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  • Askarieh, G., et al. (författare)
  • Self-assembly of spider silk proteins is controlled by a pH-sensitive relay
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: Nature. - : Nature Publishing Group. - 1476-4687 .- 0028-0836. - 1476-4687 (Electronic) 0028-0836 (Linking) ; 465:7295, s. 236-8
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Nature's high-performance polymer, spider silk, consists of specific proteins, spidroins, with repetitive segments flanked by conserved non-repetitive domains. Spidroins are stored as a highly concentrated fluid dope. On silk formation, intermolecular interactions between repeat regions are established that provide strength and elasticity. How spiders manage to avoid premature spidroin aggregation before self-assembly is not yet established. A pH drop to 6.3 along the spider's spinning apparatus, altered salt composition and shear forces are believed to trigger the conversion to solid silk, but no molecular details are known. Miniature spidroins consisting of a few repetitive spidroin segments capped by the carboxy-terminal domain form metre-long silk-like fibres irrespective of pH. We discovered that incorporation of the amino-terminal domain of major ampullate spidroin 1 from the dragline of the nursery web spider Euprosthenops australis (NT) into mini-spidroins enables immediate, charge-dependent self-assembly at pH values around 6.3, but delays aggregation above pH 7. The X-ray structure of NT, determined to 1.7 A resolution, shows a homodimer of dipolar, antiparallel five-helix bundle subunits that lack homologues. The overall dimeric structure and observed charge distribution of NT is expected to be conserved through spider evolution and in all types of spidroins. Our results indicate a relay-like mechanism through which the N-terminal domain regulates spidroin assembly by inhibiting precocious aggregation during storage, and accelerating and directing self-assembly as the pH is lowered along the spider's silk extrusion duct.
  • Aartsen, M. G. (författare)
  • Measurement of the multi-TeV neutrino interaction cross-section with IceCube using Earth absorption
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Nature. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 551:7682, s. 596-600
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Neutrinos interact only very weakly, so they are extremely penetrating. The theoretical neutrino-nucleon interaction cross-section, however, increases with increasing neutrino energy, and neutrinos with energies above 40 teraelectronvolts (TeV) are expected to be absorbed as they pass through the Earth. Experimentally, the cross-section has been determined only at the relatively low energies (below 0.4 TeV) that are available at neutrino beams fromaccelerators(1,2). Here we report a measurement of neutrino absorption by the Earth using a sample of 10,784 energetic upward-going neutrino-induced muons. The flux of high-energy neutrinos transiting long paths through the Earth is attenuated compared to a reference sample that follows shorter trajectories. Using a fit to the two-dimensional distribution of muon energy and zenith angle, we determine the neutrino-nucleon interaction cross-section for neutrino energies 6.3-980 TeV, more than an order of magnitude higher than previous measurements. The measured cross-section is about 1.3 times the prediction of the standard model(3), consistent with the expectations for charged-and neutral-current interactions. We do not observe a large increase in the crosssection with neutrino energy, in contrast with the predictions of some theoretical models, including those invoking more compact spatial dimensions(4) or the production of leptoquarks(5). This cross-section measurement can be used to set limits on the existence of some hypothesized beyond-standard-model particles, including leptoquarks.
  • Abbasi, R., et al. (författare)
  • An absence of neutrinos associated with cosmic-ray acceleration in gamma-ray bursts
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Nature. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 484:7394, s. 351-354
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Very energetic astrophysical events are required to accelerate cosmic rays to above 10(18) electronvolts. GRBs (c-ray bursts) have been proposed as possible candidate sources(1-3). In the GRB 'fireball' model, cosmic-ray acceleration should be accompanied by neutrinos produced in the decay of charged pions created in interactions between the high-energy cosmic-ray protons and gamma-rays(4). Previous searches for such neutrinos found none, but the constraints were weak because the sensitivity was at best approximately equal to the predicted flux(5-7). Here we report an upper limit on the flux of energetic neutrinos associated with GRBs that is at least a factor of 3.7 below the predictions(4,8-10). This implies either that GRBs are not the only sources of cosmic rays with energies exceeding 10(18) electronvolts or that the efficiency of neutrino production is much lower than has been predicted.
  • Abdalla, H., et al. (författare)
  • A very-high-energy component deep in the gamma-ray burst afterglow
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Nature. - : Nature Publishing Group. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 575:7783, s. 464-467
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are brief flashes of gamma-rays and are considered to be the most energetic explosive phenomena in the Universe(1). The emission from GRBs comprises a short (typically tens of seconds) and bright prompt emission, followed by a much longer afterglow phase. During the afterglow phase, the shocked outflow-produced by the interaction between the ejected matter and the circumburst medium-slows down, and a gradual decrease in brightness is observed(2). GRBs typically emit most of their energy via.-rays with energies in the kiloelectronvolt-to-megaelectronvolt range, but a few photons with energies of tens of gigaelectronvolts have been detected by space-based instruments(3). However, the origins of such high-energy (above one gigaelectronvolt) photons and the presence of very-high-energy (more than 100 gigaelectronvolts) emission have remained elusive(4). Here we report observations of very-high-energy emission in the bright GRB 180720B deep in the GRB afterglow-ten hours after the end of the prompt emission phase, when the X-ray flux had already decayed by four orders of magnitude. Two possible explanations exist for the observed radiation: inverse Compton emission and synchrotron emission of ultrarelativistic electrons. Our observations show that the energy fluxes in the X-ray and gamma-ray range and their photon indices remain comparable to each other throughout the afterglow. This discovery places distinct constraints on the GRB environment for both emission mechanisms, with the inverse Compton explanation alleviating the particle energy requirements for the emission observed at late times. The late timing of this detection has consequences for the future observations of GRBs at the highest energies.
