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

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

Uninhabited aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) observations 2009–2017 of the Yuha Desert area and Global Positioning System (GPS) time series encompassing the region reveal a northward migrating pattern of deformation following the 4 April 2010 \( M_w \) 7.2 El Mayor‐Cucapah (EMC) earthquake. The north end of the EMC rupture exhibits an asymmetric pattern of deformation that is substantial and smooth northeast of the rupture and limited but with surface fracturing slip northwest. The earthquake triggered ~1 cm of surface coseismic slip at the Yuha fault, which continued to slip postseismically. 2.5 cm of Yuha fault slip occurred by the time of the 15 June 2010 \( M_w \) 5.7 Ocotillo aftershock and 5 cm of slip occurred by 2017 following a logarithmic afterslip decay 16‐day timescale. The Ocotillo aftershock triggered 1.4 cm of slip on a northwest trend extending to the Elsinore fault and by 7 years after the EMC earthquake 2.4 cm of slip had accumulated with a distribution following an afterslip function with a 16‐day timescale consistent with other earthquakes and a rate strengthening upper crustal sedimentary layer. GPS data show broad coseismic uplift of the Salton Trough and delayed postseismic motion that may be indicative of fluid migration there and subsidence west of the rupture extension, which continues following the earthquake. The data indicate that the Elsinore, Laguna Salada, and EMC ruptures are part of the same fault system. The results also suggest that north‐south shortening and east‐west extension across the region drove fracture advancing step tectonics north of the EMC earthquake rupture.

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

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

Honeycomb iridates such as $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 are argued to realize Kitaev spin-anisotropic magnetic exchange, along with Heisenberg and possibly other couplings. While systems with pure Kitaev interactions are candidates to realize a quantum spin-liquid ground state, in $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 it has been shown that the presence of competing magnetic interactions leads to an incommensurate spiral spin order at ambient pressure below 38 K. We study the pressure sensitivity of this magnetically ordered state in single crystals of $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 using resonant x-ray scattering (RXS) under applied hydrostatic pressures of up to 3 GPa. RXS is a direct probe of electronic order, and we observe the abrupt disappearance of the q sp=(0.57, 0, 0) spiral order at a critical pressure Pc= 1.4 GPa with no accompanying change in the symmetry of the lattice.

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.

Abstract

Two methods of quantifying the spatial resolution of a camera are described, performed, and compared, with the objective of designing an imaging-system experiment for students in an undergraduate optics laboratory. With the goal of characterizing the resolution of a typical digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, we motivate, introduce, and show agreement between traditional test-target contrast measurements and the technique of using Fourier analysis to obtain the modulation transfer function (MTF). The advantages and drawbacks of each method are compared. Finally, we explore the rich optical physics at work in the camera system by calculating the MTF as a function of wavelength and f-number. For example, we find that the Canon 40D demonstrates better spatial resolution at short wavelengths, in accordance with scalar diffraction theory, but is not diffraction-limited, being significantly affected by spherical aberration. The experiment and data analysis routines described here can be built and written in an undergraduate optics lab setting.

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.

Recent Publications

Student authorFaculty author

21.

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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22.

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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23.

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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24.

Andrea Donnellan, Jay Parker, Michael Heflin, Gregory A. Lyzenga, Angelyn W. Moore, Lisa Grant Ludwig, John Rundle, Jun Wang, and Marlon Pierce

Fracture Advancing Step Tectonics Observed in the Yuha Desert and Ocotillo, CA, Following the 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake

Earth and Space Science (2018) .
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25.

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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26.

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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27.

Nicholas P. Breznay, Alejandro Ruiz, Alex Frano, Wenli Bi, Robert J. Birgeneau, Daniel Haskel, and James G. Analytis

Resonant X-Ray Scattering Reveals Possible Disappearance of Magnetic Order Under Hydrostatic Pressure in the Kitaev Candidate $\Gamma$-Li$_2$Iro$_3$

Physical Review B 96 (2017) 020402.
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28.

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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29.

Calvin Leung and Thomas D. Donnelly

Measuring the spatial resolution of an optical system in an undergraduate optics laboratory

American Journal of Physics 85 (2017) 429-438.
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30.

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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