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Universe, Volume 6, Issue 9 (September 2020) – 29 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Forms of life that might exist on other planetary bodies could be radically different from life as we know it. Life on other worlds depends on the nature and planetary history of each alien environment. Different scenarios apply to the variety of planetary bodies found in the Universe, from cloud-enshrouded gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, with their variety of moons ranging from the rocky and barren Io and the ice-covered ocean worlds of Europa and Ganymede (top row), to Titan’s frigid world enshrouded in a dense haze and saturated with liquid hydrocarbons (lower right). Others considered for the cover article of this issue by Irwin and Schulze-Makuch include rogue planets, tidally locked planets, super-Earths, and non-organic forms of life. Images courtesy of NASA/JPL. View this paper.
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Review
Gravity Tests with Radio Pulsars
Universe 2020, 6(9), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090156 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
The discovery of the first binary pulsar in 1974 has opened up a completely new field of experimental gravity. In numerous important ways, pulsars have taken precision gravity tests quantitatively and qualitatively beyond the weak-field slow-motion regime of the Solar System. Apart from [...] Read more.
The discovery of the first binary pulsar in 1974 has opened up a completely new field of experimental gravity. In numerous important ways, pulsars have taken precision gravity tests quantitatively and qualitatively beyond the weak-field slow-motion regime of the Solar System. Apart from the first verification of the existence of gravitational waves, binary pulsars for the first time gave us the possibility to study the dynamics of strongly self-gravitating bodies with high precision. To date there are several radio pulsars known which can be utilized for precision tests of gravity. Depending on their orbital properties and the nature of their companion, these pulsars probe various different predictions of general relativity and its alternatives in the mildly relativistic strong-field regime. In many aspects, pulsar tests are complementary to other present and upcoming gravity experiments, like gravitational-wave observatories or the Event Horizon Telescope. This review gives an introduction to gravity tests with radio pulsars and its theoretical foundations, highlights some of the most important results, and gives a brief outlook into the future of this important field of experimental gravity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Tests of General Relativity)
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Communication
The Negative Energy in Generalized Vaidya Spacetime
Universe 2020, 6(9), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090155 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 486
Abstract
In this paper we consider the negative energy problem in generalized Vaidya spacetime. We consider several models where we have the naked singularity as a result of the gravitational collapse. In these models we investigate the geodesics for particles with negative energy when [...] Read more.
In this paper we consider the negative energy problem in generalized Vaidya spacetime. We consider several models where we have the naked singularity as a result of the gravitational collapse. In these models we investigate the geodesics for particles with negative energy when the II type of the matter field satisfies the equation of the state P=αρ (α[0,1]). Full article
Review
Visible Shapes of Black Holes M87* and SgrA*
Universe 2020, 6(9), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090154 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
We review the physical origins for possible visible images of the supermassive black hole M87* in the galaxy M87 and SgrA* in the Milky Way Galaxy. The classical dark black hole shadow of the maximal size is visible in the case of luminous [...] Read more.
We review the physical origins for possible visible images of the supermassive black hole M87* in the galaxy M87 and SgrA* in the Milky Way Galaxy. The classical dark black hole shadow of the maximal size is visible in the case of luminous background behind the black hole at the distance exceeding the so-called photon spheres. The notably smaller dark shadow (dark silhouette) of the black hole event horizon is visible if the black hole is highlighted by the inner parts of the luminous accreting matter inside the photon spheres. The first image of the supermassive black hole M87*, obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, shows the lensed dark image of the southern hemisphere of the black hole event horizon globe, highlighted by accreting matter, while the classical black hole shadow is invisible at all. A size of the dark spot on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) image agrees with a corresponding size of the dark event horizon silhouette in a thin accretion disk model in the case of either the high or moderate value of the black hole spin, a0.75. Full article
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Communication
Evidence for Solar Modulation on the Millennial-Scale Climate Change of Earth
Universe 2020, 6(9), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090153 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 733
Abstract
In this study, we use available reconstructed data to investigate periodicities of solar activity (i.e., sunspot number) and the Earth’s climate change (temperatures of Lake Qinghai in China and Vostok in Antarctica, the GISP δ18O climate record of Greenland, and the [...] Read more.
