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Astrophysics Arkive Year Alpha and Year Beta

The Long-Sought Decay of Higgs Boson Has Finally Been Observed




|| September 03: 2018: UCL News || ά. At long last, particle physicists, including, academics from UCL, are celebrating their latest observational career-high-point of seeing the Higgs boson decaying into a pair of bottom:b quarks. The elusive interaction is predicted to make up almost 60% of the Higgs boson decays. “Finding the Higgs in its favoured decay channel was one of the key missing items in our knowledge of the Higgs boson. It opens a new window into our understanding of this intriguing particle and, could, ultimately, provide the first hints of new physics beyond our current theories.” said Dr Tim Scanlon, UCL Physics and Astronomy, who has played a leading role in Higgs searches on both the DZero, Tevatron, Fermilab and ATLAS, Large Hadron Collider, CERN experiments over the past 16 years.

"This is the accumulation of the work of a lot of people over the last seven years, where each new result has built upon the last one, so it is fantastic for all those people, who have been involved over the years to finally observe this critical decay.” UCL has played a critical role in the analysis of data alongside other UK groups from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Queen Mary and Oxford. This includes work on the key detector elements, reconstruction algorithms, data collection and advanced analysis techniques, with Dr Scanlon, also, leading the group over a key period, all of which culminated in this historic achievement, that marks a crucial step forward in our understanding of the Higgs boson.

“ATLAS is proud to announce the observation of this important and challenging Higgs boson decay." says Professor Karl Jakobs, ATLAS Spokesperson. “While the result is certainly a confirmation of the Standard Model, it is, equally, a triumph for our analysis teams. During the early preparations of the LHC, there were doubts on whether this observation could be achieved. Our success is thanks to the excellent performance of the LHC and the ATLAS detector and the application of highly sophisticated analysis techniques to our large dataset.”

The announcement comes just six years after the Higgs boson was first detected and the observation comes ten years after a new way of carrying out the search by focussing on regions, where the Higgs boson is produced with a very high momentum, was proposed by Professor Jon Butterworth, UCL Physics and Astronomy.

“It’s really satisfying that some of the ideas we came up with ten years ago turned out to be useful here.” said Professor Butterworth. “Although, most of the credit goes to those, who have been struggling to collect the data and unpick these decays from inside it.”

The UCL team has, mostly, targeted the decays of the W boson into an electron and muon and a corresponding neutrino, as well as, working on the algorithms, which identify jets containing b-quarks and the underlying algorithms which reconstruct the jets. Dr Scanlon, who led the analysis group, when evidence for this decay was found, 2017, is one of the main editors of the observation paper and has been a co-editor on four of the public results for this analysis. 

Dr Andrew Bell, UCL Physics and Astronomy, also, made significant contributions to this result from being one of the three lead data analysers, a critical member of the statistical analysis team and led the effort to understand the modelling of the background processes in this analysis, which assesses how well the scientists understand their simulation of the key backgrounds.

“The confirmation of the coupling of the Higgs boson to the quark sector of the Standard Model has been one of the key physics aims of Run-2 of the LHC. The result has only been made possible by the work of countless people over many years and it’s great that UCL has contributed so strongly to such a high-profile result.” said Dr Bell.

The announcement is a new confirmation of the so-called ‘Yukawa couplings’. Similar to the Higgs mechanism, these couplings to the Higgs field provide mass to charged fermions, quarks and leptons, which are the building blocks of matter. Combined analyses of the Run-1 and Run-2 datasets have resulted in the first measurements of these couplings, as seen in the recent ATLAS observation of Higgs boson production in association with a top-quark pair and the observation of the Higgs boson decaying into pairs of tau leptons.

The result, also, establishes, for the first time, the production of a Higgs boson in association with a vector boson above five standard deviations. ATLAS has now observed all four main production modes of the Higgs boson, of which two only this year. These observations mark a new milestone in the study of the Higgs boson, as ATLAS transitions from observations to precise measurements of its properties.

“We now have the opportunity to study the Higgs boson in unprecedented detail and will be able to further challenge the Standard Model.” said Professor Jakobs.:::ω.

