Department of Physics Articles

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    The Preprocessing of Galaxies in the Early Stages of Cluster Formation in Abell 1882 at z = 0.139
    (American Astronomical Society, 2022-02) Sengupta, Aparajita; Keel, William C.; Morrison, Glenn; Windhorst , Rogier A.; Miller, Neal; Smith, Brent; Physics, School of Science
    A rare opportunity to distinguish between internal and environmental effects on galaxy evolution is afforded by "SuperGroups," systems that are rich and massive, but include several comparably rich substructures, surrounded by filaments. We present here a multiwavelength photometric and spectroscopic study of the galaxy population in the SuperGroup Abell 1882 (A1882) at z = 0.139, combining new data from the MMT and Hectospec with archival results from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Nasa/IPAC Extragalactic Database, the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph, and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. These provide spectroscopic classifications for 526 member galaxies, across wide ranges of local density and velocity dispersion. We identify three prominent filaments along which galaxies seem to be entering the SuperGroup (mostly in E–W directions). A1882 has a well-populated red sequence, containing most galaxies with stellar mass >1010.5 MSun, and a pronounced color–density relation even within its substructures. Thus, galaxy evolution responds to the external environment as strongly in these unrelaxed systems as we find in rich and relaxed clusters. From these data, local density remains the primary factor, with a secondary role for distance from the inferred center of the entire structure's potential well. The effects on star formation, as traced by optical and near-UV colors, depend on galaxy mass. We see changes in lower-mass galaxies (M < 1010.5 MSun) at four times the virial radius of major substructures, while the more massive near-UV Green Valley galaxies show low levels of star formation within two virial radii. The suppression of star formation ("quenching") occurs in the infall regions of these structures even before the galaxies enter the denser group environment.
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    DNA damage reduces heterogeneity and coherence of chromatin motions
    (National Academy of Science, 2022) Locatelli, Maëlle; Lawrimore, Josh; Lin, Hua; Sanaullah, Sarvath; Seitz, Clayton; Segall, Dave; Kefer, Paul; Moreno, Naike Salvador; Lietz, Benton; Anderson, Rebecca; Holmes, Julia; Yuan, Chongli; Holzwarth, George; Bloom, Kerry S.; Liu, Jing; Bonin, Keith; Vidi, Pierre-Alexandre; Physics, School of Science
    Chromatin motions depend on and may regulate genome functions, in particular the DNA damage response. In yeast, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) globally increase chromatin diffusion, whereas in higher eukaryotes the impact of DSBs on chromatin dynamics is more nuanced. We mapped the motions of chromatin microdomains in mammalian cells using diffractive optics and photoactivatable chromatin probes and found a high level of spatial heterogeneity. DNA damage reduces heterogeneity and imposes spatially defined shifts in motions: Distal to DNA breaks, chromatin motions are globally reduced, whereas chromatin retains higher mobility at break sites. These effects are driven by context-dependent changes in chromatin compaction. Photoactivated lattices of chromatin microdomains are ideal to quantify microscale coupling of chromatin motion. We measured correlation distances up to 2 µm in the cell nucleus, spanning chromosome territories, and speculate that this correlation distance between chromatin microdomains corresponds to the physical separation of A and B compartments identified in chromosome conformation capture experiments. After DNA damage, chromatin motions become less correlated, a phenomenon driven by phase separation at DSBs. Our data indicate tight spatial control of chromatin motions after genomic insults, which may facilitate repair at the break sites and prevent deleterious contacts of DSBs, thereby reducing the risk of genomic rearrangements.