In this study, we use available reconstructed data to investigate periodicities of solar activity (i.e., sunspot number) and the Earth’s climate change (temperatures of Lake Qinghai in China and Vostok in Antarctica, the GISP δ18O climate record of Greenland, and the stalagmite δ18O monsoon records of Dongge Cave in China) as well as their cross-wavelet coherences on millennial scale. We find that the variations of the Earth’s climate indices exhibited the 1000-year cyclicity, which was recently discovered in solar activity (called Eddy cycle). The cross-wavelet correlations between the millennium-cycle components of sunspot number and the Earth’s climate change remains both strong and stable during the past 8640 years (BC 6755–AD 1885). The millennial variation of sunspot number keeps in-phase with variations of Lake Qinghai temperature, Greenland temperature, and East Asian Monsoon, but anti-phase with the variation of Antarctica temperature. The strong and stable resonant relationships between sunspot numbers and these climate indices indicate that solar variability may have played a role in modulation on this millennial seesaw pattern of the Earth’s climate change before the modern industrial era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Weather)
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Communication
Spinors in Cylindrically Symmetric Space–Time
Universe 2020, 6(9), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090152 - 15 Sep 2020
Viewed by 617
Abstract
We studied the behavior of nonlinear spinor field within the scope of a static cylindrically symmetric space–time. It is found that the energy-momentum tensor (EMT) of the spinor field in this case possesses nontrivial non-diagonal components. The presence of non-diagonal components of the [...] Read more.
We studied the behavior of nonlinear spinor field within the scope of a static cylindrically symmetric space–time. It is found that the energy-momentum tensor (EMT) of the spinor field in this case possesses nontrivial non-diagonal components. The presence of non-diagonal components of the EMT imposes three-way restrictions either on the space–time geometry or on the components of the spinor field or on both. It should be noted that the analogical situation occurs in cosmology when the nonlinear spinor field is exploited as a source of gravitational field given by the Bianchi type-I cosmological model. Full article
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Communication
Ricci Linear Weyl/Maxwell Mutual Sourcing
Universe 2020, 6(9), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090151 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
We elevate the field theoretical similarities between Maxwell and Weyl vector fields into a full local scale/gauge invariant Weyl/Maxwell mutual sourcing theory. In its preliminary form, and exclusively in four dimensions, the associated Lagrangian is dynamical scalar field free, hosts no fermion matter [...] Read more.
We elevate the field theoretical similarities between Maxwell and Weyl vector fields into a full local scale/gauge invariant Weyl/Maxwell mutual sourcing theory. In its preliminary form, and exclusively in four dimensions, the associated Lagrangian is dynamical scalar field free, hosts no fermion matter fields, and Holdom kinetic mixing is switched off. The mutual sourcing term is then necessarily spacetime curvature (not just metric) dependent, and inevitably Ricci linear, suggesting that a non-vanishing spacetime curvature can in principle induce an electromagnetic current. In its mature form, however, the Weyl/Maxwell mutual sourcing idea serendipitously constitutes a novel variant of the gravitational Weyl-Dirac (incorporating Brans-Dicke) theory. Counter intuitively, and again exclusively in four dimensions, the optional quartic scalar potential gets consistently replaced by a Higgs-like potential, such that the co-divergence of the Maxwell vector field resembles a conformal vacuum expectation value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
Review
Casimir and Casimir-Polder Forces in Graphene Systems: Quantum Field Theoretical Description and Thermodynamics
Universe 2020, 6(9), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090150 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
We review recent results on the low-temperature behaviors of the Casimir-Polder and Casimir free energy an entropy for a polarizable atom interacting with a graphene sheet and for two graphene sheets, respectively. These results are discussed in the wide context of problems arising [...] Read more.
We review recent results on the low-temperature behaviors of the Casimir-Polder and Casimir free energy an entropy for a polarizable atom interacting with a graphene sheet and for two graphene sheets, respectively. These results are discussed in the wide context of problems arising in the Lifshitz theory of van der Waals and Casimir forces when it is applied to metallic and dielectric bodies. After a brief treatment of different approaches to theoretical description of the electromagnetic response of graphene, we concentrate on the derivation of response function in the framework of thermal quantum field theory in the Matsubara formulation using the polarization tensor in (2 + 1)-dimensional space—time. The asymptotic expressions for the Casimir-Polder and Casimir free energy and entropy at low temperature, obtained with the polarization tensor, are presented for a pristine graphene as well as for graphene sheets possessing some nonzero energy gap Δ and chemical potential μ under different relationships between the values of Δ and μ. Along with reviewing the results obtained in the literature, we present some new findings concerning the case μ0, Δ=0. The conclusion is made that the Lifshitz theory of the Casimir and Casimir-Polder forces in graphene systems using the quantum field theoretical description of a pristine graphene, as well as real graphene sheets with Δ>2μ or Δ<2μ, is consistent with the requirements of thermodynamics. The case of graphene with Δ=2μ0 leads to an entropic anomaly, but is argued to be physically unrealistic. The way to a resolution of thermodynamic problems in the Lifshitz theory based on the results obtained for graphene is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Modern Methods of QFT and Their Applications)
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Letter
Entangling Superconducting Qubits through an Analogue Wormhole
Universe 2020, 6(9), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090149 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 653
Abstract
We propose an experimental setup to test the effect of curved spacetime upon the extraction of entanglement from the quantum field vacuum to a pair of two-level systems. We consider two superconducting qubits coupled to a dc-SQUID array embedded into an open microwave [...] Read more.