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What About Einstein: He Has Been Galactically Proved Right Once Again

|| June 24: 2018: University of Portsmouth News || ά. An international team of astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system. By combining data taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, their results show that gravity in this galaxy behaves as predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, confirming the theory’s validity on galactic scales.

In 1915 Albert Einstein proposed his general theory of relativity to explain how gravity works. Since then GR has passed a series of high precision tests within the solar system, but there have been no precise tests of GR on large astronomical scales. It has been known since 1929 that the Universe is expanding but in 1998 two teams of astronomers showed that the Universe is expanding faster now than it was in the past.

This surprising discovery, which won the Nobel Prize in 2011, can not be explained unless the Universe is mostly made of an exotic component, called, dark energy. However, this interpretation relies on GR being the correct theory of gravity on cosmological scales. Testing the long distance properties of gravity is important to validate our cosmological model.

A team of astronomers, led by Dr Thomas Collett of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth, used a nearby galaxy as a gravitational lens to make a precise test of gravity on astronomical length scales.

Dr Collett said, “General Relativity predicts that massive objects deform space-time, this means that when light passes near another galaxy the light’s path is deflected. If, two galaxies are aligned along our line of sight this can give rise to a phenomenon, called, strong gravitational lensing, where we see multiple images of the background galaxy. If, we know the mass of the foreground galaxy, then the amount of separation between the multiple images tells us, if, General Relativity is the correct theory of gravity on galactic scales.”

A few hundred strong gravitational lenses are known but most are too distant to precisely measure their mass, so they can’t be used to accurately test GR. However, the galaxy ESO325-G004 is amongst the closest lenses, at 500 million light years from Earth.

Dr Collett said, “We used data from the Very Large Telescope in Chile to measure how fast the stars were moving in E325 , this let us infer how much mass there must be in E325 to hold these stars in orbit. We then compared this mass to the strong lensing image separations that we observed with the Hubble Space telescope and the result was just what GR predicts with nine per cent precision. This is the most precise extrasolar test of GR to date, from just one galaxy.’’

‘’The Universe is an amazing place providing such lenses, which we can, then, use as our laboratories.” Said team member Professor Bob Nichol, Director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. “It is so satisfying to use the best telescopes in the world to challenge Einstein, only to find out how right he was.”

The research is published in the journal Science. The work was funded by the University of Portsmouth and the UK Science and Technologies Funding Council :::ω.

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Magnetic Field Collisions Around Saturn Show Planetary Differences

|| June 07: 2018: UCL News || ά. Magnetic reconnection, the explosive reconfiguration of two magnetic fields, occurs differently around Saturn than around Earth, according to new findings from the international Cassini mission involving UCL researchers. On Earth, the collisions, which create aurora, are only seen on the boundary between Earth’s magnetic field and the magnetic field in interplanetary space. On Saturn, however, this process can occur well within the planet’s magnetic field, finds the new Nature Astronomy study.

The research suggests that magnetic reconnection, may be, additionally, driven by a completely different process for large, fast-rotating planets like Saturn. Magnetic fields affect charged particles in the planet’s environment or magnetosphere. As particles from Saturn and its moons interact with the flow of particles coming from the Sun, the planet’s magnetic field lines can temporarily break, connecting instead with those from the incoming magnetic field, which changes their direction and releases an enormous amount of energy. Magnetic reconnection triggers the beautiful spectacles of polar aurora but on Earth it can, also, disrupt GPS signals and damage satellites or electrical grids. Inside the magnetosphere of Earth, reconnection, mainly, happens on the side away from the Sun.

On the Sun-facing side, the magnetised particles, usually, can not penetrate the Earth’s magnetic field, reconnection, occasionally, occurs right at the edge of the magnetosphere, called, the magnetopause. “We previously believed that other planets would follow a similar pattern, so we were surprised to find that on Saturn, magnetic reconnection can happen not only on the Sun-facing side but well inside the magnetosphere. This suggests there’s a different process at play.” said Professor Andrew Coates at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, a Co-investigator of the Cassini-CAPS electron spectrometer used in the study.

