University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Recent publications
Particles measured in large gradual solar energetic particle events are believed to be predominantly accelerated at shocks driven by coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Ion charge state and composition analyses suggest that the origin of the seed particle population for the mechanisms of particle acceleration at CME‐driven shocks is not the bulk solar wind thermal material, but rather a suprathermal population present in the solar wind. This suprathermal population could result from remnant material accelerated in prior solar flares and/or preceding CME‐driven shocks. In this work, we examine the distribution of this suprathermal particle population in the inner heliosphere by combining a magnetohydrodynamic simulation of the solar wind and a Monte Carlo simulation of particle acceleration and transport. Assuming that the seed particles are uniformly distributed near the Sun by solar flares of various magnitudes, we study the longitudinal distribution of the seed population at multiple heliocentric distances. We consider a nonuniform background solar wind, consisting of fast and slow streams that lead to compression and rarefaction regions within the solar wind. Our simulations show that the seed population at a particular location (e.g., 1 au) is strongly modulated by the underlying solar wind configuration. Corotating interaction regions and merged interactions regions can strongly alter the energy spectra of the seed particle populations. In addition, cross‐field diffusion plays an important role in mitigating strong variations of the seed population in both space and energy.
Lightning is an important agent of plant mortality and disturbance in forests. Lightning-caused disturbance is highly variable in terms of its area of effect and disturbance severity (i.e. tree damage and death), but we do not know how this variation is influenced by forest structure and plant composition. We used a novel lightning detection system to quantify how lianas influenced the severity and spatial extent (i.e. area) of lightning disturbance using 78 lightning strikes in central Panama. The local density of lianas (measured as liana basal area) was positively associated with the number of trees killed and damaged by lightning, and patterns of plant damage indicated that this occurred because lianas facilitated more electrical connections from large to small trees. Liana presence, however, did not increase the area of the disturbance. Thus, lianas increased the severity of lightning disturbance by facilitating damage to additional trees without influencing the footprint of the disturbance. These findings indicate that lianas spread electricity to damage and kill understory trees that otherwise would survive a strike. As liana abundance increases in tropical forests, their negative effects on tree survival with respect to the severity of lightning-related tree damage and death are likely to increase.
Intuitively, a speaker who uses slurs to refer to people is doing something morally objectionable even if no one is measurably affected by their speech. Perhaps they are only talking to themselves, or they are speaking with bigots who are already as vicious as they can be. This paper distinguishes between slurring as an expressive act and slurring as the act of causing a psychological effect. It then develops an expression-focused ethical account in order to explain the intuition that slurring involves an effect-independent moral wrong. The core idea is that the act of expressing a morally defective attitude is itself pro tanto morally objectionable. Unlike theories that focus only on problematic effects, this view is able to shift the moral burden of proof away from victims of slurring acts and onto speakers. It also offers moral guidance with respect to metalinguistic and pedagogical utterances of slurs.
When galaxies move through the intracluster medium (ICM) inside galaxy clusters, the ram pressure of the ICM can strip the gas from galaxies. The stripped gas forms tails on the trailing side. These galaxies are hence dubbed “jellyfish galaxies”. ESO 137-001 is a quintessential jellyfish galaxy located in the nearest rich cluster, the Norma cluster. Its spectacular multiphase tail has complex morphology and kinematics both from the imprinted galaxy’s interstellar medium (ISM) and as a result of the interactions between the stripped gas and the surrounding hot plasma, mediated by radiative cooling and magnetic fields. We study the kinematics of the multiphase tail using high-resolution observations of the ionized and the molecular gas in the entire structure. We calculate the velocity structure functions (VSFs) in moving frames along the tail and find that turbulence driven by Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability quickly overwhelms the original ISM turbulence and saturates at ∼30 kpc. There is also a hint that the far end of the tail has possibly started to inherit pre-existing large-scale ICM turbulence likely caused by structure formation. Turbulence measured by the molecular gas is generally consistent with that measured by the ionized gas in the tail but has a slightly lower amplitude. Most of the measured turbulence is below the mean free path of the hot ICM (∼11 kpc). Using warm/cool gas as a tracer of the hot ICM, we find that the isotropic viscosity of the hot plasma must be suppressed below 0.01% Spitzer level.
A collisionless shock is a self-organized structure where fields and particle distributions are mutually adjusted to ensure a stable mass, momentum and energy transfer from the upstream to the downstream region. This adjustment may involve rippling, reformation or whatever else is needed to maintain the shock. The fields inside the shock front are produced due to the motion of charged particles, which is in turn governed by the fields. The overshoot arises due to the deceleration of the ion flow by the increasing magnetic field, so that the drop of the dynamic pressure should be compensated by the increase of the magnetic pressure. The role of the overshoot is to regulate ion reflection, thus properly adjusting the downstream ion temperature and kinetic pressure and also speeding up the collisionless relaxation and reducing the anisotropy of the eventually gyrotropized distributions.