We propose an experimental setup to test the effect of curved spacetime upon the extraction of entanglement from the quantum field vacuum to a pair of two-level systems. We consider two superconducting qubits coupled to a dc-SQUID array embedded into an open microwave transmission line, where an external bias can emulate a spacetime containing a traversable wormhole. We find that the amount of vacuum entanglement that can be extracted by the qubits depends on the wormhole parameters. At some distances qubits which would be in a separable state in flat spacetime would become entangled due to the analogue wormhole background. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
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Communication
Constructing Higher-Dimensional Exact Black Holes in Einstein-Maxwell-Scalar Theory
Universe 2020, 6(9), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090148 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 522
Abstract
We construct higher-dimensional and exact black holes in Einstein-Maxwell-scalar theory. The strategy we adopted is to extend the known, static and spherically symmetric black holes in the Einstein-Maxwell dilaton gravity and Einstein-Maxwell-scalar theory. Then we investigate the black hole thermodynamics. Concretely, the generalized [...] Read more.
We construct higher-dimensional and exact black holes in Einstein-Maxwell-scalar theory. The strategy we adopted is to extend the known, static and spherically symmetric black holes in the Einstein-Maxwell dilaton gravity and Einstein-Maxwell-scalar theory. Then we investigate the black hole thermodynamics. Concretely, the generalized Smarr formula and the first law of thermodynamics are derived. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modified Theories of Gravity and Cosmological Applications)
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Article
The State of the Art in Constraining Axion-to-Nucleon Coupling and Non-Newtonian Gravity from Laboratory Experiments
Universe 2020, 6(9), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090147 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
Constraints on the Yukawa-type corrections to Newton’s gravitational law and on the coupling constant of axionlike particles to nucleons obtained from different laboratory experiments are reviewed and compared. The constraints on non-Newtonian gravity under discussion cover the wide interaction range from nanometers to [...] Read more.
Constraints on the Yukawa-type corrections to Newton’s gravitational law and on the coupling constant of axionlike particles to nucleons obtained from different laboratory experiments are reviewed and compared. The constraints on non-Newtonian gravity under discussion cover the wide interaction range from nanometers to millimeters and follow from the experiments on neutron scattering, measuring the Casimir force and Cavendish-type experiments. The constraints on the axion-to-nucleon coupling constant following from the magnetometer measurements, Cavendish-type experiments, Casimir physics, and experiments with beams of molecular hydrogen are considered, which refer to the region of axion masses from 1010 to 200 eV. Particular attention is given to the recent constraints obtained from measuring the Casimir force at nanometer separation distance between the test bodies. Several proposed experiments focussed on constraining the non-Newtonian gravity, axionlike particles and other hypothetical weakly interacting particles, such as chameleons and symmetrons, are discussed. Full article
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Communication
Investigation of the Elliptic Flow Fluctuations of the Identified Particles Using the a Multi-Phase Transport Model
Universe 2020, 6(9), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090146 - 06 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
A Multi-Phase Transport (AMPT) model is used to study the elliptic flow fluctuations of identified particles using participant and spectator event planes. The elliptic flow measured using the first order spectator event plane is expected to give the elliptic flow relative to the [...] Read more.
