Abstract

The physical properties of glassy polymer films change as they become confined. These changes are often attributed to increased average molecular mobility and reduction in entanglement density. Both are known to alter mechanical behavior, including the formation of strain localizations, e.g., crazing and shear deformation zones. Here, we determine how the entanglement density and surface mobility change the mechanical behavior of a glassy polymer film when it becomes confined. We utilize a custom-built uniaxial tensile tester for ultrathin films and dark-field optical microscopy to characterize the complete stress strain response and the associated strain localizations for ultrathin polystyrene films of varying thickness (h(F) = 20-360 nm). These experiments provide direct measurement of the stress in a craze as well as the stresses involved through the transition from crazing to shear deformation zones. Most significantly, we observe a transition in strain localization from crazing to shear deformation zones as film thickness changes from 30 to 20 nm, providing new insights into how the surfaces alter the mechanical behavior in confined polymer films.

Abstract

Photons from distant astronomical sources can be used as a classical source of randomness to improve fundamental tests of quantum nonlocality, wave-particle duality, and local realism through Bell’s inequality and delayed-choice quantum eraser tests inspired by Wheeler’s cosmic-scale Mach-Zehnder interferometer gedanken experiment. Such sources of random numbers may also be useful for information-theoretic applications such as key distribution for quantum cryptography. Building on the design of an astronomical random number generator developed for the recent cosmic Bell experiment [Handsteiner et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 060401 (2017)], in this paper we report on the design and characterization of a device that, with 20-nanosecond latency, outputs a bit based on whether the wavelength of an incoming photon is greater than or less than ≈700 nm. Using the one-meter telescope at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Table Mountain Observatory, we generated random bits from astronomical photons in both color channels from 50 stars of varying color and magnitude, and from 12 quasars with redshifts up to \( z = 3.9 \). With stars, we achieved bit rates of \( \sim1 \times 10^6\,\mathrm{Hz/m^2} \), limited by saturation of our single-photon detectors, and with quasars of magnitudes between 12.9 and 16, we achieved rates between \( \sim 10^2 \) and \( 2 \times 10^3 \,\mathrm{Hz/m^2} \). For bright quasars, the resulting bitstreams exhibit sufficiently low amounts of statistical predictability as quantified by the mutual information. In addition, a sufficiently high fraction of bits generated are of true astronomical origin in order to address both the locality and freedom-of-choice loopholes when used to set the measurement settings in a test of the Bell-CHSH inequality.

Abstract

We demonstrate that rare decays of the Standard Model \( Z \) boson can be used to discover and characterize the nature of new hidden-sector particles. We propose new searches for these particles in soft, high-multiplicity leptonic final states at the Large Hadron Collider. The proposed searches are sensitive to low-mass particles produced in \( Z \) decays, and we argue that these striking signatures can shed light on the hidden-sector couplings and mechanism for mass generation.

Abstract

Hydrodynamic slip, the motion of a liquid along a solid surface, represents a fundamental phenomenon in fluid dynamics that governs liquid transport at small scales. For polymeric liquids, de Gennes predicted that the Navier boundary condition together with polymer reptation implies extraordinarily large interfacial slip for entangled polymer melts on ideal surfaces; this Navier-de Gennes model was confirmed using dewetting experiments on ultra-smooth, low-energy substrates. Here, we use capillary leveling-surface tension driven flow of films with initially non-uniform thickness-of polymeric films on these same substrates. Measurement of the slip length from a robust one parameter fit to a lubrication model is achieved. We show that at the low shear rates involved in leveling experiments as compared to dewetting ones, the employed substrates can no longer be considered ideal. The data is instead consistent with a model that includes physical adsorption of polymer chains at the solid/liquid interface.

Abstract

Mechanical power limitations emerge from the physical trade-off between force and velocity. Many biological systems incorporate power-enhancing mechanisms enabling extraordinary accelerations at small sizes. We establish how power enhancement emerges through the dynamic coupling of motors, springs, and latches and reveal how each displays its own force-velocity behavior. We mathematically demonstrate a tunable performance space for spring-actuated movement that is applicable to biological and synthetic systems. Incorporating nonideal spring behavior and parameterizing latch dynamics allows the identification of critical transitions in mass and trade-offs in spring scaling, both of which offer explanations for long-observed scaling patterns in biological systems. This analysis defines the cascading challenges of power enhancement, explores their emergent effects in biological and engineered systems, and charts a pathway for higher-level analysis and synthesis of power-amplified systems.

Abstract

The size dependence of the dielectric constants of barium titanate or other ferroelectric particles can be explored by embedding particles into an epoxy matrix whose dielectric constant can be measured directly. However, to extract the particle dielectric constant requires a model of the composite medium. We compare a finite-element model for various volume fractions and particle arrangements to several effective-medium approximations, which do not consider particle arrangement explicitly. For a fixed number of particles, the composite dielectric constant increases with the degree of agglomeration, and we relate this increase to the number of regions of enhanced electric field along the applied field between particles in an agglomerate. Additionally, even for dispersed particles, we find that the composite method of assessing the particle dielectric constant may not be effective if the particle dielectric constant is too high compared to the background medium dielectric constant.

Abstract

We find that laser-induced local melting attracts and deforms grain boundaries in 2D colloidal crystals. When a melted region in contact with the edge of a crystal grain recrystallizes, it deforms the grain boundarythis attraction is driven by the multiplicity of deformed grain boundary configurations. Furthermore, the attraction provides a method to fabricate artificial colloidal crystal grains of arbitrary shape, enabling new experimental studies of grain boundary dynamics and ultimately hinting at a novel approach for fabricating materials with designer microstructures.