COVID-19 usually presents with classic signs and symptoms, but it can involve multiple systems in atypical cases. SARS-CoV-2 has a complex interaction with the host immune system leading to atypical manifestations. In our case, a 32-year-old male patient presented with fatigue, sores on hands and feet, headache, productive cough with blood-tinged mucus, conjunctival hyperemia, purpuric rash on hands and feet, and splinter hemorrhages of fingernails for 2 weeks. The patient’s SARS-CoV-2 antigen and PCR test were positive. Chest X-ray showed mixed density perihilar opacities in both lungs. Computed tomography of the chest showed extensive airspace opacities in both lungs, suggesting COVID-19 multifocal, multilobar pneumonitis. A renal biopsy indicated limited thrombotic microangiopathy and tubulointerstitial nephritis, for which he was started on steroids, and his renal functions gradually improved. He tested positive for C-ANCA during an immune workup. He was discharged with a steroid taper for nephritis. Once the taper reached less than 10 mg/day, he developed acute scleritis and a new pulmonary cavitary lesion of 6 cm. The biopsy via bronchoscopy revealed acute inflammatory cells with hemosiderin-laden macrophages. He was restarted on systemic steroids for scleritis after failing topical steroids, which incidentally also reduced the size of the cavitary lesion, indicating an immune component. Our case demonstrates the involvement of kidneys and vasculitis of the skin, sclera, and lungs by COVID-19. The patient’s symptoms were not explained by any diseases other than COVID-19. Atypical cases of COVID-19 disease with multifocal systemic symptoms involving the skin, sclera, lungs, and kidneys should be high on differentials. Early recognition and intervention may decrease hospital stays and morbidity.
The effects of a solar wind pressure pulse on the terrestrial magnetosphere have been observed in detail across multiple datasets. The communication of these effects into the magnetosphere is known as a positive geomagnetic sudden impulse (+SI), and are observed across latitudes and different phenomena to characterize the propagation of +SI effects through the magnetosphere. A superposition of Alfvén and compressional propagation modes are observed in magnetometer signatures, with the dominance of these signatures varying with latitude. For the first time, collocated lobe reconnection convection vortices and region 0 field aligned currents are observed preceding the +SI onset, and an enhancement of these signatures is observed as a result of +SI effects. Finally, cusp auroral emission is observed collocated with the convection and current signatures. For the first time, simultaneous observations across multiple phenomena are presented to confirm models of +SI propagation presented previously.
Magnetic reconnection in naturally occurring and laboratory settings often begins locally and elongates, or spreads, in the direction perpendicular to the plane of reconnection. Previous work has largely focused on current sheets with a uniform thickness, for which the predicted spreading speed for anti-parallel reconnection is the local speed of the current carriers. We derive a scaling theory of three-dimensional (3D) spreading of collisionless anti-parallel reconnection in a current sheet with its thickness varying in the out-of-plane direction, both for spreading from a thinner to thicker region and a thicker to thinner region. We derive an expression for calculating the time it takes for spreading to occur for a current sheet with a given profile of its thickness. A key result is that when reconnection spreads from a thinner to a thicker region, the spreading speed in the thicker region is slower than both the Alfv\'en speed and the speed of the local current carriers by a factor of the ratio of thin to thick current sheet thicknesses. This is important because magnetospheric and solar observations have previously measured the spreading speed to be slower than previously predicted, so the present mechanism might explain this feature. We confirm the theory via a parametric study using 3D two-fluid numerical simulations. We use the prediction to calculate the time scale for reconnection spreading in Earth's magnetotail during geomagnetic activity. The results are also potentially important for understanding reconnection spreading in solar flares and the dayside magnetopause of Earth and other planets.
Objective: To describe the effect of a microbiology comment nudge on antibiotic use for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB). Design: Single-center, before-and-after, quasi-experimental study. Setting: Community-based, public, not-for-profit teaching hospital in the southeastern United States. Participants: Adult inpatients with a positive urine culture and the absence of urinary tract infection signs and symptoms. Intervention: Implementation of a microbiology comment nudge on urine cultures. Results: In total, 204 patients were included in the study. Antibiotics were less likely to be continued beyond 72 hours in the postimplementation group: 57 (55%) of 104 versus 38 (38%) of 100 (P = .016). They were less likely to have antibiotics continued beyond 48 hours: 60 (58%) of 104 versus 43 (43%) of 100 (P = .036). They were also less likely to have antibiotics prescribed at discharge 35 (34%) of 104 versus 20 (20%) of 100 (P = .028). In addition, they had fewer total antibiotic days of therapy: 4 (IQR, 1-6) versus 1 (IQR, 0-6) (P = .022). Conclusion: Microbiology comment nudging may contribute to less antibiotic utilization in patients with ASB.
