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We introduce an optimal phase description of chaotic oscillations by generalizing the concept of isochrones. On chaotic attractors possessing a general phase description, we define the optimal isophases as Poincare surfaces showing return times as constant as possible. The dynamics of the resultant optimal phase is maximally decoupled from the amplitude dynamics and provides a proper description of the phase response of chaotic oscillations. The method is illustrated with the Rossler and Lorenz systems.

We propose a novel approach based on the fluctuation of similarity to identify regimes of distinct dynamical complexity in short time series. A statistical test is developed to estimate the significance of the identified transitions. Our method is verified by uncovering bifurcation structures in several paradigmatic models, providing more complex transitions compared with traditional Lyapunov exponents. In a real-world situation, we apply this method to identify millennial-scale dynamical transitions in Plio-Pleistocene proxy records of the South Asian summer monsoon system. We infer that many of these transitions are induced by the external forcing of the solar insolation and are also affected by internal forcing on Monsoonal dynamics, i.e., the glaciation cycles of the Northern Hemisphere and the onset of the Walker circulation.

We study phase synchronization in a network motif with a starlike structure in which the central node's (the hub's) frequency is strongly detuned against the other peripheral nodes. We find numerically and experimentally a regime of remote synchronization (RS), where the peripheral nodes form a phase synchronized cluster, while the hub remains free with its own dynamics and serves just as a transmitter for the other nodes. We explain the mechanism for this RS by the existence of a free amplitude and also show that systems with a fixed or constant amplitude, such as the classic Kuramoto phase oscillator, are not able to generate this phenomenon. Further, we derive an analytic expression which supports our explanation of the mechanism.

During life bones constantly adapt their structure to their mechanical environment via a mechanically controlled process called bone remodeling. For trabecular bone, this process modifies the thickness of each trabecula leading occasionally to full resorption. We describe the irreversible dynamics of the trabecular thickness distribution (TTD) by means of a Markov chain discrete in space and time. By using thickness data from adult patients, we derive the transition probabilities in the chain. This allows a quantification, in terms of geometrical quantities, of the control of bone remodeling and thus to determine the evolution of the TTD with age.

One of the most exciting predictions of Einstein's theory of gravitation that have not yet been proven experimentally by a direct detection are gravitational waves. These are tiny distortions of the spacetime itself, and a world-wide effort to directly measure them for the first time with a network of large-scale laser interferometers is currently ongoing and expected to provide positive results within this decade. One potential source of measurable gravitational waves is the inspiral and merger of two compact objects, such as binary black holes. Successfully finding their signature in the noise-dominated data of the detectors crucially relies on accurate predictions of what we are looking for. In this thesis, we present a detailed study of how the most complete waveform templates can be constructed by combining the results from (A) analytical expansions within the post-Newtonian framework and (B) numerical simulations of the full relativistic dynamics. We analyze various strategies to construct complete hybrid waveforms that consist of a post-Newtonian inspiral part matched to numerical-relativity data. We elaborate on exsisting approaches for nonspinning systems by extending the accessible parameter space and introducing an alternative scheme based in the Fourier domain. Our methods can now be readily applied to multiple spherical-harmonic modes and precessing systems. In addition to that, we analyze in detail the accuracy of hybrid waveforms with the goal to quantify how numerous sources of error in the approximation techniques affect the application of such templates in real gravitational-wave searches. This is of major importance for the future construction of improved models, but also for the correct interpretation of gravitational-wave observations that are made utilizing any complete waveform family. In particular, we comprehensively discuss how long the numerical-relativity contribution to the signal has to be in order to make the resulting hybrids accurate enough, and for currently feasible simulation lengths we assess the physics one can potentially do with template-based searches.

The Quintuplet, one of three massive stellar clusters in the Galactic center (GC), is located about 30 pc in projection from Sagittarius A*. We aim at the construction of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (HRD) of the cluster to study its evolution and to constrain its star-formation history. For this purpose we use the most complete spectral catalog of the Quintuplet stars. Based on the K-band spectra we determine stellar temperatures and luminosities for all stars in the catalog under the assumption of a uniform reddening towards the cluster. We find two groups in the resulting HRD: early-type OB stars and late-type KM stars, well separated from each other. By comparison with Geneva stellar evolution models we derive initial masses exceeding 8 M-circle dot for the OB stars. In the HRD these stars are located along an isochrone corresponding to an age of about 4 Myr. This confirms previous considerations, where a similar age estimate was based on the presence of evolved Wolf-Rayet stars in the cluster. We derive number ratios for the various spectral subtype groups (e.g. N-WR/N-O, N-WC/N-WN) and compare them with predictions of population synthesis models. We find that an instantaneous burst of star formation at about 3.3 to 3.6 Myr ago is the most likely scenario to form the Quintuplet cluster. Furthermore, we apply a mass-luminosity relation to construct the initial mass function (IMF) of the cluster. We find indications for a slightly top-heavy IMF. The late-type stars in the LHO catalog are red giant branch (RGB) stars or red supergiants (RSGs) according to their spectral signatures. Under the assumption that they are located at about the distance of the Galactic center we can derive their luminosities. The comparison with stellar evolution models reveals that the initial masses of these stars are lower than 15 M-circle dot implying that they needed about 15 Myr (RSG) or even more than 30 Myr (RGB) to evolve into their present stage. It might be suspected that these late-type stars do not physically belong to the Quintuplet cluster. Indeed, most of them disqualify as cluster members because their radial velocities differ too much from the cluster average. Nevertheless, five of the brightest RGB/RSG stars from the LHO catalog share the mean radial velocity of the Quintuplet, and thus remain highly suspect for being gravitationally bound members. If so, this would challenge the cluster formation and evolution scenario.

We present ultrafast x-ray diffraction (UXRD) experiments on different photoexcited oxide superlattices. All data are successfully simulated by dynamical x-ray diffraction calculations based on a microscopic model, that accounts for the linear response of phonons to the excitation laser pulse. Some Bragg reflections display a highly nonlinear strain dependence. The origin of linear and two distinct nonlinear response phenomena is discussed in a conceptually simpler model using the interference of envelope functions that describe the diffraction efficiency of the average constituent nanolayers. The combination of both models facilitates rapid and accurate simulations of UXRD experiments.