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    A High Sensitivity Custom-Built Vibrating Sample Magnetometer
    (MDPI, 2022-08) Phillips, Jared Paul; Yazdani, Saeed; Highland, Wyatt; Cheng, Ruihua; Physics, School of Science
    This work details the construction and optimization of a fully automated, custom-built, remote controlled vibrating sample magnetometer for use in spintronics related research and teaching. Following calibration by a standard 6 mm diameter Ni disc sample with known magnetic moment, hysteresis measurements of Nd-Fe-B thin films acquired by this built vibrating sample magnetometer were compared to the data taken using a commercial superconducting quantum interference device and showed very similar results. In plane and out of plane magnetic hysteresis data acquired for 25 nm Fe thin films are also presented. The developed vibrating sample magnetometer is able to achieve a sensitivity approaching 1 × 10−5 emu. Further alterations to the design that may improve beyond this limit are also discussed.
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    Evidence of dynamical effects and critical field in a cobalt spin crossover complex
    (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022-01) Ekanayaka, Thilini K.; Wang, Ping; Yazdani, Saeed; Phillip, Jared Paul; Mishra, Esha; Dale, Ashley S.; N'Diaye, Alpha T.; Klewe, Christoph; Shafer, Padraic; Freeland, John; Streubel, Robert; Wampler, James Paris; Zapf, Vivien; Cheng, Ruihua; Shatruk, Michael; Dowben, Peter A.; Physics, School of Science
    The [Co(SQ)2(4-CN-py)2] complex exhibits dynamical effects over a wide range of temperature. The orbital moment, determined by with decreasing applied magnetic field, indicates a nonzero critical field for net alignment of magnetic moments, an effect not seen with the spin moment of [Co(SQ)2(4-CN-py)2].
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    OxPAPC stabilizes liquid-ordered domains in biomimetic membranes
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-03) Cavazos, Andres T.; Pennington, Edward Ross; Dadoo, Sahil; Gowdy, Kymberly M.; Wassall, Stephen R.; Shaikh, Saame Raza; Physics, School of Science
    Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are prone to nonenzymatic oxidation in response to differing environmental stressors and endogenous cellular sources. There is increasing evidence that phospholipids containing oxidized PUFA acyl chains control the inflammatory response. However, the underlying mechanism(s) of action by which oxidized PUFAs exert their functional effects remain unclear. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that replacement of 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-phosphatidylcholine (PAPC) with oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-phosphatidylcholine (oxPAPC) regulates membrane architecture. Specifically, with solid-state 2H NMR of biomimetic membranes, we investigated how substituting oxPAPC for PAPC modulates the molecular organization of liquid-ordered (Lo) domains. 2H NMR spectra for bilayer mixtures of 1,2-dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine-d62 (an analog of DPPC deuterated throughout sn-1 and -2 chains) and cholesterol to which PAPC or oxPAPC was added revealed that replacing PAPC with oxPAPC disrupted molecular organization, indicating that oxPAPC does not mix favorably in a tightly packed Lo phase. Furthermore, unlike PAPC, adding oxPAPC stabilized 1,2-dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine-d6-rich/cholesterol-rich Lo domains formed in mixtures with 1,2-dioleoylphosphatidylcholine while decreasing the molecular order within 1,2-dioleoylphosphatidylcholine-rich liquid-disordered regions of the membrane. Collectively, these results suggest a mechanism in which oxPAPC stabilizes Lo domains—by disordering the surrounding liquid-disordered region. Changes in the structure, and thereby functionality, of Lo domains may underly regulation of plasma membrane-based inflammatory signaling by oxPAPC.
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    Floquet exceptional contours in Lindblad dynamics with time-periodic drive and dissipation
    (American Physical Society (APS), 2021-02-22) Gunderson, John; Muldoon, Jacob; Murch, Kater W.; Joglekar, Yogesh N.; Physics, School of Science
    The dynamics of an isolated quantum system is coherent and unitary. Weak coupling to the environment leads to decoherence, which is traditionally modeled with a Lindblad equation for the system's density matrix. Starting from a pure state, such a system approaches a steady state (mixed or otherwise) in an underdamped or overdamped manner. This transition occurs at an eigenvalue degeneracy of a Lindblad superoperator, called an exceptional point (EP), where corresponding eigenvectors coalesce. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in creating exceptional points in a truly quantum domain, driven by the enhanced sensitivity and topological features EPs have shown in their classical realizations. Here, we present Floquet analysis of a prototypical qubit whose drive or dissipator strengths are varied periodically. We consider models with a single dissipator that generate global loss (phase damping) or mode-selective loss (spontaneous emission). In all cases, we find that periodic modulations lead to EP lines at small dissipator strengths and a rich EP structure in the parameter space. Our analytical and numerical results show that extending Lindblad Liouvillians to the Floquet domain is a potentially preferred route to accessing exceptional points in the transient dynamics towards the Lindblad steady state.