Saturn’s magnetosphere differs from the Earth partly due to the ringed planet’s more rapid rotation. It, also, interacts with the planet’s moon and rings and has a different chemical composition, that includes water vapour and ice grains ejected from volcanoes on Enceladus, one of its moons. The researchers used data collected in 2008 by the Cassini probe while it orbited Saturn. They combined data from the Cassini-MAG magnetometer, to detect the change in direction of the magnetic field, with output from the Cassini-CAPS instrument, which measured plasma particles and their acceleration caused by the magnetic reconnection.

Together, these methods observed both the directional change and subsequent particle acceleration needed to identify reconnection. “This is not easy to measure because the region where the reconnection occurs is very small and the instrument needs to be pointed exactly in this direction. You have to be very lucky.” said Lead Author Dr Zhonghua Yao, at the University of Liège, Belgium. “I think that what fascinates me most is how similar physics can be seen in different planetary environments than our own but are driven by totally different processes. We can learn a lot from studying reconnection across the Solar System.” said Co-author Dr Jonathan Rae at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

The scientists hope to continue finding similar events in the treasure trove of data generated by Cassini, which concluded its mission last September with a plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, having studied the planet for 13 years. “So far we have only scratched the surface of what we can find with the CAPS instrument.

Now, we can look back through the data and see whether there are other examples. We have a very rich data set that will keep us busy for years.” said Professor Coates. The new study can provide insights into the behaviour of magnetospheres of fast rotating planets, which, also, include Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and numerous exoplanets. ESA’s future JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, JUICE, might, also, find similar phenomena around Jupiter.

“Jupiter, also, has a very rapidly rotating magnetosphere and sulphur from its volcanic moon Io, so the JUICE mission, might, eventually, be able to measure this new type of magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetodisc as well, when it gets there in 2030.” said Professor Coates, who is, also, Co-investigator on the JUICE PEP instrument.

Co-author Dr William Dunn at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, said, “This finding is a game-changer in our understanding of gas giant magnetic environments. For years, we have been trying to explain stunning auroral flares in Jupiter's Northern and Southern lights, and this discovery might provide the answer.

We hope further work will determine to what extent they are connected, and missions like JUICE and NASA's Juno mission should help us understand and tell us whether this type of reconnection universal for rapidly-rotating magnetic bodies across the cosmos.”

Dr Nicolas Altobelli, ESA Cassini Project Scientist, said, “After all these years of analysis of Cassini data from Saturn, we will arrive at Jupiter with a much better understanding of what we should be looking for.” ::: ω.
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Entanglement: Because From the Neutrinos to the Largest Galaxy Clusters and Everything in Between All the Variables of the Entire Universe are Connected to The Grid of Knowledge of the Universal Laws


|| May 06: 2018: University of Jyväskylä News || ά. Researchers have demonstrated how some of the most counter-intuitive predictions of quantum mechanics can be verified in nearly-macroscopic objects. This provides new tools for the technological applications, especially, a widespread intrinsically secure communication. Quantum mechanics is difficult to understand. It is, usually, considered as a theory, that describes the world of the infinitesimally small: a world of subatomic particles behaving in bizarre ways, far removed from the phenomena we are familiar with in our daily life. And here is our headline: there is no bizarre in the Universe for all variables in it are connected to the Grid but we humans are aware of only a tiny, tiny number of them so that when they show things, that we have not ourselves caused them to show, we see 'bizarre' because we simply forget that these tiny number of the variables are not the 'only ones' in the Grid and that they are impacted and affected by all the infinite number of the rest of the variables in that Grid.

Example: there were few canaries in a bird cage and someone is taking them through the street. They were well fed, they have food and drink in the cage. They have no illness and there is nothing in the cage, that should make them distraught. They were making no noise and the owner is taking them carefully but, suddenly, they started an uproar: a desperate cry of fear ensued. Puzzled, the owner looks everyway but sees nothing at all. She did not cause these canaries to behave this way and she thinks that this is bizarre. But she now stands at a bus stop, next to a wall; unbeknown to her, there are two large cats. How did the canary know of them is a separate question but the fact is this that they and that cats are now in the same locality of the grid. The canaries moved to this locality of the grid while the cats were doing the same and now they can not escape the impact, that it creates in the local ecology. Hence, the canaries keep on screaming with utter paranoia and the owner wishing that they would be quiet. And the owner would, always, remember this as bizarre behaviour of her canaries because she did not know of the two cats.