We report on a new Be/X-ray pulsar binary located in the Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The strong pulsed X-ray source was discovered with the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories. The X-ray pulse period of 1062 s is consistently determined from both Chandra and XMM-Newton observations, revealing one of the slowest rotating X-ray pulsars known in the SMC. The optical counterpart of the X-ray source is the emission-line star 2dFS 3831. Its B0-0.5(III)e+ spectral type is determined from VLT-FLAMES and 2dF optical spectroscopy, establishing the system as a Be/X-ray binary (Be-XRB). The hard X-ray spectrum is well fitted by a power law with additional thermal and blackbody components, the latter reminiscent of persistent Be-XRBs. This system is the first evidence of a recent supernova in the low-density surroundings of NGC602. We detect a shell nebula around 2dFS 3831 in H alpha and [OIII] images and conclude that it is most likely a supernova remnant. If it is linked to the supernova explosion that created this new X-ray pulsar, its kinematic age of (2-4) x 10(4) yr provides a constraint on the age of the pulsar.

We investigated EEG-power and EEG-coherence changes in a unimodal and a crossmodal matching-to-sample working memory task with either visual or kinesthetic stimuli. Angle-shaped trajectories were used as stimuli presented either as a moving dot on a screen or as a passive movement of a haptic device. Effects were evaluated during the different phases of encoding, maintenance, and recognition. Alpha power was modulated during encoding by the stimulus modality, and in crossmodal conditions during encoding and maintenance by the expected modality of the upcoming test stimulus. These power modulations were observed over modality-specific cortex regions. Systematic changes of coherence for crossmodal compared to unimodal tasks were not observed during encoding and maintenance but only during recognition. There, coherence in the theta-band increased between electrode sites over left central and occipital cortex areas in the crossmodal compared to the unimodal conditions. The results underline the importance of modality-specific representations and processes in unimodal and crossmodal working memory tasks. Crossmodal recognition of visually and kinesthetically presented object features seems to be related to a direct interaction of somatosensory/motor and visual cortex regions by means of long-range synchronization in the theta-band and such interactions seem to take place at the beginning of the recognition phase, i.e. when crossmodal transfer is actually necessary.

We measured the ultrafast optical response of metal-dielectric superlattices by broadband all-optical pump-probe spectroscopy. The observed phase of the superlattice mode depends on the probe wavelength, making assignments of the excitation mechanism difficult. Ultrafast x-ray diffraction data reveal the true oscillation phase of the lattice which changes as a function of the excitation fluence. This result is confirmed by the fluence dependence of optical transients. We set up a linear chain model of the lattice dynamics and successfully simulated the broadband optical reflection by unit-cell resolved calculation of the strain-dependent dielectric functions of the constituting materials.

Generalized space-time fractional diffusion equation with composite fractional time derivative
(2012)

We investigate the solution of space-time fractional diffusion equations with a generalized Riemann-Liouville time fractional derivative and Riesz-Feller space fractional derivative. The Laplace and Fourier transform methods are applied to solve the proposed fractional diffusion equation. The results are represented by using the Mittag-Leffler functions and the Fox H-function. Special cases of the initial and boundary conditions are considered. Numerical scheme and Grunwald-Letnikov approximation are also used to solve the space-time fractional diffusion equation. The fractional moments of the fundamental solution of the considered space-time fractional diffusion equation are obtained. Many known results are special cases of those obtained in this paper. We investigate also the solution of a space-time fractional diffusion equations with a singular term of the form delta(x). t-beta/Gamma(1-beta) (beta > 0).

The planetary nebula A30 is believed to have undergone a very late thermal pulse resulting in the ejection of knots of hydrogen-poor material. Using multi-epoch Hubble Space Telescope images, we have detected the angular expansion of these knots and derived an age of 850(-150)(+280) yr. To investigate the spectral and spatial properties of the soft X-ray emission detected by ROSAT, we have obtained Chandra and XMM-Newton deep observations of A30. The X-ray emission from A30 can be separated into two components: a point source at the central star and diffuse emission associated with the hydrogen-poor knots and the cloverleaf structure inside the nebular shell. To help us assess the role of the current stellar wind in powering this X-ray emission, we have determined the stellar parameters and wind properties of the central star of A30 using a non-LTE model fit to its optical and UV spectra. The spatial distribution and spectral properties of the diffuse X-ray emission are highly suggestive that it is generated by the post-born-again and present fast stellar winds interacting with the hydrogen-poor ejecta of the born-again event. This emission can be attributed to shock-heated plasma, as the hydrogen-poor knots are ablated by the stellar winds, under which circumstances the efficient mass loading of the present fast stellar wind raises its density and damps its velocity to produce the observed diffuse soft X-rays. Charge transfer reactions between the ions of the stellar winds and material of the born-again ejecta have also been considered as a possible mechanism for the production of diffuse X-ray emission, and upper limits on the expected X-ray production by this mechanism have been derived. The origin of the X-ray emission from the central star of A30 is puzzling: shocks in the present fast stellar wind and photospheric emission can be ruled out, while the development of a new, compact hot bubble confining the fast stellar wind seems implausible.

In this study we re-evaluate the estimation of the self-similarity exponent of fixational eye movements using Bayesian theory. Our analysis is based on a subsampling decomposition, which permits an analysis of the signal up to some scale factor. We demonstrate that our approach can be applied to simulated data from mathematical models of fixational eye movements to distinguish the models' properties reliably.

We study the flux emergence process in NOAA active region 11024, between 29 June and 7 July 2009, by means of multi-wavelength observations and nonlinear force-free extrapolation. The main aim is to extend previous investigations by combining, as much as possible, high spatial resolution observations to test our present understanding of small-scale (undulatory) flux emergence, whilst putting these small-scale events in the context of the global evolution of the active region. The combination of these techniques allows us to follow the whole process, from the first appearance of the bipolar axial field on the east limb, until the buoyancy instability could set in and raise the main body of the twisted flux tube through the photosphere, forming magnetic tongues and signatures of serpentine field, until the simplification of the magnetic structure into a main bipole by the time the active region reaches the west limb. At the crucial time of the main emergence phase high spatial resolution spectropolarimetric measurements of the photospheric field are employed to reconstruct the three-dimensional structure of the nonlinear force-free coronal field, which is then used to test the current understanding of flux emergence processes. In particular, knowledge of the coronal connectivity confirms the identity of the magnetic tongues as seen in their photospheric signatures, and it exemplifies how the twisted flux, which is emerging on small scales in the form of a sea-serpent, is subsequently rearranged by reconnection into the large-scale field of the active region. In this way, the multi-wavelength observations combined with a nonlinear force-free extrapolation provide a coherent picture of the emergence process of small-scale magnetic bipoles, which subsequently reconnect to form a large-scale structure in the corona.