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    Quantum Jumps in the Non-Hermitian Dynamics of a Superconducting Qubit
    (APS, 2021-09) Chen, Weijian; Abbasi, Maryam; Joglekar, Yogesh N.; Murch, Kater W.; Physics, School of Science
    We study the dynamics of a driven non-Hermitian superconducting qubit which is perturbed by quantum jumps between energy levels, a purely quantum effect with no classical correspondence. The quantum jumps mix the qubit states leading to decoherence. We observe that this decoherence rate is enhanced near the exceptional point, owing to the cube-root topology of the non-Hermitian eigenenergies. Together with the effect of non-Hermitian gain or loss, quantum jumps can also lead to a breakdown of adiabatic evolution under the slow-driving limit. Our study shows the critical role of quantum jumps in generalizing the applications of classical non-Hermitian systems to open quantum systems for sensing and control.
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    PT -symmetry breaking in a Kitaev chain with one pair of gain-loss potentials
    (APS, 2021-08) Agarwal, Kaustubh S.; Joglekar, Yogesh N.; Physics, School of Science
    Parity-time (PT) symmetric systems are classical, gain-loss systems whose dynamics are governed by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians with exceptional-point (EP) degeneracies. The eigenvalues of a PT-symmetric Hamiltonian change from real to complex conjugates at a critical value of gain-loss strength that is called the PT breaking threshold. Here, we obtain the PT threshold for a one-dimensional, finite Kitaev chain—a prototype for a p-wave superconductor—in the presence of a single pair of gain and loss potentials as a function of the superconducting order parameter, on-site potential, and the distance between the gain and loss sites. In addition to a robust, nonlocal threshold, we find a rich phase diagram for the threshold that can be qualitatively understood in terms of the band structure of the Hermitian Kitaev model. In particular, for an even chain with zero on-site potential, we find a re-entrant PT-symmetric phase bounded by second-order EP contours. Our numerical results are supplemented by analytical calculations for small system sizes.
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    Two-Dimensional Floquet Topological Insulator with PT-Symmetry
    (Optica, 2021-05) Fritzsche, Alexander; Kremer, Mark; Maczewsky, Lukas J.; Joglekar, Yogesh N.; Heinrich, Matthias; Thomale, Ronny; Szameit, Alexander; Physics, School of Science
    We present a theoretical proposal for a two-dimensional PT-symmetric topological insulator (TI) that supports two counter-propagating topologically protected boundary states and discuss ongoing experiments to confirm the theoretical predictions.
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    Evidence of dynamical effects and critical field in a cobalt spin crossover complex
    (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022-01) Ekanayaka, Thilini K.; Wang, Ping; Yazdani, Saeed; Phillips, Jared Paul; Mishra, Esha; Dale, Ashley S.; N'Diaye, Alpha T.; Klewe, Christoph; Shafer, Padraic; Freeland, John; Streubel, Robert; Wampler, James Paris; Zapf, Vivien; Cheng, Ruihua; Shatruk, Michael; Dowben, Peter A.; Physics, School of Science
    The [Co(SQ)2(4-CN-py)2] complex exhibits dynamical effects over a wide range of temperature. The orbital moment, determined by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) with decreasing applied magnetic field, indicates a nonzero critical field for net alignment of magnetic moments, an effect not seen with the spin moment of [Co(SQ)2(4-CN-py)2].