A Multi-Phase Transport (AMPT) model is used to study the elliptic flow fluctuations of identified particles using participant and spectator event planes. The elliptic flow measured using the first order spectator event plane is expected to give the elliptic flow relative to the true reaction plane which suppresses the flow fluctuations. However, the elliptic flow measured using the second-order participant plane is expected to capture the elliptic flow fluctuations. Our study shows that the first order spectator event plane could be used to study the elliptic flow fluctuations of the identified particles in the AMPT model. The elliptic flow fluctuations magnitude shows weak particle species dependence and transverse momentum dependence. Such observation will have important implications for understanding the source of the elliptic flow fluctuations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
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Article
Effects of Turbulent Environment on Self-Organized Critical Behavior: Isotropy vs. Anisotropy
Universe 2020, 6(9), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090145 - 06 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
We study a self-organized critical system under the influence of turbulent motion of the environment. The system is described by the anisotropic continuous stochastic equation proposed by Hwa and Kardar [Phys. Rev. Lett.62: 1813 (1989)]. The motion of the environment [...] Read more.
We study a self-organized critical system under the influence of turbulent motion of the environment. The system is described by the anisotropic continuous stochastic equation proposed by Hwa and Kardar [Phys. Rev. Lett.62: 1813 (1989)]. The motion of the environment is modelled by the isotropic Kazantsev–Kraichnan “rapid-change” ensemble for an incompressible fluid: it is Gaussian with vanishing correlation time and the pair correlation function of the form δ(tt)/kd+ξ, where k is the wave number and ξ is an arbitrary exponent with the most realistic values ξ=4/3 (Kolmogorov turbulence) and ξ2 (Batchelor’s limit). Using the field-theoretic renormalization group, we find infrared attractive fixed points of the renormalization group equation associated with universality classes, i.e., with regimes of critical behavior. The most realistic values of the spatial dimension d=2 and the exponent ξ=4/3 correspond to the universality class of pure turbulent advection where the nonlinearity of the Hwa–Kardar (HK) equation is irrelevant. Nevertheless, the universality class where both the (anisotropic) nonlinearity of the HK equation and the (isotropic) advecting velocity field are relevant also exists for some values of the parameters ε=4d and ξ. Depending on what terms (anisotropic, isotropic, or both) are relevant in specific universality class, different types of scaling behavior (ordinary one or generalized) are established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Gravity)
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Article
Conformal Symmetry and Supersymmetry in Rindler Space
Universe 2020, 6(9), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090144 - 04 Sep 2020
Viewed by 739
Abstract
This paper addresses the fate of extended space-time symmetries, in particular conformal symmetry and supersymmetry, in two-dimensional Rindler space-time appropriate to a uniformly accelerated non-inertial frame in flat 1+1-dimensional space-time. Generically, in addition to a conformal co-ordinate transformation, the transformation of fields from [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the fate of extended space-time symmetries, in particular conformal symmetry and supersymmetry, in two-dimensional Rindler space-time appropriate to a uniformly accelerated non-inertial frame in flat 1+1-dimensional space-time. Generically, in addition to a conformal co-ordinate transformation, the transformation of fields from Minkowski to Rindler space is accompanied by local conformal and Lorentz transformations of the components, which also affect the Bogoliubov transformations between the associated Fock spaces. I construct these transformations for massless scalars and spinors, as well as for the ghost and super-ghost fields necessary in theories with local conformal and supersymmetries, as arising from coupling to two-dimensional (2-D) gravity or supergravity. Cancellation of the anomalies in Minkowski and in Rindler space requires theories with the well-known critical spectrum of particles that arise in string theory in the limit of infinite strings, and it is relevant for the equivalence of Minkowski and Rindler frame theories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gauge Theory, Strings and Supergravity)
Article
The Resonant Bremsstrahlung of Ultrarelativistic Electrons on a Nucleus with Radiation of Hard Gamma-Quanta in the Presence of a Pulsed Field of the X-ray Pulsar
Universe 2020, 6(9), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090143 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
The investigation scrutinizes the circulation of the large-scaled fluxes of ultrarelativistic electrons near the neutron stars. This work focuses on the effects that occur during the adjustment of the strong electromagnetic field near the X-ray pulsars. Particularly, this study analyzes the resonant high-energy [...] Read more.
