5,299 research outputs found

    On Exact and Approximate Solutions for Hard Problems: An Alternative Look

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    We discuss in an informal, general audience style the da Costa-Doria conjecture about the independence of the P = NP hypothesis and try to briefly assess its impact on practical situations in economics. The paper concludes with a discussion of the Coppe-Cosenza procedure, which is an approximate, partly heuristic algorithm for allocation problems.P vs. NP , allocation problem, assignment problem, traveling salesman, exact solution for NP problems, approximate solutions for NP problems, undecidability, incompleteness

    Development of a Novel Piezoelectric Harvester Excited by Raindrops

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    The impact of raindrops on a dry surface leads to a splashing phenomenon that dissipates a lot of energy. To improve energy collection, a novel piezoelectric raindrop energy harvester equipped with a spoonful of water was developed. The advantages and the drawbacks of this solution were analyzed with the aid of numerical simulations. A series of experimental tests were carried out in a laboratory with simulated raindrops. Experimental results showed that the negative effect of the added water mass was exceeded by the positive effects related to the impact of the raindrop on a liquid surface. Tests carried out connecting the harvester to a resistive load showed that the prototype was able to collect more energy than a simple cantilever harvester

    SERPINB3 delays glomerulonephritis and attenuates the lupus-like disease in lupus murine models by inducing a more tolerogenic immune phenotype

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    Objective: To explore the effects of SERPINB3 administration in murine lupus models with a focus on lupus-like nephritis. Methods: 40 NZB/W F1 mice were subdivided into 4 groups and intraperitoneally injected with recombinant SERPINB3 (7.5 \u3bcg/0.1 mL or 15 \u3bcg/0.1 mL) or PBS (0.1 mL) before (group 1 and 2) or after (group 3 and 4) the development of proteinuria ( 65100 mg/dl). Two additional mice groups were provided by including 20 MRL/lpr mice which were prophylactically injected with SERPINB3 (10 mice, group 5) or PBS (10 mice, group 6). Time of occurrence and levels of anti-dsDNA and anti-C1q antibodies, proteinuria and serum creatinine, overall- and proteinuria-free survival were assessed in mice followed up to natural death. Histological analysis was performed in kidneys of both lupus models. The Th17:Treg cell ratio was assessed by flow-cytometry in splenocytes of treated and untreated MRL/lpr mice. Statistical analysis was performed using non parametric tests and Kaplan-Meier curves, when indicated. Results: Autoantibody levels and proteinuria were significantly decreased and time of occurrence significantly delayed in SERPINB3-treated mice vs. controls. In agreement with these findings, proteinuria-free and overall survival were significantly improved in SERPINB3-treated groups vs. controls. Histological analysis demonstrated a lower prevalence of severe tubular lesions in kidneys of group 5 vs. group 6. SERPINB3-treated mice showed an overall trend toward a reduced prevalence of severe lesions in both strains. Th17:Treg ratio was significantly decreased in splenocytes of MRL/lpr mice treated with SERPINB3, compared to untreated control mice. Conclusions: SERPINB3 significantly improves disease course and delays the onset of severe glomerulonephritis in lupus-prone mice, possibly inducing a more tolerogenic immune phenotype

    Determination of recombination length of a non-equilibrium plasma produced by laser ablation

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    An experimental study of the laser ablation produced plasma evolution is necessary for its deeper understanding, since plasma expansion has both spatially and temporally varying characteristics. We irradiated a Cu target with a KrF laser beam. A small Faraday cup array and an axial Faraday cup were used as diagnostic systems, in order to study the spatial variation in the total charge carried by plasma ions. Charge loss during the plasma expansion was observed, which was attributed to the charged species recombination. This occurred upstream to the critical distance where the plasma density is high enough. Downstream the critical distance the plasma particles collisions were negligible and the ion charge remained frozen. In these experiments it was observed that the critical distance for charge recombination was a function of laser fluence

    Modelling piezoelectric energy harvesters by a finite integration technique formulation for electromechanical coupled problems

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    A detailed analysis and optimization of piezoelectric devices, which nowadays are of widespread use in electronic applications, requires numerical analysis. Numerical models based on the Finite Element Method (FEM) have already been proposed in literature. The Finite Integration Technique (FIT) provides stable and consistent discretization schemes for coupled multiphysics problems. A FIT formulation with unstructured meshes, for 2-D/3-D coupled electromechanical static or dynamic problems, is presented. Piezoelectric bimorph cantilevers, with a realistic multilayered geometry, can be analyzed. Comparisons with FEM show the validity and the accuracy of the method
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