It is well-known that surface plasmon generated near fields of suitably irradiated metal nano-structures can induce a patterning in an azobenzene-modified photosensitive polymer film placed on top. The change in the topography usually follows closely and permanently the underlying near field intensity pattern. With this approach, one can achieve a multitude of morphologies by additionally changing light intensity, polarization and the kind of metal used for nano-structuring. In this paper, we demonstrate that below a critical value of the polymer film thickness, the receding polymer material induces a change in refractive index of the glass-metal-polymer system, modifying the near field intensity distribution and causing a back-reaction on the flow of polymer material. This has a profound influence on the smallest size of topographical features that can be imprinted into the polymer.

Here we demonstrate how a surface plasmon (SP) generated near field pattern in the vicinity of a nano-scale pin hole can be used to generate reversible topography changes in a photosensitive polymer film above the opening. This can be achieved by simply changing the polarization state of the plasmon generating incoming light. In the case of linear polarization, the near field intensity pattern causes the film to laterally expand/contract according to the direction of the polarization. For circular polarization, two pronounced rims corresponding to maxima in the topography are observed. In all cases, the topographical variation is in close agreement with the SP intensity distribution computed from finite difference time domain simulation. Our results demonstrate the versatility of using SP near fields to imprint a variety of structures into photosensitive polymer films using only a single metallic mask.

We report on sub-wavelength structuring of photosensitive azo-containing polymer films induced by a surface plasmon interference intensity pattern. The two surface plasmon waves generated at neighboring nano-slits in the metal layer during irradiation interfere constructively, resulting in an intensity pattern with a periodicity three times smaller than the wavelength of the incoming light. The near field pattern interacts with the photosensitive polymer film placed above it, leading to a topography change which follows the intensity pattern exactly, resulting in the formation of surface relief gratings of a size below the diffraction limit. We analyze numerically and experimentally how the depth of the nano-slit alters the interference pattern of surface plasmons and find that the sub-wavelength patterning of the polymer surface could be optimized by modifying the geometry and the size of the nano-slit.

In both eukaryotic and prokaryotic DNA sequences of 30-100 base-pairs rich in AT base-pairs have been identified at which the double helix preferentially unwinds. Such DNA unwinding elements are commonly associated with origins for DNA replication and transcription, and with chromosomal matrix attachment regions. Here we present a quantitative study of local DNA unwinding based on extensive single DNA plasmid imaging. We demonstrate that long-lived single-stranded denaturation bubbles exist in negatively supercoiled DNA, at the expense of partial twist release. Remarkably, we observe a linear relation between the degree of supercoiling and the bubble size, in excellent agreement with statistical modelling. Furthermore, we obtain the full distribution of bubble sizes and the opening probabilities at varying salt and temperature conditions. The results presented herein underline the important role of denaturation bubbles in negatively supercoiled DNA for biological processes such as transcription and replication initiation in vivo.

Structural integrity of infrastructures can be preserved if damage is diagnosed, localized, and repaired in time. During the past decade, there has been a considerable effort to automate the process of structural health monitoring, which is complicated by the inherent large size of civil structures. Hence, a need has arisen to develop new approaches that enable more effective health monitoring.
In this paper, a new sensing technique for damage localization on large civil structures is proposed. Specifically, changes in strain are detected using a capacitance sensor built with a soft, stretchable dielectric polymer with attached stretchable metal film electrodes. A change in strain causes a measurable change in the capacitance of the sensor, which can be directly monitored when the sensor is fixed to a structure.
The proposed method is shown here to permit an accurate detection of cracks. The proposed system deploys a layer of dielectric polymer on the surface of a structural element, and regularly monitors any change in capacitance, giving in turn information about the structural state. The smart material is composed of inexpensive silicone elastomers, which make the monitoring system a promising application for large surfaces. Results from tests conducted on small- scale specimens showed that the technology is capable of detecting cracks, and tests conducted on large- size specimens demonstrated that several sensor patches organized on a sensor sheet are capable of localizing a crack. The sensor strain also exhibits a high correlation with the loss of stiffness.

We address the problem of recognizing alpha-stable Levy distribution with Levy index close to 2 from experimental data. We are interested in the case when the sample size of available data is not large, thus the power law asymptotics of the distribution is not clearly detectable, and the shape of the empirical probability density function is close to a Gaussian. We propose a testing procedure combining a simple visual test based on empirical fourth moment with the Anderson-Darling and Jarque-Bera statistical tests and we check the efficiency of the method on simulated data. Furthermore, we apply our method to the analysis of turbulent plasma density and potential fluctuations measured in the stellarator-type fusion device and demonstrate that the phenomenon of the L-H transition from low confinement, L mode, to a high confinement, H mode, which occurs in this device is accompanied by the transition from Levy to Gaussian fluctuation statistics.

We investigate the physical state of H?i absorbing gas at low redshift (z = 0.25) using a subset of cosmological, hydrodynamic simulations from the OverWhelmingly Large Simulations project, focusing in particular on broad (bHI=40 km s-1) H?i Lya absorbers (BLAs), which are believed to originate in shock-heated gas in the warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM). Our fiducial model, which includes radiative cooling by heavy elements and feedback by supernovae and active galactic nuclei, predicts that by z = 0.25 nearly 60?per cent of the gas mass ends up at densities and temperatures characteristic of the WHIM and we find that half of this fraction is due to outflows. The standard H?i observables (distribution of H?i column densities NH?I, distribution of Doppler parameters bHI, bHINH?I correlation) and the BLA line number density predicted by our simulations are in remarkably good agreement with observations. BLAs arise in gas that is hotter, more highly ionized and more enriched than the gas giving rise to typical Lya forest absorbers. The majority of the BLAs arise in warm-hot [log?(T/?K) similar to 5] gas at low (log?? < 1.5) overdensities. On average, thermal broadening accounts for at least 60?per cent of the BLA linewidth, which in turn can be used as a rough indicator of the thermal state of the gas. Detectable BLAs account for only a small fraction of the true baryon content of the WHIM at low redshift. In order to detect the bulk of the mass in this gas phase, a sensitivity at least one order of magnitude better than achieved by current ultraviolet spectrographs is required. We argue that BLAs mostly trace gas that has been shock heated and enriched by outflows and that they therefore provide an important window on a poorly understood feedback process.