The investigation scrutinizes the circulation of the large-scaled fluxes of ultrarelativistic electrons near the neutron stars. This work focuses on the effects that occur during the adjustment of the strong electromagnetic field near the X-ray pulsars. Particularly, this study analyzes the resonant high-energy spontaneous bremsstrahlung of ultrarelativistic electrons in the pulsed fields of a nucleus and X-ray pulsar. Specific attention is given to the pulsed character of the field model. Under the resonant conditions the intermediate virtual electron within the electromagnetic field transforms into a real particle. As a result, the initial second-order process with accordance to the fine structure constant effectively splits into two first-order effects: the stimulated Compton process and the field-assisted scattering of an electron on a nucleus. In this research we obtain the resonant differential cross-sections with registration of frequency and radiation angle of a hard gamma-quantum. To summarize, the resonant differential cross-section of the effect within the external pulsed electromagnetic field of X-ray pulsar significantly exceeds the corresponding cross-section without an external field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: Feature Papers–High Energy Nuclear and Particle Physics)
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Article
Gravitational Interaction in a Null String Gas and Its Possible Consequences
Universe 2020, 6(9), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090142 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1901
Abstract
In this paper, we investigated the possible consequences of gravitational interaction in a gas of null strings. The structural elements of this gas are closed null strings in the form of a circle (thin closed tubes of massless scalar field). A possibility to [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigated the possible consequences of gravitational interaction in a gas of null strings. The structural elements of this gas are closed null strings in the form of a circle (thin closed tubes of massless scalar field). A possibility to qualitatively take into account the mutual influence on motion for gravitationally interacting null strings is proposed. It is shown that the result of gravitational interaction is the self-consistent motion of two null strings inside a space-limited region. Such systems of gravitationally interacting null strings can be considered as primary particles in a gas of null strings with an effective nonzero rest mass. It is noted that the “lifetime” of such particles should depend on external conditions. Long-term existence (“lifetime”) of primary particles is possible if they are combined into more complex structures. The possibility of such a union depends on the motion direction of the null strings forming the particles. The most interesting is the possibility of combining primary particles into spherically symmetric formations—“macro” objects. A feature of such “macro” formations in a gas of null strings is the fundamental impossibility to have finally formed structure. In a gas of null strings, processes leading to a random (dynamic) change in the number of null strings gravitationally belonging to a “macro” object are inevitable. By averaging over time the various spatial distributions of the “macro” formations, the concepts of “substance” and “interaction field” can be introduced in a gas of null strings. Full article
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Article
Resonant Effects in a Photoproduction of Ultrarelativistic Electron-Positron Pairs on a Nucleus in the Field of the X-ray Pulsar
Universe 2020, 6(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090141 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 536
Abstract
The resonant photoproduction of the electron-positron pairs on a nucleus near a surface of the X-ray pulsar was studied theoretically. The main feature of the processes, which are responsible for the formation of the electron-positron fluxes, is a capability to occur in a [...] Read more.
The resonant photoproduction of the electron-positron pairs on a nucleus near a surface of the X-ray pulsar was studied theoretically. The main feature of the processes, which are responsible for the formation of the electron-positron fluxes, is a capability to occur in a resonant way in the electromagnetic field of the X-ray pulsar. One of the properties of the resonant case is that the initial process of second order in the fine structure constant in an external field effectively reduces into two successive processes of the first order due to the fact that in the resonant conditions intermediate virtual electron (positron) becomes a real particle. It is shown that the resonances are possible only when the initial gamma quantum energy is more than the threshold energy, which significantly depends on the number of absorbed photons of an external electromagnetic field. Additionally, in the resonant conditions, the energies of the particles depend on the outgoing angle of a positron (channel A) or an electron (channel B). It is shown that the resonant differential cross section has an extremely large magnitude in units αZ2re2. A mechanism to explain the presence of anomalous fluxes of ultrarelativistic positrons near the surface of an X-ray pulsar was proposed. Full article
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Letter
GW Interferometer Euro-Asian Network: Detection Characteristics for Signals of Known Shape
Universe 2020, 6(9), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090140 - 02 Sep 2020
Viewed by 659
Abstract
In this paper, we estimate efficiency of a conceivable Euro-Asian network of gravitational wave (GW) interferometers that might be realized having in mind a plan of construction of third generation interferometer in Novosibirsk region. Subsequently, some network would be composed, including four GW [...] Read more.
In this paper, we estimate efficiency of a conceivable Euro-Asian network of gravitational wave (GW) interferometers that might be realized having in mind a plan of construction of third generation interferometer in Novosibirsk region. Subsequently, some network would be composed, including four GW detectors. Among them there are the already active interferometers VIRGO (Italy) and KAGRA (Japan), Indian interferometer under construction—LIGO India and the interferometer in Siberia mentioned above. The quality of network in question is considered on the base of typical numerical criteria of efficiency for detecting GW signals of known structure—radiation of relativistic binary coalescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Universe Letters)
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Article
A 1% Measurement of the Gravitomagnetic Field of the Earth with Laser-Tracked Satellites
Universe 2020, 6(9), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090139 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
A new measurement of the gravitomagnetic field of the Earth is presented. The measurement has been obtained through the careful evaluation of the Lense-Thirring (LT) precession on the combined orbits of three passive geodetic satellites, LAGEOS, LAGEOS II, and LARES, tracked by the [...] Read more.
