597 research outputs found

    Plasma source characterization for plasma-based acceleration experiments

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    This thesis shows the characterization of the plasma sources needed for the plasma-based experiments of SPARC_LAB. During this thesis work, I have studied and implemented the tools needed to measure the plasma density into both gas-filled and laser trigger ablative capillaries. The diagnostic system, based on the analysis of the Stark broadening of the emitted spectral lines, allowed to measure in a single shot the evolution of the plasma density variation along the entire capillary length in steps of 100 ns. As far as we know, this is the first single-shot, longitudinally-resolved measurement based on the Stark broadening analysis to measure low density plasma evolution (10^17 cm^-3) in a capillary discharge. By knowing the temporal evolution of the plasma density, it is possible to chose the correct working point for the accelerator and to check its stability and reliability. Moreover, the versatility of the system allows to verify online the proper functioning of the acceleration process, monitoring the variation of plasma density distribution along the acceleration path. This system has been implemented in the SPARC bunker and it has been used to characterize hydrogen filled capillary discharge. To complete the characterization of these capillaries, the discharge current profile has been characterized. The same diagnostic tool has been used to study how to proper engineering of the longitudinal plasma density can be performed with 3D printed laser trigger ablative capillaries whose prototyping cost is negligible, thanks to relatively fast manufacturing processes and their cheap materials. This investigation leads to measure the effect of the tapering of the capillary on the plasma density distribution along the whole capillary length. Tailoring the density from the beginning to the end of the interaction let to preserve the beam quality after the acceleration, but also it ensures the matching between the beams and the plasma. Finally, I implemented a Mach-Zehnder interferometer to detect the plasma density along the propagation length of a laser pulse in a gas-jet for self injection LWFA experiments performed at SPARC_LAB

    Vulnerability assessment of the karst aquifer feeding the Pertuso Spring (Central Italy): comparison between different applications of COP method

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    Karst aquifers vulnerability assessment and mapping are important tools for improved sustainable management and protection of karst groundwater resources. In this paper, in order to estimate the vulnerability degree of the karst aquifer feeding the Pertuso Spring in Central Italy, COP method has been applied starting from two different discretization approaches: using a polygonal layer and the Finite Square Elements (FSE). Therefore, the hydrogeological catchment basin has been divided into 72 polygons, related to the outcropping lithology and the karst features. COP method has been applied to a single layer composed by all these polygons. The results of this study highlight vulnerability degrees ranging from low to very high. The maximum vulnerability degree is due to karst features responsible of high recharge and high hydraulic conductivity. Comparing the vulnerability maps obtained by both methodologies it is possible to say that the traditional discretization approach seems to overestimate the vulnerability of the karst aquifer feeding the Pertuso Spring. Between the two different approaches of COP method, the proposed polygonal discretization of the hydrogeological basin seems to be more suitable to small areas, such as the Pertuso Spring hydrogeological basin, than the traditional grid mapping

    Excitations in photoactive molecules from quantum Monte Carlo

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    Despite significant advances in electronic structure methods for the treatment of excited states, attaining an accurate description of the photoinduced processes in photoactive biomolecules is proving very difficult. For the prototypical photosensitive molecules, formaldimine, formaldehyde and a minimal protonated Schiff base model of the retinal chromophore, we investigate the performance of various approaches generally considered promising for the computation of excited potential energy surfaces. We show that quantum Monte Carlo can accurately estimate the excitation energies of the studied systems if one constructs carefully the trial wave function, including in most cases the reoptimization of its determinantal part within quantum Monte Carlo. While time-dependent density functional theory and quantum Monte Carlo are generally in reasonable agreement, they yield a qualitatively different description of the isomerization of the Schiff base model. Finally, we find that the restricted open shell Kohn-Sham method is at variance with quantum Monte Carlo in estimating the lowest-singlet excited state potential energy surface for low-symmetry molecular structures.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figure

    Stochastic user equilibrium in the presence of state dependence

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    We consider the following two state-dependent effects at the level of route choice: inertia to change and, as a consequence of experience, lower perception variance for the currently used route. A heteroscedastic extreme value model embodying heterogeneity across alternatives in the mean of the random terms is used. Estimations based on stated preference data confirm the presence of both state-dependent effects. We introduce a new class of stochastic user equilibrium (SUE) models that take state-dependent effects into account. The class includes conventional SUE as special case. The equilibrium conditions are formulated as fixed-point states of deterministic day-to-day assignment processes. At the equilibrium (1) no user can improve her/his utility by unilaterally changing route, and (2) if each user shifts from her/his current route to her/his newly chosen route the observed route flows do not change. The existence of the equilibrium is guaranteed under usually satisfied conditions. A modified method of successive averages is proposed for solution. Examples related to a two arc network and to the Nguyen-Dupuis network illustrate the model

