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Concept: Waves


Persistent episodes of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere summer have been shown to be associated with the presence of high-amplitude quasi-stationary atmospheric Rossby waves within a particular wavelength range (zonal wavenumber 6-8). The underlying mechanistic relationship involves the phenomenon of quasi-resonant amplification (QRA) of synoptic-scale waves with that wavenumber range becoming trapped within an effective mid-latitude atmospheric waveguide. Recent work suggests an increase in recent decades in the occurrence of QRA-favorable conditions and associated extreme weather, possibly linked to amplified Arctic warming and thus a climate change influence. Here, we isolate a specific fingerprint in the zonal mean surface temperature profile that is associated with QRA-favorable conditions. State-of-the-art (“CMIP5”) historical climate model simulations subject to anthropogenic forcing display an increase in the projection of this fingerprint that is mirrored in multiple observational surface temperature datasets. Both the models and observations suggest this signal has only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability.

Concepts: Climate, Weather, Climate change, Wave, Global warming, Waves, Northern Hemisphere, Extreme weather


Metasurfaces impart phase discontinuities on impinging electromagnetic waves that are typically limited to 0-2π. Here, we demonstrate that multiresonant metasurfaces can break free from this limitation and supply arbitrarily large, tunable time delays over ultrawide bandwidths. As such, ultrathin metasurfaces can act as the equivalent of thick bulk structures by emulating the multiple geometric resonances of three-dimensional systems that originate from phase accumulation with effective material resonances implemented on the surface itself via suitable subwavelength meta-atoms. We describe a constructive procedure for defining the required sheet admittivities of such metasurfaces. Importantly, the proposed approach provides an exactly linear phase response so that broadband pulses can experience the desired group delay without any distortion of the pulse shape. We focus on operation in reflection by exploiting an antimatching condition, satisfied by interleaved electric and magnetic Lorentzian resonances in the surface admittivities, which completely zeroes out transmission through the metasurface. As a result, the proposed metasurfaces can perfectly reflect a broadband pulse imparting a prescribed group delay. The group delay can be tuned by modifying the implemented resonances, thus opening up diverse possibilities in the temporal applications of metasurfaces.

Concepts: Electromagnetism, Fundamental physics concepts, Light, Wave, Frequency, Wavelength, Group delay and phase delay, Waves


In recent years, the Northern Hemisphere has suffered several devastating regional summer weather extremes, such as the European heat wave in 2003, the Russian heat wave and the Indus river flood in Pakistan in 2010, and the heat wave in the United States in 2011. Here, we propose a common mechanism for the generation of persistent longitudinal planetary-scale high-amplitude patterns of the atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. Those patterns-with zonal wave numbers m = 6, 7, or 8-are characteristic of the above extremes. We show that these patterns might result from trapping within midlatitude waveguides of free synoptic waves with zonal wave numbers k ≈ m. Usually, the quasistationary dynamical response with the above wave numbers m to climatological mean thermal and orographic forcing is weak. Such midlatitude waveguides, however, may favor a strong magnification of that response through quasiresonance.

Concepts: United States, Climate, Weather, Season, Pacific Ocean, Tropical cyclone, Waves, Pakistan


Techniques that can dexterously manipulate single particles, cells, and organisms are invaluable for many applications in biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. Here, we demonstrate standing surface acoustic wave based “acoustic tweezers” that can trap and manipulate single microparticles, cells, and entire organisms (i.e., Caenorhabditis elegans) in a single-layer microfluidic chip. Our acoustic tweezers utilize the wide resonance band of chirped interdigital transducers to achieve real-time control of a standing surface acoustic wave field, which enables flexible manipulation of most known microparticles. The power density required by our acoustic device is significantly lower than its optical counterparts (10,000,000 times less than optical tweezers and 100 times less than optoelectronic tweezers), which renders the technique more biocompatible and amenable to miniaturization. Cell-viability tests were conducted to verify the tweezers' compatibility with biological objects. With its advantages in biocompatibility, miniaturization, and versatility, the acoustic tweezers presented here will become a powerful tool for many disciplines of science and engineering.

Concepts: Biology, Organism, Physics, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis, Wave, Waves, Surface acoustic wave


In boreal spring-to-autumn (May-to-September) 2012 and 2013, the Northern Hemisphere (NH) has experienced a large number of severe midlatitude regional weather extremes. Here we show that a considerable part of these extremes were accompanied by highly magnified quasistationary midlatitude planetary waves with zonal wave numbers m = 6, 7, and 8. We further show that resonance conditions for these planetary waves were, in many cases, present before the onset of high-amplitude wave events, with a lead time up to 2 wk, suggesting that quasiresonant amplification (QRA) of these waves had occurred. Our results support earlier findings of an important role of the QRA mechanism in amplifying planetary waves, favoring recent NH weather extremes.