A new measurement of the gravitomagnetic field of the Earth is presented. The measurement has been obtained through the careful evaluation of the Lense-Thirring (LT) precession on the combined orbits of three passive geodetic satellites, LAGEOS, LAGEOS II, and LARES, tracked by the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) technique. This general relativity precession, also known as frame-dragging, is a manifestation of spacetime curvature generated by mass-currents, a peculiarity of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. The measurement stands out, compared to previous measurements in the same context, for its precision (7.4×103, at a 95% confidence level) and accuracy (16×103), i.e., for a reliable and robust evaluation of the systematic sources of error due to both gravitational and non-gravitational perturbations. To achieve this measurement, we have largely exploited the results of the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) mission in order to significantly improve the description of the Earth’s gravitational field, also modeling its dependence on time. In this way, we strongly reduced the systematic errors due to the uncertainty in the knowledge of the Earth even zonal harmonics and, at the same time, avoided a possible bias of the final result and, consequently, of the precision of the measurement, linked to a non-reliable handling of the unmodeled and mismodeled periodic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frame-Dragging and Gravitomagnetism)
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Article
Dark Gravitational Field on Riemannian and Sasaki Spacetime
Universe 2020, 6(9), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090138 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide the geometrical structure of a gravitational field that includes the addition of dark matter in the framework of a Riemannian and a Riemann–Sasaki spacetime. By means of the classical Riemannian geometric methods we arrive at [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to provide the geometrical structure of a gravitational field that includes the addition of dark matter in the framework of a Riemannian and a Riemann–Sasaki spacetime. By means of the classical Riemannian geometric methods we arrive at modified geodesic equations, tidal forces, and Einstein and Raychaudhuri equations to account for extra dark gravity. We further examine an application of this approach in cosmology. Moreover, a possible extension of this model on the tangent bundle is studied in order to examine the behavior of dark matter in a unified geometric model of gravity with more degrees of freedom. Particular emphasis shall be laid on the problem of the geodesic motion under the influence of dark matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
Communication
The Resonant Effect of an Annihilation Channel in the Interaction of the Ultrarelativistic Electron and Positron in the Field of an X-ray Pulsar
Universe 2020, 6(9), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090137 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
We investigated the effects that occur during the circulation of ultrarelativistic electrons and positrons in the field of an X-ray pulsar. A resonant process in annihilation and the subsequent production of the electron–positron pairs were studied theoretically. Under the resonance, the second-order process [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects that occur during the circulation of ultrarelativistic electrons and positrons in the field of an X-ray pulsar. A resonant process in annihilation and the subsequent production of the electron–positron pairs were studied theoretically. Under the resonance, the second-order process in an original fine-structure constant process effectively decays to two first order processes of the fine-structure constant: single-photon annihilation of the electron–positron pair stimulated by the external field, and the Breit–Wheeler process (single-photon birth of the electron–positron pair) stimulated by the external field. We show that resonance has a threshold energy for a certain combinational energy of the initial electron and positron. Furthermore, there is a definite small angle between initial ultrarelativistic particles’ momenta, in which resonance takes place. Initial and final electron–positron pairs fly in a narrow cone. We noticed that electron (positron) emission angle defines the energy of the final pair. We show that the resonant cross-section in the field of the X-ray pulsar may significantly exceed the corresponding cross-section without the field (Bhabha cross-section). Full article
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Review
Jetted Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies & Co.: Where Do We Stand?
Universe 2020, 6(9), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090136 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
The discovery in 2008 of high-energy gamma-rays from Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies (NLS1s) made it clear that there were active galactic nuclei (AGN) other than blazars and radio galaxies that can eject powerful relativistic jets. In addition to NLS1s, the great performance of [...] Read more.