Abstract

In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated \( p \) value of \( \sim 7.4 \times 10^{-21} \). This experiment pushes back to at least ∼7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.

Abstract

We study the two-dimensional superconductor-insulator transition (SIT) in thin films of tantalum nitride. At zero magnetic field, films can be disorder-tuned across the SIT by adjusting thickness and film stoichiometry; insulating films exhibit classical hopping transport. Superconducting films exhibit a magnetic-field-tuned SIT, whose insulating ground state at high field appears to be a quantum-corrected metal. Scaling behavior at the field-tuned SIT shows classical percolation critical exponents \( z ν \approx 1.3 \), with a corresponding critical field \( H_c \ll H_{c2} \), the upper critical field. The Hall effect exhibits a crossing point near \( H_c \), but with a nonuniversal critical value \( ρ_{xy}^{c} \) comparable to the normal-state Hall resistivity. We propose that high-carrier-density metals will always exhibit this pattern of behavior at the boundary between superconducting and (trivially) insulating ground states.

Abstract

Electrons confined to two dimensions display an unexpected diversity of behaviors as they are cooled to absolute zero. Noninteracting electrons are predicted to eventually “localize” into an insulating ground state, and it has long been supposed that electron correlations stabilize only one other phase: superconductivity. However, many two-dimensional (2D) superconducting materials have shown surprising evidence for metallic behavior, where the electrical resistivity saturates in the zero-temperature limit; the nature of this unexpected metallic state remains under intense scrutiny. We report electrical transport properties for two disordered 2D superconductors, indium oxide and tantalum nitride, and observe a magnetic field–tuned transition from a true superconductor to a metallic phase with saturated resistivity. This metallic phase is characterized by a vanishing Hall resistivity, suggesting that it retains particle-hole symmetry from the disrupted superconducting state.

Recent Publications

Student authorFaculty author

11.

R. Konane Bay, Shinichiro Shimomura, Yujie Liu, Mark Ilton, and Alfred J. Crosby

Confinement Effect on Strain Localizations in Glassy Polymer Films

Macromolecules 51 (2018) 3647-3653.
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12.

Calvin Leung, Amy Frances Brown, Hien Nguyen, Andrew S. Friedman, David I. Kaiser, and Jason Gallicchio

Astronomical Random Numbers for Quantum Foundations Experiments

Physical Review A 97 (2018) 042120.
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13.

Nikita Blinov, Eder Izaguirre, and Brian Shuve

Rare Z Boson Decays to a Hidden Sector

Physical Review D 97 (2018) 015009.
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14.

Mark Ilton, Thomas Salez, Paul D. Fowler, Marco Rivetti, Mohammed Aly, Michael Benzaquen, Joshua D. McGraw, Elie Raphael, Kari Dalnoki-Veress, and Oliver Baeumchen

Adsorption-induced slip inhibition for polymer melts on ideal substrates

Nature Communications 9 (2018) .
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15.

Mark Ilton, M. Saad Bhamla, Xiaotian Ma, Suzanne M. Cox, Leah L. Fitchett, Yongjin Kim, Je-sung Koh, Deepak Krishnamurthy, Chi-Yun Kuo, Fatma Zeynep Temel, Alfred J. Crosby, Manu Prakash, Gregory P. Sutton, Robert J. Wood, Emanuel Azizi, Sarah Bergbreiter, and S. N. Patek

The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems

Science 360 (2018) 397+.
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16.

Jonas Leif Kaufman, Scott H. Tan, Kirklann Lau, Ashka Shailesh Shah, Robert G. Gambee, Christopher P. Gage, Lupe Maria MacIntosh, Albert Dato, Peter N. Saeta, Richard C. Haskell, and Todd C. Monson

Permittivity effects of particle agglomeration in ferroelectric ceramic-epoxy composites using finite element modeling

AIP Advances 8 (2018) 125020.
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17.

Caitlin Ellen Cash, Jeremy Wang, Maya Maria Martirossyan, Kemper Ludlow, Alejandro E. Baptista, Nina M. Brown, Eli Joseph Weissler, Jatin Abacousnac, and Sharon Gerbode

Local Melting Attracts Grain Boundaries in Colloidal Polycrystals

Physical Review Letters 120 (2018) 018002.
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18.

Dominik Rauch, Johannes Handsteiner, Armin Hochrainer, Jason Gallicchio, Andrew S. Friedman, Calvin Leung, Bo Liu, Lukas Bulla, Sebastian Ecker, Fabian Steinlechner, Rupert Ursin, Beili Hu, David Leon, Chris Benn, Adriano Ghedina, Massimo Cecconi, Alan H. Guth, David I. Kaiser, Thomas Scheidl, and Anton Zeilinger

Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars

Physical Review Letters 121 (2018) 080403.
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19.

Nicholas P. Breznay, Mihir Tendulkar, Li Zhang, Sang-Chul Lee, and Aharon Kapitulnik

Superconductor To Weak-Insulator Transitions in Disordered Tantalum Nitride Films

Physical Review B 96 (2017) 134522.
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20.

Nicholas P. Breznay and Aharon Kapitulnik

Particle-Hole Symmetry Reveals Failed Superconductivity in the Metallic Phase of Two-Dimensional Superconducting Films

Science Advances 3 (2017) e1700612.
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