Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Kondo screening cloud

The Kondo screening cloud: what it is and how to observe it
The Kondo effect involves the formation of a spin singlet by a magnetic impurity and conduction electrons. It is characterized by a low temperature scale, the Kondo temperature, $T_K$, and an associated long length scale, $\xi_K = \hbar v_F/(k_BT_K)$ where $v_F$ is the Fermi velocity. This Kondo length is often estimated theoretically to be in the range of .1 to 1 microns but such a long characteristic length scale has never been observed experimentally. In this review, I will examine how $\xi_K$ appears as a crossover scale when one probes either the dependence of physical quantities an distance from the impurity or when the impurity is embedded in a finite size structure and discuss possible experiments that might finally observe this elusive length scale.

Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECR)

UHECR Maps: mysteries and surprises
The rise of nucleon UHECR above GZK astronomy made by protons is puzzled by three main mysteries: an unexpected nearby Virgo UHECR suppression, a rich crowded clustering frozen vertically (north-south) along Cen A, a composition suggesting nuclei and not nucleons. The UHECR map, initially consistent with GZK volumes, to day seem to be not much correlated with expected Super Galactic Plane. Moreover slant depth data of UHECR from AUGER airshower shape do not favor the proton but points to a nuclei, while HIRES, on the contrary favors mostly nucleons. We tried to solve the contradictions assuming UHECR as light nuclei (mostly He) spread by planar galactic fields, randomly at vertical axis. The He fragility and its mass and charge explains the Virgo absence (due to opacity above few Mpc) and the Cen A spread clustering (a quarter of the whole sample). However more events and rare doublets and clustering elsewhere are waiting for an answer. Here we foresee hint of new UHECR component: galactic ones. Moreover a careful updated views of UHECR sky over different (Radio,IR,Optics, X,gamma, TeV) background are also favoring forgotten revolutionary Z-shower model. Both Z-Shower, proton GZK and Lightest nuclei UHECR models have dramatic influence on expected UHE neutrino Astronomy: to be soon revealed by UHE tau neutrino induced air-showers in different ways.

Observation of Ultra-high Energy Cosmic Rays
The measurement of ultra-high energy cosmic rays is an unique way to study article interactions at energies which are well above the capability of current accelerators. Significant progress in this field has occurred during last years, particularly due to the measurements made at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The important results which were achieved during last years are described here. Also future plans for the study of cosmic rays are presented.

High Energy Radiation from Black Holes: A Summary
Bright gamma-ray flares observed from sources far beyond our Galaxy are best explained if enormous amounts of energy are liberated by black holes. The highest-energy particles in nature--the ultra-high energy cosmic rays--cannot be confined by the Milky Way's magnetic field, and must originate from sources outside our Galaxy. Here we summarize the themes of our book, "High Energy Radiation from Black Holes: Gamma Rays, Cosmic Rays, and Neutrinos", just published by Princeton University Press. In this book, we develop a mathematical framework that can be used to help establish the nature of gamma-ray sources, to evaluate evidence for cosmic-ray acceleration in blazars, GRBs and microquasars, to decide whether black holes accelerate the ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and to determine whether the Blandford-Znajek mechanism for energy extraction from rotating black holes can explain the differences between gamma-ray blazars and radio-quiet AGNs.

Galaxy Structure

Nearby Galaxies and Problems of Structure Formation; a Review
The relativistic hot big bang cosmology predicts gravitational gathering of matter into concentrations that look much like galaxies, but there are problems reconciling the predictions of this cosmology with the properties of the galaxies at modest distances that can be observed in greatest detail. The least crowded place nearby, the Local Void, contains far fewer dwarf galaxies than expected, while there are too many large galaxies in the less crowded parts of our neighborhood. The structures of large galaxies show little relation to their environment, contrary to the standard picture of assembly of galaxies by the gathering of material from the surroundings, and the continued accretion of extragalactic debris has prevented establishment of an acceptable picture of formation of common galaxies with the properties of our Milky Way. There is the possibility that the indirect evidence astronomy affords us has been misinterpreted. But the variety of different challenges makes a strong case that we need a better theory, one that does not disturb the agreement with the network of cosmological tests applied on larger scales and fits what is observed on the scales of galaxies. A promising direction is more rapid structure formation, as happens in theoretical ideas under discussion.