The discovery in 2008 of high-energy gamma-rays from Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies (NLS1s) made it clear that there were active galactic nuclei (AGN) other than blazars and radio galaxies that can eject powerful relativistic jets. In addition to NLS1s, the great performance of the Fermi Large Area Telescope made it possible to discover MeV-GeV photons emitted from more classes of AGN, like Seyferts, Compact Steep Spectrum Gigahertz Peaked Sources (CSS/GPS), and disk-hosted radio galaxies. Although observations indicate a variety of objects, their physical characteristics point to a central engine powered by a relatively small-mass black hole (but, obviously, there are interpretations against this view). This essay critically reviews the literature published on these topics during the last eight years and analyzes the perspectives for the forthcoming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
Review
An SU(2) Gauge Principle for the Cosmic Microwave Background: Perspectives on the Dark Sector of the Cosmological Model
Universe 2020, 6(9), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090135 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
We review consequences for the radiation and dark sectors of the cosmological model arising from the postulate that the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is governed by an SU(2) rather than a U(1) gauge principle. We also speculate on the possibility of actively assisted [...] Read more.
We review consequences for the radiation and dark sectors of the cosmological model arising from the postulate that the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is governed by an SU(2) rather than a U(1) gauge principle. We also speculate on the possibility of actively assisted structure formation due to the de-percolation of lump-like configurations of condensed ultralight axions with a Peccei–Quinn scale comparable to the Planck mass. The chiral-anomaly induced potential of the axion condensate receives contributions from SU(2)/SU(3) Yang–Mills factors of hierarchically separated scales which act in a screened (reduced) way in confining phases. Full article
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Review
Neutrinos: Majorana or Dirac?
Universe 2020, 6(9), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090134 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 710
Abstract
Are neutrinos with definite masses Majorana or Dirac particles? This is one of the most fundamental problems of modern neutrino physics. The solution to this problem could be crucial for understanding the origin of small neutrino masses. We review here basic arguments in [...] Read more.
Are neutrinos with definite masses Majorana or Dirac particles? This is one of the most fundamental problems of modern neutrino physics. The solution to this problem could be crucial for understanding the origin of small neutrino masses. We review here basic arguments in favor of the Majorana nature of massive neutrinos. The phenomenological theory of 0νββ-decay is briefly discussed and recent experimental data and sensitivity of future experiments are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay)
Article
Varying Newton Constant and Black Hole to White Hole Quantum Tunneling
Universe 2020, 6(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090133 - 23 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
The thermodynamics of black holes is discussed for the case, when the Newton constant G is not a constant, but it is the thermodynamic variable. This gives for the first law of the Schwarzschild black hole thermodynamics: dSBH=AdK+dMTBH, where the gravitational coupling K=1/4G, M is the black hole mass, A is the area of horizon, and TBH is Hawking temperature. From this first law, it follows that the dimensionless quantity M2/K is the adiabatic invariant, which, in principle, can be quantized if to follow the Bekenstein conjecture. From the Euclidean action for the black hole it follows that K and A serve as dynamically conjugate variables. Using the Painleve–Gullstrand metric, which in condensed matter is known as acoustic metric, we calculate the quantum tunneling from the black hole to the white hole. The obtained tunneling exponent suggests that the temperature and entropy of the white hole are negative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
Communication
Resonant Ultrarelativistic Electron–Positron Pair Production by High-Energy Electrons in the Field of an X-ray Pulsar
Universe 2020, 6(9), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090132 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
The process of resonant high-energy electron–positron pair production by an ultrarelativistic electron colliding with the field of an X-ray pulsar is theoretically investigated. Resonant kinematics of the process is studied in detail. Under the resonance condition, the intermediate virtual photon in the X-ray [...] Read more.