Our arrogant tendency seeks to bring and make everything to 'we know it all', which makes us forget the Universe and the astonishing array of endless number of variables, ever-changing and ever-shifting, always, impacting on everything else on the grid. It is like a little clown fish, that's us, this wee-humanity, in some reef in the vast Pacific Ocean pretending that it understands this vast body of waters and how many hundreds of billions of variables there are and how many trillions of billions of millions of trillions of other variables beyond and outside it, that impact on life and its ecology in that body of the ocean! Humanity must unlearn this arrogance fast and learn humility and keep on learning. Another example, how does the earth's gravity impact on the heart? How does lunar presence, particularly, when it is full moon, affects the human heart, blood pressures etc? How does the human genome know when it is outside this gravity, for instance, when it is on the International Space Station or other outer space? They can not but do. But we are not ever thinking of them but they are and will continue to do so. The more aware we become of these variables the better we are able to understand and question so to advance: this terribly sad and desperate human condition.

And here is the entanglement: One example is provided by entanglement: the dynamics of two quantum particles can be prepared such that their motion is inextricably correlated, in ways that would be impossible for objects described by classical physics. One consequence of entanglement is what Einstein defined 'spooky action at a distance': entangled particles can not be described independently, even, though, they, might, lie light-years away from each other.

In recent years, researchers have been exploring, both from the theoretical and the experimental point of view, how these bizarre laws can be applied to larger systems, at scales closer to our everyday experience. Now researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, participated in an international collaboration with research groups from Aalto University,Finland, UNSW, Australia and University of Chicago, United States and showed that it is possible to create an entangled state for the dynamics of two mechanical objects each constituted by 10 to the power of 12, that is one followed by twelve zeroes, atoms! This allowed them to demonstrate how some of the most counter-intuitive predictions of quantum mechanics can be verified in nearly-macroscopic objects.

“We achieved this result by placing two vibrating membranes, the mechanical objects, in a microwave circuit. It was shown that, by shining the right combination of microwave electromagnetic fields to this circuit, the two vibrating membranes enter a quantum-correlated state of motion, impossible for classical objects.” says postdoctoral researcher Dr Asjad Muhammad from Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä.

“Our result not only provides new insights into the quantum behaviour of macroscopic objects, but, potentially, can, also, be turned into technological applications, for instance, in the field of ultra-sensitive measurements or intrinsically secure communications.” says researcher Group Leader Academy Research Fellow Dr Francesco Massel from Department of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä.

Academy Research Fellow Francesco Massel, francesco.p.massel at jyu.fi: +358 45 870 1514
Postdoctoral Researcher Asjad Muhammad, muhammad.m.asjad at jyu.fi

The Paper: C. F. Ockeloen-Korppi, E. Damskägg, J. M. Pirkkalainen, M. Asjad, A. A. Clerk, F. Massel, M. J. Woolley, and M. A. Sillanpää, Nature 556, 478 2018

Caption: An illustration of the 15-micrometre-wide drumheads prepared on silicon chips used in the experiment. Image: Aalto University:Petja Hyttinen and Olli Hanhirova, ARKH Architects. ::: ω.

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Measure for Measure: Cosmologically Speaking Or Seeking



|| March 03: 2018: University of Portsmouth News || ά. There are endless number of mysteries in cosmology, far more numerous than most other discipline of studies: but here's one, relating to the measurements as regards to how fast the Universe is expanding. This, might be, the first sign of new physics beyond the standard cosmological model or it, might be, a sign that some of the measurements aren’t being interpreted correctly. Astrophysicists from the University of Portsmouth and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory believe that strongly lensed Type Ia supernovae are the key to solving this mystery.

