15,884 research outputs found

    Sun-as-a-Star Observation of Flares in Lyman {\alpha} by the PROBA2/LYRA radiometer

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    There are very few reports of flare signatures in the solar irradiance at H i Lyman {\alpha} at 121.5 nm, i.e. the strongest line of the solar spectrum. The LYRA radiometer onboard PROBA2 has observed several flares for which unambiguous signatures have been found in its Lyman-{\alpha} channel. Here we present a brief overview of these observations followed by a detailed study of one of them, the M2 flare that occurred on 8 February 2010. For this flare, the flux in the LYRA Lyman-{\alpha} channel increased by 0.6%, which represents about twice the energy radiated in the GOES soft X-ray channel and is comparable with the energy radiated in the He ii line at 30.4 nm. The Lyman-{\alpha} emission represents only a minor part of the total radiated energy of this flare, for which a white-light continuum was detected. Additionally, we found that the Lyman-{\alpha} flare profile follows the gradual phase but peaks before other wavelengths. This M2 flare was very localized and has a very brief impulsive phase, but more statistics are needed to determine if these factors influence the presence of a Lyman-{\alpha} flare signal strong enough to appear in the solar irradiance.Comment: in press for Solar Physic

    Quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares: re-evaluating their nature in the context of power-law flare Fourier spectra

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    The nature of quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares remains debated. Recent work has shown that power-law-like Fourier power spectra, also referred to as 'red' noise processes, are an intrinsic property of solar and stellar flare signals, a property that many previous studies of this phenomenon have not accounted for. Hence a re-evaluation of the existing interpretations and assumptions regarding QPP is needed. Here we adopt a Bayesian method for investigating this phenomenon, fully considering the Fourier power law properties of flare signals. Using data from the PROBA2/LYRA, Fermi/GBM, Nobeyama Radioheliograph and Yohkoh/HXT instruments, we study a selection of flares from the literature identified as QPP events. Additionally we examine optical data from a recent stellar flare that appears to exhibit oscillatory properties. We find that, for all but one event tested, an explicit oscillation is not required in order to explain the observations. Instead, the flare signals are adequately described as a manifestation of a power law in the Fourier power spectrum, rather than a direct signature of oscillating components or structures. However, for the flare of 1998 May 8, strong evidence for the existence of an explicit oscillation with P ~ 14-16 s is found in the 17 GHz radio data and the 13-23 keV Yohkoh HXT data. We conclude that, most likely, many previously analysed events in the literature may be similarly described in terms of power laws in the flare Fourier power spectrum, without the need to invoke a narrowband, oscillatory component. As a result the prevalence of oscillatory signatures in solar and stellar flares may be less than previously believed. The physical mechanism behind the appearance of the observed power laws is discussed.Comment: 11 pages, 7 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Incentive Contracts and Total Factor Productivity

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    This paper proposes a transactions cost theory of total factor productivity. In a world with asymmetric information and transactions costs, effort, and thus productivity, must be induced by incentive schemes. Labor contracts trade off the marginal benefits and the marginal costs of effort. The latter include, in addition to the workers? marginal disutility of effort, also organizational costs and rents. As the economy grows, the optimal contracts change endogenously, inducing higher effort and measured productivity. Transactions costs are also affected by societal characteristics that determine the power of incentive contracts. Therefore, differences in these characteristics may explain cross-economy productivity differences. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the model is consistent both with time series and cross-country observations. --incentive contracts,total factor productivity,economic growth

    Pairing correlations in a trapped one-dimensional Fermi gas

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    We use a BCS-type variational wavefunction to study attractively-interacting quasi one-dimensional (1D) fermionic atomic gases, motivated by cold-atom experiments that access the 1D regime using an anisotropic harmonic trapping potential (with trapping frequencies ωx=ωy≫ωz\omega_x = \omega_y \gg \omega_z) that confines the gas to a cigar-shaped geometry. To handle the presence of the trap along the zz-direction, we construct our variational wavefunction from the harmonic oscillator Hermite functions that are the eigenstates of the single-particle problem. Using an analytic determination of the effective interaction among harmonic oscillator states along with a numerical solution of the resulting variational equations, we make specific experimental predictions for how pairing correlations would be revealed in experimental probes like the local density and the momentum correlation function.Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures. Published in Phys. Rev.

    Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: Validation of a French and English single-item scale

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    We designed, in French and in English, a single-item scale to measure people’s general tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. The validity and reliability of this scale was assessed in 3 studies (total N = 555). In Study 1 (N = 152), positive correlations between the single-item scale and 3 other conspiracy belief scales on a French student sample suggested good concurrent validity. In Study 2 (N = 292), we replicated these results on a larger and more heterogeneous Internet American sample. Moreover, the scale showed good predictive validity—responses predicted participants’ willingness to receive a bi-monthly newsletter about alleged conspiracy theories. Finally, in Study 3 (N = 111), we observed good test-retest reliability and demonstrated both convergent and discriminant validity of the single-item scale. Overall these results suggest that the single-item conspiracy belief scale has good validity and reliability and may be used to measure conspiracy belief in favor of lengthier existing scales. In addition, the validation of the single-item scale led us to develop and start validating French versions of the Generic Conspiracist Beliefs scale, the Conspiracy Mentality Questionnaire, and a 10-item version (instead of the 15-item original version) of the Belief in Conspiracy Theories Inventory
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