The process of resonant high-energy electron–positron pair production by an ultrarelativistic electron colliding with the field of an X-ray pulsar is theoretically investigated. Resonant kinematics of the process is studied in detail. Under the resonance condition, the intermediate virtual photon in the X-ray pulsar field becomes a real particle. As a result, the initial process of the second order in the fine structure constant effectively reduces into two successive processes of the first order: X-ray-stimulated Compton effect and X-ray-stimulated Breit–Wheeler process. For a high-energy initial electron all the final ultrarelativistic particles propagate in a narrow cone along the direction of the initial electron momentum. The presence of threshold energy for the initial electron which is of order of 100 MeV for 1-KeV-frequency field is shown. At the same time, the energy spectrum of the final particles (two electrons and a positron) highly depends on their exit angles and on the initial electron energy. This result significantly distinguishes the resonant process from the non-resonant one. It is shown that the resonant differential probability significantly exceeds the non-resonant one. Full article
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Communication
Radiation from an Inertial Mirror Horizon
Universe 2020, 6(9), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090131 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate radiation from asymptotic zero acceleration motion where a horizon is formed and subsequently detected by an outside witness. A perfectly reflecting moving mirror is used to model such a system and compute the energy and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate radiation from asymptotic zero acceleration motion where a horizon is formed and subsequently detected by an outside witness. A perfectly reflecting moving mirror is used to model such a system and compute the energy and spectrum. The trajectory is asymptotically inertial (zero proper acceleration)—ensuring negative energy flux (NEF), yet approaches light-speed with a null ray horizon at a finite advanced time. We compute the spectrum and energy analytically. Full article
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Review
The Astrobiology of Alien Worlds: Known and Unknown Forms of Life
Universe 2020, 6(9), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090130 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2152
Abstract
Most definitions of life assume that, at a minimum, life is a physical form of matter distinct from its environment at a lower state of entropy than its surroundings, using energy from the environment for internal maintenance and activity, and capable of autonomous [...] Read more.
Most definitions of life assume that, at a minimum, life is a physical form of matter distinct from its environment at a lower state of entropy than its surroundings, using energy from the environment for internal maintenance and activity, and capable of autonomous reproduction. These assumptions cover all of life as we know it, though more exotic entities can be envisioned, including organic forms with novel biochemistries, dynamic inorganic matter, and self-replicating machines. The probability that any particular form of life will be found on another planetary body depends on the nature and history of that alien world. So the biospheres would likely be very different on a rocky planet with an ice-covered global ocean, a barren planet devoid of surface liquid, a frigid world with abundant liquid hydrocarbons, on a rogue planet independent of a host star, on a tidally locked planet, on super-Earths, or in long-lived clouds in dense atmospheres. While life at least in microbial form is probably pervasive if rare throughout the Universe, and technologically advanced life is likely much rarer, the chance that an alternative form of life, though not intelligent life, could exist and be detected within our Solar System is a distinct possibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Universe: 5th Anniversary)
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Article
The NUMEN Heavy Ion Multidetector for a Complementary Approach to the Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay
Universe 2020, 6(9), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090129 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Neutrinos are so far the most elusive known particles, and in the last decades many sophisticated experiments have been set up in order to clarify several questions about their intrinsic nature, in particular their masses, mass hierarchy, intrinsic nature of Majorana or Dirac [...] Read more.
Neutrinos are so far the most elusive known particles, and in the last decades many sophisticated experiments have been set up in order to clarify several questions about their intrinsic nature, in particular their masses, mass hierarchy, intrinsic nature of Majorana or Dirac particles. Evidence of the Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay (NDBD) would prove that neutrinos are Majorana particles, thus improving the understanding of the universe itself. Besides the search for several large underground experiments for the direct experimental detection of NDBD, the NUMEN experiment proposes the investigation of a nuclear mechanism strongly linked to this decay: the Double Charge Exchange reactions (DCE). As such reactions share with the NDBD the same initial and final nuclear states, they could shed light on the determination of the Nuclear Matrix Elements (NMEs), which play a relevant role in the decay. The physics of DCE is described elsewhere in this issue, while the focus of this paper will be on the challenging experimental apparatus currently under construction in order to fulfil the requirements of the NUMEN experiment. The overall structure of the technological improvement to the cyclotron, along with the newly developed detection systems required for tracking and identifying the reaction products and their final excitation level are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay)
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Article
Is the Copenhagen Interpretation Inapplicable to Quantum Cosmology?
Universe 2020, 6(9), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090128 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 647
Abstract
It is generally accepted that the Copenhagen interpretation is inapplicable to quantum cosmology, by contrast with the many worlds interpretation. I shall demonstrate that the two basic principles of the Copenhagen interpretation, the principle of wholeness and the principle of complementarity, do make [...] Read more.
It is generally accepted that the Copenhagen interpretation is inapplicable to quantum cosmology, by contrast with the many worlds interpretation. I shall demonstrate that the two basic principles of the Copenhagen interpretation, the principle of wholeness and the principle of complementarity, do make sense in quantum gravity, since we can judge about quantum gravitational processes in the very early Universe by their vestiges in our macroscopic Universe. I shall present the extended phase space approach to quantum gravity and show that it can be interpreted in the spirit of the Everett’s “relative states” formulation, while there is no contradiction between the “relative states” formulation and the mentioned basic principles of the Copenhagen interpretation. Full article
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