The farther away an object is in space, the longer its light takes to reach Earth. So the farther out we look, the further back in time we see. For decades, Type Ia supernovae have been exceptional distance markers because they are extraordinarily bright and similar in brightness no matter where they sit in the cosmos. By looking at these objects, scientists discovered that dark energy is propelling cosmic expansion. Earlier this year scientists found an even more reliable distance marker, the first-ever strongly lensed Type Ia supernova. These events occur when the gravitational field of a massive object, like a galaxy, ends and refocuses passing light from a Type Ia event behind it.

This 'gravitational lensing' causes the supernova’s light to appear brighter and sometimes in multiple locations, if, the light rays travel different paths around the massive object. Astrophysicist Mr Thomas Collett, from Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation and Co-author on the new paper, said, “For the last few year I’ve been trying to measure the expansion rate with lensed quasars, cosmic beacons emanating from massive black holes in the centres of galaxies.

Collaborators and I recently published a 03.8 per cent measurement of the expansion. We got a value in between the other measurements but we need more systems to be really sure that this is the final answer. Our new work shows that lensed supernovae are much better than quasars: it can take years to make the measurements with quasars but with supernovae it’s only a matter of months. We forecast a thousand lensed supernovae will be in upcoming surveys, which will let us really nail down the cosmology.”

Mr Peter Nugent, an Astrophysicist in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Cosmology Centre and Co-author on the paper, said, “Ever since the cosmic microwave background result came out and confirmed the accelerating universe and the existence of dark matter, cosmologists have been trying to make better and better measurements of the cosmological parameters, and shrink the error bars.

The error bars are now so small that we should be able to say ‘this and this agree,’ so the results presented last summer introduced a big tension in cosmology. Our paper presents a path forward for determining whether the current disagreement is real or whether it’s a mistake.”

The paper was published today in the Astrophysical Journal.

Caption: This composite of two astrophysics simulations shows a Type Ia supernova, purple disc, expanding over different microlensing magnification patterns, coloured fields: Image: Danny Goldstein, UC Berkeley

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Cause a Laser Wakefield Acceleration: And Now Watch the Play of Quantum Photonics-Beth: But Know That Life Is Not a Tale Told by an Idiot and It is Always Much Much More Than Sound and Fury and It Always Signifies Much Much More Than What We Can Fathom with Our Nano-Clasps


|| February 12: 2018: Lancaster University News || ά. By hitting electrons with an ultra-intense laser, researchers have shown the dynamics, that goes beyond ‘classical’ physics and hint at quantum effects. Whenever light hits an object, some of the light scatters back from the surface of the object. However, if, the object is moving extremely fast and, if, the light is incredibly intense, strange things can happen. Electrons, for example, can be shaken so violently that they actually slow down because they radiate so much energy. Physicists call this process ‘radiation reaction’.

This radiation reaction is thought to occur around objects, such as, black holes and quasars or supermassive black holes surrounded by a disc of gas. Being able to measure radiation reaction in the lab will, therefore, provide insights into processes that occur in some of the most extreme environments in the universe. Radiation reaction is, also, interesting to physicists studying effects beyond ‘classical’ physics, as the equations, known as, Maxwell’s equations, that, traditionally, define the forces acting on objects fall short in these extreme environments. Now, a team of researchers led by Imperial College London has demonstrated radiation reaction in the lab for the first time.

Their results have been published in the journal Physical Review X. They were able to observe this radiation reaction by colliding a laser beam one quadrillion, a billion million times brighter than light at the surface of the Sun with a high-energy beam of electrons. The experiment, which required extreme precision and exquisite timing, was achieved using the Gemini laser at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility in the UK.

Photons of light, that reflect from an object moving close to the speed of light, have their energy increased. In the extreme conditions of this experiment, this shifts the reflected light from the visible part of the spectrum all the way up to high energy gamma rays. This effect let the researchers know when they had successfully collided the beams.

Senior Author of the study, Dr Stuart Mangles from the Department of Physics at Imperial, said, “We knew we had been successful in colliding the two beams, when we detected very bright high energy gamma-ray radiation. The real result then came, when we compared this detection with the energy in the electron beam after the collision. We found that these successful collisions had a lower than expected electron energy, which is clear evidence of radiation reaction.”