Particles in Saturn's main rings range in size from dust to kilometer-sized objects. Their size distribution is thought to be a result of competing accretion and fragmentation processes. While growth is naturally limited in tidal environments, frequent collisions among these objects may contribute to both accretion and fragmentation. As ring particles are primarily made of water ice attractive surface forces like adhesion could significantly influence these processes, finally determining the resulting size distribution. Here, we derive analytic expressions for the specific self-energy Q and related specific break-up energy Q(star) of aggregates. These expressions can be used for any aggregate type composed of monomeric constituents. We compare these expressions to numerical experiments where we create aggregates of various types including: regular packings like the face-centered cubic (fcc), Ballistic Particle Cluster Aggregates (BPCA), and modified BPCAs including e.g. different constituent size distributions. We show that accounting for attractive surface forces such as adhesion a simple approach is able to: (a) generally account for the size dependence of the specific break-up energy for fragmentation to occur reported in the literature, namely the division into "strength" and "gravity" regimes and (b) estimate the maximum aggregate size in a collisional ensemble to be on the order of a few tens of meters, consistent with the maximum particle size observed in Saturn's rings of about 10 m.

A template-based lamination technique for the manufacture of ferroelectrets from uniform electret films was recently reported. In the present work, this technique is used to prepare similar ferroelectret structures from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films and from fluoro-ethylene-propylene (FEP) copolymer films. A comparative analysis of the pressure-, temperature-, and frequency-dependent piezoelectric properties has been performed on the two ferroelectret systems. It is observed that the FEP ferroelectrets exhibit better piezoelectric responses and are thermally more stable. The difference between the piezoelectric d(33) coefficients of the two ferroelectret systems is partially explained here by their different elastic moduli. The anti-resonance peaks of both structures have been investigated by means of dielectric resonance spectroscopy and electroacoustic sound-pressure measurements. A difference of more than 10 kHz is observed between the anti-resonance frequencies of the two ferroelectret systems.

We present a setup for ultrafast x-ray diffraction (UXRD) based at the storage ring BESSY II, in particular, a pump laser that excites the sample using 250 fs laser-pulses at repetition rates ranging from 208 kHz to 1.25 MHz. We discuss issues connected to the high heat-load and spatio-temporal alignment strategies in the context of a UXRD experiment at high repetition rates. The spatial overlap between laser pump and x-ray probe pulse is obtained with 10 mu m precision and transient lattice changes can be recorded with an accuracy of delta a/a(0) = 10(-6). We also compare time-resolved x-ray diffraction signals from a laser excited LSMO/STO superlattice with phonon dynamics simulations. From the analysis we determine the x-ray pulse duration to 120 ps in standard operation mode and below 10 ps in low-alpha mode.

We performed molecular dynamics simulations of a liquid crystal elastomer of side-chain architecture. The network is formed from a melt of 28 molecules each having a backbone of 100 hydrocarbon monomers, to which 50 side chains are attached in a syndiotactic way. Crosslinking is performed in the smectic A phase. We observe an increase of the smectic-isotropic phase transition temperature of about 5 degrees as compared to the uncrosslinked melt. Memory effects in liquid crystalline order and in sample shape are well reproduced when the elastomer is driven through the smectic-isotropic transition. Above this transition, in the isotropic phase, the polydomain smectic phase is induced by a uniaxial load. Below the transition, in a monodomain smectic A phase, both experimentally observed effects of homogeneous director reorientation and stripe formation are reproduced when the sample is stretched along the director. When the load is applied perpendicularly to the director, the sample demonstrates reversible deformation with no change of liquid crystalline order, indicating elasticity of the two-dimensional network of polymer layers.

This paper introduces and analyses a general statistical model, termed the RAndom RElaxations (RARE) model, of random relaxation processes in disordered systems. The model considers excitations that are randomly scattered around a reaction center in a general embedding space. The model's input quantities are the spatial scattering statistics of the excitations around the reaction center, and the chemical reaction rates between the excitations and the reaction center as a function of their mutual distance. The framework of the RARE model is versatile and a detailed stochastic analysis of the random relaxation processes is established. Analytic results regarding the duration and the range of the random relaxation processes, as well as the model's thermodynamic limit, are obtained in closed form. In particular, the case of power-law inputs, which turn out to yield stretched exponential relaxation patterns and asymptotically Paretian relaxation ranges, is addressed in detail.

Cargo transport by molecular motors is ubiquitous in all eukaryotic cells and is typically driven cooperatively by several molecular motors, which may belong to one or several motor species like kinesin, dynein or myosin. These motor proteins transport cargos such as RNAs, protein complexes or organelles along filaments, from which they unbind after a finite run length. Understanding how these motors interact and how their movements are coordinated and regulated is a central and challenging problem in studies of intracellular transport. In this thesis, we describe a general theoretical framework for the analysis of such transport processes, which enables us to explain the behavior of intracellular cargos based on the transport properties of individual motors and their interactions. Motivated by recent in vitro experiments, we address two different modes of transport: unidirectional transport by two identical motors and cooperative transport by actively walking and passively diffusing motors. The case of cargo transport by two identical motors involves an elastic coupling between the motors that can reduce the motors’ velocity and/or the binding time to the filament. We show that this elastic coupling leads, in general, to four distinct transport regimes. In addition to a weak coupling regime, kinesin and dynein motors are found to exhibit a strong coupling and an enhanced unbinding regime, whereas myosin motors are predicted to attain a reduced velocity regime. All of these regimes, which we derive both by analytical calculations and by general time scale arguments, can be explored experimentally by varying the elastic coupling strength. In addition, using the time scale arguments, we explain why previous studies came to different conclusions about the effect and relevance of motor-motor interference. In this way, our theory provides a general and unifying framework for understanding the dynamical behavior of two elastically coupled molecular motors. The second mode of transport studied in this thesis is cargo transport by actively pulling and passively diffusing motors. Although these passive motors do not participate in active transport, they strongly enhance the overall cargo run length. When an active motor unbinds, the cargo is still tethered to the filament by the passive motors, giving the unbound motor the chance to rebind and continue its active walk. We develop a stochastic description for such cooperative behavior and explicitly derive the enhanced run length for a cargo transported by one actively pulling and one passively diffusing motor. We generalize our description to the case of several pulling and diffusing motors and find an exponential increase of the run length with the number of involved motors.