In control of wild mosquitoes to fight mosquito-borne diseases, release of mosquitoes with Wolbachia is one of the effective biological control methods. There are three release strategies, namely releasing both Wolbachia-infected females and males, only Wolbachia-infected females and only Wolbachia-infected males. All these three strategies have been confirmed to be capable of speeding up the Wolbachia persistence in mosquito populations. In this paper, we investigate how supplementary releases affect the Wolbachia spread dynamics in mosquito populations. Our aim is to compare the effectiveness among these three release strategies. We obtain theoretical results and provide numerical simulations that show that the first two strategies are more effective than the last strategy. For the first two strategies, the former strategy is either less effective than the latter strategy in each generation, or more effective than the latter strategy in previous generations, and then becomes less effective in late generations.
Background Thyroid hormones are controlled by the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) axis through a complex network of regulatory loops, involving the hormones TRH, TSH, FT4, and FT3. The relationship between TSH and FT4 is widely used for diagnosing thyroid diseases. However, mechanisms of FT3 homeostasis are not well understood. Objective We used mathematical modelling to further examine mechanisms that exist in the HPT axis regulation for protecting circulating FT3 levels. Methods A mathematical model consisting of a system of four coupled first-order parameterized non-linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs) was developed, accounting for the interdependencies between the hormones in the HPT axis regulation. While TRH and TSH feed forward to the pituitary and thyroid, respectively, FT4 and FT3 feed backward to both the pituitary and hypothalamus. Stable equilibrium solutions of the ODE system express homeostasis for a particular variable, such as FT3, if this variable stays in a narrow range while certain other parameter(s) and system variable(s) may vary substantially. Results The model predicts that (1) TSH-feedforward protects FT3 levels if the FT4 production rate declines and (2) combined negative feedback by FT4 and FT3 on both TSH and TRH production rates keeps FT3 levels insensitive to moderate changes in FT4 production rates and FT4 levels. The optimum FT4 and FT3 feedback and TRH and TSH-feedforward ranges that preserve FT3 homeostasis were found by numerical continuation analysis. Model predictions were in close agreement with clinical studies and individual patient examples of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Conclusions These findings further extend the concept of HPT axis regulation beyond TSH and FT4 to integrate the more active sister hormone FT3 and mechanisms of FT3 homeostasis. Disruption of homeostatic mechanisms leads to disease. This provides a perspective for novel testable concepts in clinical studies to therapeutically target the disruptive mechanisms.
The objective of this research is to develop a methodology for an arts‐based intervention that can effectively promote employee voice. An arts‐based intervention was developed to promote employee voice, supported by literature and expert knowledge. This intervention was applied at the 2019 NASA Cost and Schedule Symposium. Participants indicated that the intervention was effective in eliciting “hidden truths.” Several topics were revealed that participants felt uncomfortable discussing in the workplace. The intervention methodology is evaluated, considering limitations and future changes.
Using the fraction velocity dispersion analysis method, it has been shown recently that in two impulsive solar energetic electron (SEE) events, the release times of near‐relativistic electrons at the Sun for outward‐propagating electrons are energy dependent and are delayed compared to those of the downward‐propagating electrons. In this work, we perform a statistical study of the release time and its energy dependence of near‐relativistic electrons in impulsive SEE events. We use in situ observations from the WIND spacecraft and remote hard X‐ray observations from the RHESSI and/or Fermi spacecraft. The difference in the release times between outward electrons and downward electrons for 29 events is obtained. In all events, the release of the outward‐propagating electrons is delayed from those precipitating downward. In 26 of the 29 events, the release times of outward‐propagating electrons also show clear energy dependence. In 15 of these 26 events, in situ electron data from more than five energy channels were available. The delay time as a function of energy for nine of these can be fitted by a form proposed by G. Li et al. (2021, The implication of this energy‐dependent release on the Magnetohydrodynamics turbulence property at the electron acceleration site is discussed.