  • Abdalla, H., et al. (författare)
  • Resolving acceleration to very high energies along the jet of Centaurus A
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Nature. - : Nature Publishing Group. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 582:7812, s. 356-359
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A belongs to a class of active galaxies that are luminous at radio wavelengths. Most show collimated relativistic outflows known as jets, which extend over hundreds of thousands of parsecs for the most powerful sources. Accretion of matter onto the central supermassive black hole is believed to fuel these jets and power their emission(1). Synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons causes the radio emission, and it has been suggested that the X-ray emission from Centaurus A also originates in electron synchrotron processes(2-4). Another possible explanation is inverse Compton scattering with cosmic microwave background (CMB) soft photons(5-7). Synchrotron radiation needs ultrarelativistic electrons (about 50 teraelectronvolts) and, given their short cooling times, requires some continuous re-acceleration mechanism(8). Inverse Compton scattering, on the other hand, does not require very energetic electrons, but the jets must stay highly relativistic on large scales (exceeding 1 megaparsec). Some recent evidence disfavours inverse Compton-CMB models(9-12), although other work seems to be compatible with them(13,14). In principle, the detection of extended gamma-ray emission, which directly probes the presence of ultrarelativistic electrons, could distinguish between these options. At gigaelectronvolt energies there is also an unusual spectral hardening(15,16)in Centaurus A that has not yet been explained. Here we report observations of Centaurus A at teraelectronvolt energies that resolve its large-scale jet. We interpret the data as evidence for the acceleration of ultrarelativistic electrons in the jet, and favour the synchrotron explanation for the X-rays. Given that this jet is not exceptional in terms of power, length or speed, it is possible that ultrarelativistic electrons are commonplace in the large-scale jets of radio-loud active galaxies. Observations of the radio galaxy Centaurus A at teraelectronvolt energies resolve its large-scale jet and favour electron synchrotron processes as the source of its X-ray emission.
  • Abdi-Jalebi, Mojtaba, et al. (författare)
  • Maximizing and stabilizing luminescence from halide perovskites with potassium passivation
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: ; 555, s. 497-501
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Metal halide perovskites are of great interest for various high-performance optoelectronic applications. The ability to tune the perovskite bandgap continuously by modifying the chemical composition opens up applications for perovskites as coloured emitters, in building-integrated photovoltaics, and as components of tandem photovoltaics to increase the power conversion efficiency. Nevertheless, performance is limited by non-radiative losses, with luminescence yields in state-of-the-art perovskite solar cells still far from 100 per cent under standard solar illumination conditions. Furthermore, in mixed halide perovskite systems designed for continuous bandgap tunability2 (bandgaps of approximately 1.7 to 1.9 electronvolts), photoinduced ion segregation leads to bandgap instabilities. Here we demonstrate substantial mitigation of both non-radiative losses and photoinduced ion migration in perovskite films and interfaces by decorating the surfaces and grain boundaries with passivating potassium halide layers. We demonstrate external photoluminescence quantum yields of 66 per cent, which translate to internal yields that exceed 95 per cent. The high luminescence yields are achieved while maintaining high mobilities of more than 40 square centimetres per volt per second, providing the elusive combination of both high luminescence and excellent charge transport. When interfaced with electrodes in a solar cell device stack, the external luminescence yield—a quantity that must be maximized to obtain high efficiency—remains as high as 15 per cent, indicating very clean interfaces. We also demonstrate the inhibition of transient photoinduced ion-migration processes across a wide range of mixed halide perovskite bandgaps in materials that exhibit bandgap instabilities when unpassivated. We validate these results in fully operating solar cells. Our work represents an important advance in the construction of tunable metal halide perovskite films and interfaces that can approach the efficiency limits in tandem solar cells, coloured-light-emitting diodes and other optoelectronic applications.
  • Abdo, A. A., et al. (författare)
  • A change in the optical polarization associated with a gamma-ray flare in the blazar 3C 279
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: ; 463:7283, s. 919-923
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • It is widely accepted that strong and variable radiation detected over all accessible energy bands in a number of active galaxies arises from a relativistic, Doppler-boosted jet pointing close to our line of sight(1). The size of the emitting zone and the location of this region relative to the central supermassive black hole are, however, poorly known, with estimates ranging from light-hours to a light-year or more. Here we report the coincidence of a gamma (gamma)-ray flare with a dramatic change of optical polarization angle. This provides evidence for co-spatiality of optical and gamma-ray emission regions and indicates a highly ordered jet magnetic field. The results also require a non-axisymmetric structure of the emission zone, implying a curved trajectory for the emitting material within the jet, with the dissipation region located at a considerable distance from the black hole, at about 10(5) gravitational radii.