We consider open many-body systems governed by a time-dependent quantum master equation with short-range interactions. With a generalized Lieb-Robinson bound, we show that the evolution in this very generic framework is quasilocal; i.e., the evolution of observables can be approximated by implementing the dynamics only in a vicinity of the observables' support. The precision increases exponentially with the diameter of the considered subsystem. Hence, time evolution can be simulated on classical computers with a cost that is independent of the system size. Providing error bounds for Trotter decompositions, we conclude that the simulation on a quantum computer is additionally efficient in time. For experiments and simulations in the Schrodinger picture, our result can be used to rigorously bound finite-size effects.

On the weak-wind problem in massive stars X-ray spectra reveal a massive hot wind in mu columbaea
(2012)

mu Columbae is a prototypical weak-wind O star for which we have obtained a high-resolution X-ray spectrum with the Chandra LETG/ACIS instrument and a low-resolution spectrum with Suzaku. This allows us, for the first time, to investigate the role of X-rays on the wind structure in a bona fide weak-wind system and to determine whether there actually is a massive hot wind. The X-ray emission measure indicates that the outflow is an order of magnitude greater than that derived from UV lines and is commensurate with the nominal wind-luminosity relationship for O stars. Therefore, the "weak-wind problem"-identified from cool wind UV/optical spectra-is largely resolved by accounting for the hot wind seen in X-rays. From X-ray line profiles, Doppler shifts, and relative strengths, we find that this weak-wind star is typical of other late O dwarfs. The X-ray spectra do not suggest a magnetically confined plasma-the spectrum is soft and lines are broadened; Suzaku spectra confirm the lack of emission above 2 keV. Nor do the relative line shifts and widths suggest any wind decoupling by ions. The He-like triplets indicate that the bulk of the X-ray emission is formed rather close to the star, within five stellar radii. Our results challenge the idea that some OB stars are "weak-wind" stars that deviate from the standard wind-luminosity relationship. The wind is not weak, but it is hot and its bulk is only detectable in X-rays.

Multi-wavelength, high spatial brightness operation of a phase-locked stripe-array diode laser
(2012)

Stable continuous wave multi-wavelength operation of a stripe-array diode laser with an externalcavity spectral beam combining geometry is presented. In this setup each emitter of the stripe-array is forced to operate at a different wavelength, which leads to a decoupling between the usually phase-locked emitters. With a reflective diffraction grating with a period of 300 lines per mm, 33 equidistant laser lines around a center wavelength of 978 nm were realized, spanning a spectral range of 26 nm. With this novel approach near-diffraction limited emission with a beam quality of M (2) < 1.2 and an output power of 450 mW was achieved. This laser light source can be used for applications requiring low temporal but high spatial coherence.

The Galactic WC stars Stellar parameters from spectral analyses indicate a new evolutionary sequence
(2012)

Context. The life cycles of massive stars from the main sequence to their explosion as supernovae or gamma ray bursts are not yet fully clear, and the empirical results from spectral analyses are partly in conflict with current evolutionary models. The spectral analysis of Wolf-Rayet stars requires the detailed modeling of expanding stellar atmospheres in non-LTE. The Galactic WN stars have been comprehensively analyzed with such models of the latest stage of sophistication, while a similarly comprehensive study of the Galactic WC sample remains undone.
Aims. We aim to establish the stellar parameters and mass-loss rates of the Galactic WC stars. These data provide the empirical basis of studies of (i) the role of WC stars in the evolution of massive stars, (ii) the wind-driving mechanisms, and (iii) the feedback of WC stars as input to models of the chemical and dynamical evolution of galaxies.
Methods. We analyze the nearly complete sample of un-obscured Galactic WC stars, using optical spectra as well as ultraviolet spectra when available. The observations are fitted with theoretical spectra, using the Potsdam Wolf-Rayet (PoWR) model atmosphere code. A large grid of line-blanked models has been established for the range of WC subtypes WC4 - WC8, and smaller grids for the WC9 parameter domain. Both WO stars and WN/WC transit types are also analyzed using special models.
Results. Stellar and atmospheric parameters are derived for more than 50 Galactic WC and two WO stars, covering almost the whole Galactic WC population as far as the stars are single, and un-obscured in the visual. In the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, the WC stars reside between the hydrogen and the helium zero-age main sequences, having luminosities L from 10(4.9) to 10(5.6) L-circle dot. The mass-loss rates scale very tightly with L-0.8. The two WO stars in our sample turn out to be outstandingly hot (approximate to 200 kK) and do not fit into the WC scheme.
Conclusions. By comparing the empirical WC positions in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram with evolutionary models, and from recent supernova statistics, we conclude that WC stars have evolved from initial masses between 20 solar masses and 45 M-circle dot. In contrast to previous assumptions, it seems that WC stars in general do not descend from the most massive stars. Only the WO stars might stem from progenitors that have been initially more massive than 45 M-circle dot.

In nonlinear disordered Hamiltonian lattices, where there are no propagating phonons, the spreading of energy is of subdiffusive nature. Recently, the universality class of the subdiffusive spreading according to the nonlinear diffusion equation (NDE) has been suggested and checked for one-dimensional lattices. Here, we apply this approach to two-dimensional strongly nonlinear lattices and find a nice agreement of the scaling predicted from the NDE with the spreading results from extensive numerical studies. Moreover, we show that the scaling works also for regular lattices with strongly nonlinear coupling, for which the scaling exponent is estimated analytically. This shows that the process of chaotic diffusion in such lattices does not require disorder.

Thermal and quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic near ﬁeld of atoms and macroscopic bodies play a key role in quantum electrodynamics (QED), as in the Lamb shift. They lead, e.g., to atomic level shifts, dispersion interactions (Van der Waals-Casimir-Polder interactions), and state broadening (Purcell effect) because the ﬁeld is subject to boundary conditions. Such effects can be observed with high precision on the mesoscopic scale which can be accessed in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and solid-state-based magnetic microtraps for cold atoms (‘atom chips’). A quantum ﬁeld theory of atoms (molecules) and photons is adapted to nonequilibrium situations. Atoms and photons are described as fully quantized while macroscopic bodies can be included in terms of classical reflection amplitudes, similar to the scattering approach of cavity QED. The formalism is applied to the study of nonequilibrium two-body potentials. We then investigate the impact of the material properties of metals on the electromagnetic surface noise, with applications to atomic trapping in atom-chip setups and quantum computing, and on the magnetic dipole contribution to the Van der Waals-Casimir-Polder potential in and out of thermal equilibrium. In both cases, the particular properties of superconductors are of high interest. Surface-mode contributions, which dominate the near-field fluctuations, are discussed in the context of the (partial) dynamic atomic dressing after a rapid change of a system parameter and in the Casimir interaction between two conducting plates, where nonequilibrium conﬁgurations can give rise to repulsion.

