acceleration with ultrafast radially polarized laser beams: Scaling laws and optimization, J. Phys. B 43, 025401 (2010); Y. I. Salamin, Electron acceleration from rest in vacuum by an axicon Gaussian laser beam, Phys. Rev. A 73, 043402 (2006); C. Varin and M. Piché, Relativistic attosecond electron pulses from a free-space laser-acceleration scheme, Phys. Rev. E 74, 045602 (2006); A. Sell and F. X. Kärtner, Attosecond electron bunches accelerated and compressed by radially polarized laser
The High Optical Access (HOA) trap was designed in collaboration with the Modular Universal Scalable Ion-trap Quantum Computer (MUSIQC) team, funded along with Sandia National Laboratories through IARPA's Multi Qubit Coherent Operations (MQCO) program. The design of version 1 of the HOA trap was completed in September 2012 and initial devices were completed and packaged in February 2013. The second version of the High Optical Access Trap (HOA-2) was completed in September 2014 and is available at IARPA's disposal. 2b1af7f3a8