  • Abdo, A. A., et al. (författare)
  • A limit on the variation of the speed of light arising from quantum gravity effects
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: Nature. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 462:7271, s. 331-334
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • A cornerstone of Einstein’s special relativity is Lorentz invariance—the postulate that all observers measure exactly the same speed of light in vacuum, independent of photon-energy. While special relativity assumes that there is no fundamental length-scale associated with such invariance, there is a fundamental scale (the Planck scale, lPlanck~1.62×10-33cm or EPlanck = MPlanckc2~1.22×1019GeV), at which quantum effects are expected to strongly affect the nature of space–time. There is great interest in the (not yet validated) idea that Lorentz invariance might break near the Planck scale. A key test of such violation of Lorentz invariance is a possible variation of photon speed with energy. Even a tiny variation in photon speed, when accumulated over cosmological light-travel times, may be revealed by observing sharp features in γ-ray burst (GRB) light-curves. Here we report the detection of emission up to ~31GeV from the distant and short GRB090510. We find no evidence for the violation of Lorentz invariance, and place a lower limit of 1.2EPlanck on the scale of a linear energy dependence (or an inverse wavelength dependence), subject to reasonable assumptions about the emission (equivalently we have an upper limit of lPlanck/1.2 on the length scale of the effect). Our results disfavour quantum-gravity theories in which the quantum nature of space–time on a very small scale linearly alters the speed of light.
  • Abellán, C., et al. (författare)
  • Challenging Local Realism with Human Choices
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Nature. - : Nature Publishing Group. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 557, s. 212-216
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • A Bell test is a randomized trial that compares experimental observations against the philosophical worldview of local realism , in which the properties of the physical world are independent of our observation of them and no signal travels faster than light. A Bell test requires spatially distributed entanglement, fast and high-efficiency detection and unpredictable measurement settings. Although technology can satisfy the first two of these requirements, the use of physical devices to choose settings in a Bell test involves making assumptions about the physics that one aims to test. Bell himself noted this weakness in using physical setting choices and argued that human 'free will' could be used rigorously to ensure unpredictability in Bell tests. Here we report a set of local-realism tests using human choices, which avoids assumptions about predictability in physics. We recruited about 100,000 human participants to play an online video game that incentivizes fast, sustained input of unpredictable selections and illustrates Bell-test methodology. The participants generated 97,347,490 binary choices, which were directed via a scalable web platform to 12 laboratories on five continents, where 13 experiments tested local realism using photons, single atoms, atomic ensembles and superconducting devices. Over a 12-hour period on 30 November 2016, participants worldwide provided a sustained data flow of over 1,000 bits per second to the experiments, which used different human-generated data to choose each measurement setting. The observed correlations strongly contradict local realism and other realistic positions in bi-partite and tri-partite 12 scenarios. Project outcomes include closing the 'freedom-of-choice loophole' (the possibility that the setting choices are influenced by 'hidden variables' to correlate with the particle properties), the utilization of video-game methods for rapid collection of human-generated randomness, and the use of networking techniques for global participation in experimental science.
  • Abramowski, A., et al. (författare)
  • Acceleration of petaelectronvolt protons in the Galactic Centre
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Nature. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 531:7595, s. 476-479
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Galactic cosmic rays reach energies of at least a few petaelectronvolts(1) (of the order of 1015 electronvolts). This implies that our Galaxy contains petaelectronvolt accelerators ('PeVatrons'), but all proposed models of Galactic cosmic-ray accelerators encounter difficulties at exactly these energies(2). Dozens of Galactic accelerators capable of accelerating particles to energies of tens of teraelectronvolts (of the order of 10(13) electronvolts) were inferred from recent gamma-ray observations(3). However, none of the currently known accelerators-not even the handful of shell-type supernova remnants commonly believed to supply most Galactic cosmic rays-has shown the characteristic tracers of petaelectronvolt particles, namely, power-law spectra of.-rays extending without a cut-off or a spectral break to tens of teraelectronvolts(4). Here we report deep.-ray observations with arcminute angular resolution of the region surrounding the Galactic Centre, which show the expected tracer of the presence of petaelectronvolt protons within the central 10 parsecs of the Galaxy. We propose that the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is linked to this PeVatron. Sagittarius A* went through active phases in the past, as demonstrated by X-ray outbursts(5) and an outflow from the Galactic Centre(6). Although its current rate of particle acceleration is not sufficient to provide a substantial contribution to Galactic cosmic rays, Sagittarius A* could have plausibly been more active over the last 10(6)-10(7) years, and therefore should be considered as a viable alternative to supernova remnants as a source of petaelectronvolt Galactic cosmic rays.
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