Concepts: Climate, Wave, Season, Resonance, Tropical cyclone, Waves, Wavenumber, Anticyclone


This article reviews the discovery, development, and use of high-frequency (HF) radio wave backscatter in oceanography. HF radars, as the instruments are commonly called, remotely measure ocean surface currents by exploiting a Bragg resonant backscatter phenomenon. Electromagnetic waves in the HF band (3-30 MHz) have wavelengths that are commensurate with wind-driven gravity waves on the ocean surface; the ocean waves whose wavelengths are exactly half as long as those of the broadcast radio waves are responsible for the resonant backscatter. Networks of HF radar systems are capable of mapping surface currents hourly out to ranges approaching 200 km with a horizontal resolution of a few kilometers. Such information has many uses, including search and rescue support and oil-spill mitigation in real time and larval population connectivity assessment when viewed over many years. Today, HF radar networks form the backbone of many ocean observing systems, and the data are assimilated into ocean circulation models.

Concepts: Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Electromagnetic spectrum, Frequency, Radio, Radar, Waves, Radio waves


A simulation study of Rayleigh wave devices based on a stacked AlN/SiO₂/Si(100) device was carried out. Dispersion curves with respect to acoustic phase velocity, reflectivity and electromechanical coupling efficiency for tungsten W and aluminium Al electrodes and different layer thicknesses were quantified by 2D FEM COMSOL simulations. Simulated acoustic mode shapes are presented. The impact of these parameters on the observed Rayleigh wave modes was discussed. High coupling factors of 2% and high velocities up to 5000 m/s were obtained by optimizing the AlN/SiO₂ thickness ratio.

Concepts: Operations research, Wave, Acoustics, Group velocity, Waves, Wave mechanics, Rayleigh wave, Surface acoustic wave


In stratified lakes internal waves has great ecological significance since they affect mixing, resuspension, material transport, chemical regime and ecosystem productivity. Reconstruction of spatio-temporal heterogeneity of the basin scale internal waves and their accurate parameterization are important tasks. The effect of internal Kelvin waves (IKWs) on spatiotemporal variability of the mid-frequency (1 kHz) sound field in a deep lake using geoacoustic modeling is studied. It is demonstrated that IKWs cause significant fluctuations of the sound field, such as horizontal shift of interference structure. This shift can be easily measured in situ and used for practical reconstruction of IKW parameters. Overall, it is suggested implementing the low-cost geoacoustic methodology for accurate parameterization of the basin scale internal waves and studying their dynamics.

Concepts: Diffraction, Lake, Physical oceanography, Frequency, Wavelength, In situ, Waves, The Basin, Victoria


Internal waves and bathymetric variation create time- and space-dependent alterations in the ocean acoustic waveguide, and cause subsequent coupling of acoustic energy between propagating normal modes. In this paper, the criterion for adiabatic invariance is extended to the case of an internal solitary wave (ISW) encountering a sloping bathymetry (i.e., continental shelfbreak). Predictions based on the extended criterion for adiabatic invariance are compared to experimental observations from the Asian Seas International Acoustics Experiment. Using a mode 1 starter field, results demonstrate time-dependent coupling of mode 1 energy to higher adjacent modes, followed by abrupt coupling of mode 5-7 energy to nonadjacent modes 8-20, produces enhanced mode coupling and higher received levels downrange of the oceanographic and bathymetric features. Numerical simulations demonstrate that increasing ISW amplitude and seafloor slope enhance the coupling of energy to adjacent and nonadjacent modes. This enhanced coupling is the direct result of the simultaneous influence of the ISW and its proximity to the shelfbreak, and, compared to the individual effect of the ISW or shelfbreak, has the capacity to scatter 2-4 times the amount of acoustic energy from below the thermocline into the upper water column beyond the shelfbreak in realistic environments.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Oceanography, Wave, Acoustics, Sound, South China Sea, Normal mode, Waves


Previous, albeit correlative, findings have shown that the neural mechanisms underlying working memory critically require cross-structural and cross-frequency coupling mechanisms between theta and gamma neural oscillations. However, the direct causality between cross-frequency coupling and working memory performance remains to be demonstrated. Here we externally modulated the interaction of theta and gamma rhythms in the prefrontal cortex using novel cross-frequency protocols of transcranial alternating current stimulation to affect spatial working memory performance in humans. Enhancement of working memory performance and increase of global neocortical connectivity were observed when bursts of high gamma oscillations (80-100 Hz) coincided with the peaks of the theta waves, whereas superimposition on the trough of the theta wave and low gamma frequency protocols were ineffective. Thus, our results demonstrate the sensitivity of working memory performance and global neocortical connectivity to the phase and rhythm of the externally driven theta-gamma cross-frequency synchronization.

Concepts: Brain, Electromagnetic radiation, Sleep, Hippocampus, Electroencephalography, Wave, Waves, Theta rhythm