Analysis of spatial and temporal extreme monsoonal rainfall over South Asia using complex networks
(2012)

We present a detailed analysis of summer monsoon rainfall over the Indian peninsular using nonlinear spatial correlations. This analysis is carried out employing the tools of complex networks and a measure of nonlinear correlation for point processes such as rainfall, called event synchronization. This study provides valuable insights into the spatial organization, scales, and structure of the 90th and 94th percentile rainfall events during the Indian summer monsoon (June-September). We furthermore analyse the influence of different critical synoptic atmospheric systems and the impact of the steep Himalayan topography on rainfall patterns. The presented method not only helps us in visualising the structure of the extreme-event rainfall fields, but also identifies the water vapor pathways and decadal-scale moisture sinks over the region. Furthermore a simple scheme based on complex networks is presented to decipher the spatial intricacies and temporal evolution of monsoonal rainfall patterns over the last 6 decades.

In this paper, we analytically study a star motif of Stuart-Landau oscillators, derive the bifurcation diagram and discuss the different forms of synchronization arising in such a system. Despite the parameter mismatch between the central node and the peripheral ones, an analytical approach independent of the number of units in the system has been proposed. The approach allows to calculate the separatrices between the regions with distinct dynamical behavior and to determine the nature of the different transitions to synchronization appearing in the system. The theoretical analysis is supported by numerical results.

Anthropogenic climate change is likely to cause continuing global sea level rise(1), but some processes within the Earth system may mitigate the magnitude of the projected effect. Regional and global climate models simulate enhanced snowfall over Antarctica, which would provide a direct offset of the future contribution to global sea level rise from cryospheric mass loss(2,3) and ocean expansion(4). Uncertainties exist in modelled snowfall(5), but even larger uncertainties exist in the potential changes of dynamic ice discharge from Antarctica(1,6) and thus in the ultimate fate of the precipitation-deposited ice mass. Here we show that snowfall and discharge are not independent, but that future ice discharge will increase by up to three times as a result of additional snowfall under global warming. Our results, based on an ice-sheet model(7) forced by climate simulations through to the end of 2500 (ref. 8), show that the enhanced discharge effect exceeds the effect of surface warming as well as that of basal ice-shelf melting, and is due to the difference in surface elevation change caused by snowfall on grounded versus floating ice. Although different underlying forcings drive ice loss from basal melting versus increased snowfall, similar ice dynamical processes are nonetheless at work in both; therefore results are relatively independent of the specific representation of the transition zone. In an ensemble of simulations designed to capture ice-physics uncertainty, the additional dynamic ice loss along the coastline compensates between 30 and 65 per cent of the ice gain due to enhanced snowfall over the entire continent. This results in a dynamic ice loss of up to 1.25 metres in the year 2500 for the strongest warming scenario. The reported effect thus strongly counters a potential negative contribution to global sea level by the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Numerical simulation of the Antartic ice sheet and its dynamic response to external pertubations
(2012)

Tensorial spacetime geometries carrying predictive, interpretable and quantizable matter dynamics
(2012)

Which tensor fields G on a smooth manifold M can serve as a spacetime structure? In the first part of this thesis, it is found that only a severely restricted class of tensor fields can provide classical spacetime geometries, namely those that can carry predictive, interpretable and quantizable matter dynamics. The obvious dependence of this characterization of admissible tensorial spacetime geometries on specific matter is not a weakness, but rather presents an insight: it was Maxwell theory that justified Einstein to promote Lorentzian manifolds to the status of a spacetime geometry. Any matter that does not mimick the structure of Maxwell theory, will force us to choose another geometry on which the matter dynamics of interest are predictive, interpretable and quantizable. These three physical conditions on matter impose three corresponding algebraic conditions on the totally symmetric contravariant coefficient tensor field P that determines the principal symbol of the matter field equations in terms of the geometric tensor G: the tensor field P must be hyperbolic, time-orientable and energy-distinguishing. Remarkably, these physically necessary conditions on the geometry are mathematically already sufficient to realize all kinematical constructions familiar from Lorentzian geometry, for precisely the same structural reasons. This we were able to show employing a subtle interplay of convex analysis, the theory of partial differential equations and real algebraic geometry. In the second part of this thesis, we then explore general properties of any hyperbolic, time-orientable and energy-distinguishing tensorial geometry. Physically most important are the construction of freely falling non-rotating laboratories, the appearance of admissible modified dispersion relations to particular observers, and the identification of a mechanism that explains why massive particles that are faster than some massless particles can radiate off energy until they are slower than all massless particles in any hyperbolic, time-orientable and energy-distinguishing geometry. In the third part of the thesis, we explore how tensorial spacetime geometries fare when one wants to quantize particles and fields on them. This study is motivated, in part, in order to provide the tools to calculate the rate at which superluminal particles radiate off energy to become infraluminal, as explained above. Remarkably, it is again the three geometric conditions of hyperbolicity, time-orientability and energy-distinguishability that allow the quantization of general linear electrodynamics on an area metric spacetime and the quantization of massive point particles obeying any admissible dispersion relation. We explore the issue of field equations of all possible derivative order in rather systematic fashion, and prove a practically most useful theorem that determines Dirac algebras allowing the reduction of derivative orders. The final part of the thesis presents the sketch of a truly remarkable result that was obtained building on the work of the present thesis. Particularly based on the subtle duality maps between momenta and velocities in general tensorial spacetimes, it could be shown that gravitational dynamics for hyperbolic, time-orientable and energy distinguishable geometries need not be postulated, but the formidable physical problem of their construction can be reduced to a mere mathematical task: the solution of a system of homogeneous linear partial differential equations. This far-reaching physical result on modified gravity theories is a direct, but difficult to derive, outcome of the findings in the present thesis. Throughout the thesis, the abstract theory is illustrated through instructive examples.