The NASA Cloud, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP ² Ex) employed the NASA P-3, Stratton Park Engineering Company (SPEC) Learjet 35, and a host of satellites and surface sensors to characterize the coupling of aerosol processes, cloud physics, and atmospheric radiation within the Maritime Continent’s complex southwest monsoonal environment. Conducted in the late summer of 2019 from Luzon Philippines in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research Propagation of Intraseasonal Tropical OscillatioNs (PISTON) experiment with its R/V Sally Ride stationed in the North Western Tropical Pacific, CAMP ² Ex documented diverse biomass burning, industrial and natural aerosol populations and their interactions with small to congestus convection. The 2019 season exhibited El Nino and associated drought, high biomass burning emissions, and an early monsoon transition allowing for observation of pristine to massively polluted environments as they advected through intricate diurnal mesoscale and radiative environments into the monsoonal trough. CAMP ² Ex’s preliminary results indicate 1) increasing aerosol loadings tend to invigorate congestus convection in height and increase liquid water paths; 2) lidar, polarimetry, and geostationary Advanced Himawari Imager remote sensing sensors have skill in quantifying diverse aerosol and cloud properties and their interaction; and 3) high resolution remote sensing technologies are able to greatly improve our ability to evaluate the radiation budget in complex cloud systems. Through the development of innovative informatics technologies, CAMP ² Ex provides a benchmark dataset of an environment of extremes for the study of aerosol, cloud and radiation processes as well as a crucible for the design of future observing systems.
A novel contact-separation triboelectric generator concept is proposed in this paper, which consists of a limestone-based mounting putty and a metallized polyester (PET/Al) sheet. This is an attempt to explore tacky materials for power generation and extend the operational frequency bandwidth compared to existing TriboElectric NanoGenerators (TENGs). Moreover, the proposed design is very cost-effective and easy to build. Unlike traditional TENGs, which generate power solely due to a charge developing on the surface, the putty also replies on charge developed inside the material. Parametric study was conducted to determine the optimal putty thickness in a shaker test at 40 Hz. It was found that a putty layer at 0.6 mm thick yielded maximum power generation. During the separation phase, the electrical breakdown between triboelectric layers allows most existing electrons to flow back from the ground due to rapid charge removal at the interface. We are able to achieve a peak power of 16 mW in a shaker test at 40 Hz with an electrical load of 8 MΩ, which corresponds to a power density of 25.6 W/m2. A peak power of 120 mW in a manual prototype generator is achieved, which operates at approximately 2 Hz. Since putty material has less tackiness than double-sided tape, we are able to expand the frequency bandwidth up to 80 Hz, which is significantly higher than a TENG (typically <10 Hz). The mounting putty material contains limestone with approximate 31 nm of mean grain size mixed with synthetic rubber materials. Elasticity from rubber and the nanohardness of calcite crystallites allow us to operate a putty generator repeatedly without the concern of grain fracture. Also, a durability test was conducted with up to 250,000 contact-separation cycles. In summary, comparable performance is achieved in the proposed putty generator to benefit energy harvesting and sensor applications.
The potential of dynamically steering the null locations in equally-spaced linear scanning array antennas using the electronically displaced phase center antenna (E-DPCA) technique is investigated for the first time in this paper. The relative coordinates, and thus the element spacing, of the equally-spaced linear array antennas are electronically varied using the E-DPCA technique to adaptively steer the null locations without any physical displacement, while maintaining the same overall array length. The versatility of the proposed technique is further explored by 1) generating consecutive nulls with a minimum resolution of 1° between them and 2) simultaneously steering the null locations and scanning the main beam.
Solar coronal jets are frequently occurring collimated ejections of solar plasma, originating from magnetically mixed polarity locations on the Sun of size scale comparable to that of a supergranule. Many, if not most, coronal jets are produced by eruptions of small-scale filaments, or minifilaments, whose magnetic field reconnects both with itself and also with surrounding coronal field. There is evidence that minifilament eruptions are a scaled-down version of typical filament eruptions that produce solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Moreover, the magnetic processes building up to and triggering minifilament eruptions, which is often flux cancelation, might similarly build up and trigger the larger filaments to erupt. Thus, detailed study of coronal jets will inform us of the physics leading to, triggering, and driving the larger eruptions. Additionally, such studies potentially can inform us of smaller-scale coronal-jet-like features, such as jetlets and perhaps some spicules, that might work the same way as coronal jets. We propose a high-resolution ( ∼ 0 ″ . 1 pixels), high-cadence (∼5 s) EUV-solar-imaging mission for the upcoming decades, that would be dedicated to observations of features of the coronal-jet size scale, and smaller-scale solar features produced by similar physics. Such a mission could provide invaluable insight into the operation of larger features such as CMEs that produce significant Space Weather disturbances, and also smaller-scale features that could be important for coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, and heliospheric features such as the magnetic switchbacks that are frequently observed in the solar wind.
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2,672 members
Themis Chronis
  • Atmospheric Science - National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC)
Junpeng Guo
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Zach Culumber
  • Department of Biological Sciences
Tatyana Sysoeva
  • Department of Biological Sciences
Bernhard Vogler
  • Department of Chemistry
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