Study Co-author Professor Alec Thomas, from Lancaster University and the University of Michigan, said, "One thing I always find so fascinating about this is that the electrons are stopped as effectively by this sheet of light, a fraction of a hair's breadth thick, as by something like a millimetre of lead. That is extraordinary."

The data from the experiment also agrees better with a theoretical model based on the principles of quantum electrodynamics, rather than Maxwell’s equations, potentially, providing some of the first evidence of previously untested quantum models. Study Co-author Professor Mattias Marklund of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, whose group was involved in the study, said, “Testing our theoretical predictions is of central importance for us at Chalmers, especially, in new regimes, where there is much to learn. Paired with theory, these experiments are a foundation for high-intensity laser research in the quantum domain.”

However, more experiments at even higher intensity or with even higher energy electron beams will be needed to confirm if this is true. The research team will be carrying out these experiments in the coming year. The researchers were able to make the light so intense in the current experiment by focussing it to a very small spot, just a few micrometres, millionths of a metre, across and delivering all the energy in a very short duration, just 40 femtoseconds long: 40 quadrillionths of a second.

To make the electron beam small enough to interact with the focussed laser, the researchers used a technique, called, ‘laser wakefield acceleration’. The laser wakefield technique fires another intense laser pulse into a gas. The laser turns the gas into a plasma and drives a wave, called, the wakefield, behind it as it travels through the plasma. Electrons in the plasma can surf on this wake and reach very high energies in a very short distance. ω.

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Now Please Do Not Speak About Entanglement: Why Not: Because Everything is Already Entangled: Is That So: Yes This Entire System of the Universe is Fed by the Process of Untanglement: Untanglement: Yes Everything is Motional So That They Can Untangle Themselves and Fall Into the Liberty of Space Free of All Entanglement: I See: No You Don't: I Don't: Because You are Entangled: So We are Speaking of Entanglement After All


|| January 10: 2018: University of Southampton News || ά. A team of scientists, including two University of Southampton physicists, has proposed an experiment it believes could answer a long-standing question relating to whether gravity is of quantum nature? Quantum mechanics is the theory, that accounts for the behaviour of fundamental particles and basic microscopic systems, including, their habit of appearing in two different places at once.

However, there is no empirical evidence to suggest that gravity, which is currently only explained by classical physical laws, might, behave in a quantum manner. In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, this international research team, led by UCL, including, Professor Hendrik Ulbricht and Dr Marko Toroš from the University of Southampton, outlines an experimental test it believes could prove whether gravity has quantum characteristics.

In the proposed experiment, two microscopic masses would be observed freefalling on adjacent paths, a fraction of a millimetre apart. The masses are made to interact gravitationally with each other as they fall through a series of magnetic fields, in an environment free of any other influences.

Any ‘entanglement’ observed between the masses, each of which, will follow both paths simultaneously during its fall, would confirm the quantum nature of gravity.

Professor Ulbricht said, “We are some way off being able to carry out this experiment for real, but it’s extremely exciting to be able to outline a theoretically workable proposal.

If we can use an experiment like this to show without any ambiguity that gravity possesses a quantum nature, it would offer a thrilling challenge to the laws of physics and open up whole new avenues for physicists to explore.”

The Paper: Spin Entanglement Witness for Quantum Gravity: Sougato Bose, Anupam Mazumdar, Gavin W. Morley, Hendrik Ulbricht, Marko Toroš, Mauro Paternostro, Andrew A. Geraci, Peter F. Barker, M. S. Kim and Gerard Milburn: is published in Physical Review Letters

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For Stories Published in Astrophysics in Year Gamma Arkive


Life's Laurel Is You In One-Line-Poetry A Heaven-Bound Propagated Ray Of Light Off The Eye Of The Book Of Life: Love For You Are Only Once



Life: You Are The Law The Flow The Glow: In Joys In Hurts You Are The Vine-Songs On The Light-Trellis


























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