This thesis contains several theoretical studies on optomechanical systems, i.e. physical devices where mechanical degrees of freedom are coupled with optical cavity modes. This optomechanical interaction, mediated by radiation pressure, can be exploited for cooling and controlling mechanical resonators in a quantum regime. The goal of this thesis is to propose several new ideas for preparing meso- scopic mechanical systems (of the order of 10^15 atoms) into highly non-classical states. In particular we have shown new methods for preparing optomechani-cal pure states, squeezed states and entangled states. At the same time, proce-dures for experimentally detecting these quantum effects have been proposed. In particular, a quantitative measure of non classicality has been defined in terms of the negativity of phase space quasi-distributions. An operational al- gorithm for experimentally estimating the non-classicality of quantum states has been proposed and successfully applied in a quantum optics experiment. The research has been performed with relatively advanced mathematical tools related to differential equations with periodic coefficients, classical and quantum Bochner’s theorems and semidefinite programming. Nevertheless the physics of the problems and the experimental feasibility of the results have been the main priorities.

A crystal of hen egg-white lysozyme was analyzed by means of energy-dispersive X-ray Laue diffraction with white synchrotron radiation at 2.7 angstrom resolution using a pnCCD detector. From Laue spots measured in a single exposure of the arbitrarily oriented crystal, the lattice constants of the tetragonal unit cell could be extracted with an accuracy of about 2.5%. Scanning across the sample surface, Laue images with split reflections were recorded at various positions. The corresponding diffraction patterns were generated by two crystalline domains with a tilt of about 1 degrees relative to each other. The obtained results demonstrate the potential of the pnCCD for fast X-ray screening of crystals of macromolecules or proteins prior to conventional X-ray structure analysis. The described experiment can be automatized to quantitatively characterize imperfect single crystals or polycrystals.

Actin is one of the most abundant and highly conserved proteins in eukaryotic cells. The globular protein assembles into long filaments, which form a variety of different networks within the cytoskeleton. The dynamic reorganization of these networks - which is pivotal for cell motility, cell adhesion, and cell division - is based on cycles of polymerization (assembly) and depolymerization (disassembly) of actin filaments. Actin binds ATP and within the filament, actin-bound ATP is hydrolyzed into ADP on a time scale of a few minutes. As ADP-actin dissociates faster from the filament ends than ATP-actin, the filament becomes less stable as it grows older. Recent single filament experiments, where abrupt dynamical changes during filament depolymerization have been observed, suggest the opposite behavior, however, namely that the actin filaments become increasingly stable with time. Several mechanisms for this stabilization have been proposed, ranging from structural transitions of the whole filament to surface attachment of the filament ends. The key issue of this thesis is to elucidate the unexpected interruptions of depolymerization by a combination of experimental and theoretical studies. In new depolymerization experiments on single filaments, we confirm that filaments cease to shrink in an abrupt manner and determine the time from the initiation of depolymerization until the occurrence of the first interruption. This duration differs from filament to filament and represents a stochastic variable. We consider various hypothetical mechanisms that may cause the observed interruptions. These mechanisms cannot be distinguished directly, but they give rise to distinct distributions of the time until the first interruption, which we compute by modeling the underlying stochastic processes. A comparison with the measured distribution reveals that the sudden truncation of the shrinkage process neither arises from blocking of the ends nor from a collective transition of the whole filament. Instead, we predict a local transition process occurring at random sites within the filament. The combination of additional experimental findings and our theoretical approach confirms the notion of a local transition mechanism and identifies the transition as the photo-induced formation of an actin dimer within the filaments. Unlabeled actin filaments do not exhibit pauses, which implies that, in vivo, older filaments become destabilized by ATP hydrolysis. This destabilization can be identified with an acceleration of the depolymerization prior to the interruption. In the final part of this thesis, we theoretically analyze this acceleration to infer the mechanism of ATP hydrolysis. We show that the rate of ATP hydrolysis is constant within the filament, corresponding to a random as opposed to a vectorial hydrolysis mechanism.

Time-dependent escape of cosmic rays from supernova remnants, and their interaction with dense media
(2012)

Context. Supernova remnants (SNRs) are thought to be the main source of Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) up to the "knee" in CR spectrum. During the evolution of a SNR, the bulk of the CRs are confined inside the SNR shell. The highest-energy particles leave the system continuously, while the remaining adiabatically cooled particles are released when the SNR has expanded sufficiently and decelerated so that the magnetic field at the shock is no longer able to confine them. Particles escaping from the parent system may interact with nearby molecular clouds, producing.-rays in the process via pion decay. The soft gamma-ray spectra observed for a number of SNRs interacting with molecular clouds, however, challenge current theories of non-linear particle acceleration that predict harder spectra.
Aims. We study how the spectrum of escaped particles depends on the time-dependent acceleration history in both Type Ia and core-collapse SNRs, as well as on different assumptions about the diffusion coefficient in the vicinity of the SNR.
Methods. We solve the CR transport equation in a test-particle approach combined with numerical simulations of SNR evolution.
Results. We extend our method for calculating the CR acceleration in SNRs to trace the escaped particles in a large volume around SNRs. We calculate the evolution of the spectra of CRs that have escaped from a SNR into a molecular cloud or dense shell for two diffusion models. We find a strong confinement of CRs in a close region around the SNR, and a strong dilution effect for CRs that were able to propagate out as far as a few SNR radii.

Long-range corrected hybrid functionals that employ a nonempirically tuned range-separation parameter have been demonstrated to yield accurate ionization potentials and fundamental gaps for a wide range of finite systems. Here, we address the question of whether this high level of accuracy is limited to the highest occupied/lowest unoccupied energy levels to which the range-separation parameter is tuned or whether it is retained for the entire valence spectrum. We examine several pi-conjugated molecules and find that orbitals of a different character and symmetry require significantly different range-separation parameters and fractions of exact exchange. This imbalanced treatment of orbitals of a different nature biases the resulting eigenvalue spectra. Thus, the existing schemes for the tuning of range-separated hybrid functionals, while providing for good agreement between the highest occupied energy level and the first ionization potential, do not achieve accuracy comparable to reliable G(0)W(0) computations for the entire quasiparticle spectrum.

In the course of this thesis gold nanoparticle/polyelectrolyte multilayer structures were prepared, characterized, and investigated according to their static and ultrafast optical properties. Using the dip-coating or spin-coating layer-by-layer deposition method, gold-nanoparticle layers were embedded in a polyelectrolyte environment with high structural perfection. Typical structures exhibit four repetition units, each consisting of one gold-particle layer and ten double layers of polyelectrolyte (cationic+anionic polyelectrolyte). The structures were characterized by X-ray reflectivity measurements, which reveal Bragg peaks up to the seventh order, evidencing the high stratication of the particle layers. In the same measurements pronounced Kiessig fringes were observed, which indicate a low global roughness of the samples. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images veried this low roughness, which results from the high smoothing capabilities of polyelectrolyte layers. This smoothing effect facilitates the fabrication of stratified nanoparticle/polyelectrolyte multilayer structures, which were nicely illustrated in a transmission electron microscopy image. The samples' optical properties were investigated by static spectroscopic measurements in the visible and UV range. The measurements revealed a frequency shift of the reflectance and of the plasmon absorption band, depending on the thickness of the polyelectrolyte layers that cover a nanoparticle layer. When the covering layer becomes thicker than the particle interaction range, the absorption spectrum becomes independent of the polymer thickness. However, the reflectance spectrum continues shifting to lower frequencies (even for large thicknesses). The range of plasmon interaction was determined to be in the order of the particle diameter for 10 nm, 20 nm, and 150 nm particles. The transient broadband complex dielectric function of a multilayer structure was determined experimentally by ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy. This was achieved by simultaneous measurements of the changes in the reflectance and transmittance of the excited sample over a broad spectral range. The changes in the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function were directly deduced from the measured data by using a recursive formalism based on the Fresnel equations. This method can be applied to a broad range of nanoparticle systems where experimental data on the transient dielectric response are rare. This complete experimental approach serves as a test ground for modeling the dielectric function of a nanoparticle compound structure upon laser excitation.

Estimation of the self-similarity exponent has attracted growing interest in recent decades and became a research subject in various fields and disciplines. Real-world data exhibiting self-similar behavior and/or parametrized by self-similarity exponent (in particular Hurst exponent) have been collected in different fields ranging from finance and human sciencies to hydrologic and traffic networks. Such rich classes of possible applications obligates researchers to investigate qualitatively new methods for estimation of the self-similarity exponent as well as identification of long-range dependencies (or long memory). In this thesis I present the Bayesian estimation of the Hurst exponent. In contrast to previous methods, the Bayesian approach allows the possibility to calculate the point estimator and confidence intervals at the same time, bringing significant advantages in data-analysis as discussed in this thesis. Moreover, it is also applicable to short data and unevenly sampled data, thus broadening the range of systems where the estimation of the Hurst exponent is possible. Taking into account that one of the substantial classes of great interest in modeling is the class of Gaussian self-similar processes, this thesis considers the realizations of the processes of fractional Brownian motion and fractional Gaussian noise. Additionally, applications to real-world data, such as the data of water level of the Nile River and fixational eye movements are also discussed.

Particles in Saturn’s main rings range in size from dust to even kilometer-sized objects. Their size distribution is thought to be a result of competing accretion and fragmentation processes. While growth is naturally limited in tidal environments, frequent collisions among these objects may contribute to both accretion and fragmentation. As ring particles are primarily made of water ice attractive surface forces like adhesion could significantly influence these processes, finally determining the resulting size distribution. Here, we derive analytic expressions for the specific self-energy Q and related specific break-up energy Q⋆ of aggregates. These expressions can be used for any aggregate type composed of monomeric constituents. We compare these expressions to numerical experiments where we create aggregates of various types including: regular packings like the face-centered cubic (fcc), Ballistic Particle Cluster Aggregates (BPCA), and modified BPCAs including e.g. different constituent size distributions. We show that accounting for attractive surface forces such as adhesion a simple approach is able to: a) generally account for the size dependence of the specific break-up energy for fragmentation to occur reported in the literature, namely the division into “strength” and “gravity” regimes, and b) estimate the maximum aggregate size in a collisional ensemble to be on the order of a few meters, consistent with the maximum aggregate size observed in Saturn’s rings of about 10m.

Formation or destruction of hyperbolic chaotic attractor under parameter variation is considered with an example represented by Smale-Williams solenoid in stroboscopic Poincare map of two alternately excited non-autonomous van der Pol oscillators. The transition occupies a narrow but finite parameter interval and progresses in such way that periodic orbits constituting a "skeleton" of the attractor undergo saddle-node bifurcation events involving partner orbits from the attractor and from a non-attracting invariant set, which forms together with its stable manifold a basin boundary of the attractor.

The microscopic origin of ultrafast demagnetization, i.e. the quenching of the magnetization of a ferromagnetic metal on a sub-picosecond timescale after laser excitation, is still only incompletely understood, despite a large body of experimental and theoretical work performed since the discovery of the effect more than 15 years ago. Time- and element-resolved x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements can provide insight into the microscopic processes behind ultrafast demagnetization as well as its dependence on materials properties. Using the BESSY II Femtoslicing facility, a storage ring based source of 100 fs short soft x-ray pulses, ultrafast magnetization dynamics of ferromagnetic NiFe and GdTb alloys as well as a Au/Ni layered structure were investigated in laser pump – x-ray probe experiments. After laser excitation, the constituents of Ni50Fe50 and Ni80Fe20 exhibit distinctly different time constants of demagnetization, leading to decoupled dynamics, despite the strong exchange interaction that couples the Ni and Fe sublattices under equilibrium conditions. Furthermore, the time constants of demagnetization for Ni and Fe are different in Ni50Fe50 and Ni80Fe20, and also different from the values for the respective pure elements. These variations are explained by taking the magnetic moments of the Ni and Fe sublattices, which are changed from the pure element values due to alloying, as well as the strength of the intersublattice exchange interaction into account. GdTb exhibits demagnetization in two steps, typical for rare earths. The time constant of the second, slower magnetization decay was previously linked to the strength of spin-lattice coupling in pure Gd and Tb, with the stronger, direct spin-lattice coupling in Tb leading to a faster demagnetization. In GdTb, the demagnetization of Gd follows Tb on all timescales. This is due to the opening of an additional channel for the dissipation of spin angular momentum to the lattice, since Gd magnetic moments in the alloy are coupled via indirect exchange interaction to neighboring Tb magnetic moments, which are in turn strongly coupled to the lattice. Time-resolved measurements of the ultrafast demagnetization of a Ni layer buried under a Au cap layer, thick enough to absorb nearly all of the incident pump laser light, showed a somewhat slower but still sub-picosecond demagnetization of the buried Ni layer in Au/Ni compared to a Ni reference sample. Supported by simulations, I conclude that demagnetization can thus be induced by transport of hot electrons excited in the Au layer into the Ni layer, without the need for direct interaction between photons and spins.