    Reference-Dependent Stochastic User Equilibrium with Endogenous Reference Points

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    We consider the application of reference-dependent consumer choice theory to traffic assignment on transportation networks. Route choice is modelled based on random utility maximisation with systematic utility embodying loss aversion for the travel time and money expenditure attributes. Stochastic user equilibrium models found in the literature have considered exogenously given reference points. The paper proposes a model where reference points are determined consistently with the equilibrium flows and travel times. The referencedependent stochastic user equilibrium (RDSUE) is defined as the condition where (i) no user can improve her utility by unilaterally changing path, (ii) each user has as reference point the current travel time and the money expenditure of one of the available paths, and (iii) if each user updates the reference point to her current path the observed path flows do not change. These conditions are formally equivalent to a multi-class stochastic equilibrium where each class is associated with a path and has as reference point the current state on the path, and the number of users in each class equals the current flow on the path. The RDSUE is formulated as a fixed point problem in the path flows. Existence of RDSUE is guaranteed under usual assumptions. A heuristic algorithm based on the method of successive averages is proposed to solve the problem. The model is illustrated by two numerical examples, one relates to a two-link network and another to the Nguyen-Dupuit network. A reference-dependent route choice model calibrated on stated preference data is used. The second example serves also to demonstrate the algorithm. The impact on the equilibrium of different assumptions on the degree of loss aversion with respect to the travel time attribute are investigated

    Assessment of vulnerability to seawater intrusion for the coastal aquifer of Dar es salaam (Tanzania)

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    Groundwater represents worldwide the main reserve of freshwater for human needs. The increasing demand combined with the use of unsustainable systems for groundwater management leads to a remarkable decay in its quality and quantity, especially in many cities of the Global South, where the fast urban growing frequently bring to environmental critical issues as the case of seawater intrusion for coastal aquifers. Dar es Salaam, in Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of these cities, with more than 4 million of inhabitants and a population growth rate of about 8 per cent per year. Due to the urban pressure on the aquifer, the city is now facing a considerable saline intrusion along the coastline, with depletion of groundwater resources and contamination of pumping wells. Aim of this paper is to apply and test the GALDIT method for the assessment of coastal aquifer vulnerability to seawater intrusion, starting from data and measures collected from 2011 to 2013 during the “Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Dar es Salaam (ACC-DAR) project. The GALDIT is a weights and rating based method that consider six parameters to compute a vulnerability to seawater intrusion index according to a specific numerical ranking. The key parameters are the following ones: Groundwater occurrence, Aquifer hydraulic conductivity, Level of the groundwater above the mean sea level, Distance from the shore, Impact of existing status of seawater intrusion in the area and Thickness of the aquifer. Providing different weights and ratings the GALDIT method allows to evaluate the relative impact of each factor, starting from different hydrogeological settings. The results for Dar es Salaam study case show the presence of all the classes (Low, Moderate and High), among which the widest area has a moderate vulnerability to seawater intrusion. The higher class of vulnerability is rather more concentrated in the northern part of the city. In this context, the assessment of coastal aquifer vulnerability to seawater intrusion in the area of Dar es Salaam might turn out to be a helpful basic information in support of groundwater local policies, for a proper and more sustainable use of the resource

    Urban Freight Transport Demand Modelling: a State of the Art

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    The paper provides a review of freight transport demand models for applications in urban and metropolitan areas. The perspective adopted is the short-term one of public decision-makers involved in transport planning and traffic management. The paper recalls the general methodology to be used for assessing the city logistics scenario and the features of models in relation to the planning horizons: strategic, tactical and operative. The focus is on the transport demand models able to support the assessment of short-term policies/measures. Several models and methods have been proposed. They usually refer to the multi-stage modelling approach and can be classified in terms of reference unit: truck/vehicle, commodity/quantity, delivery and mixed. The paper offers an analysis of pros and cons of each above classes of models. The research prospects are also identified

    Using rail to make urban freight distribution more sustainable

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    Rail is today a minimally used modality in urban freight distribution. To reap the benefits of this more sustainable transport mode a few experiences in Europe have attempted to introduce innovative freight distribution schemes where rail is used. One of such schemes uses rail for the urban penetration leg. After having been consolidated in a centre located outside the urban area, goods are transported by shuttle trains to a centre located inside the central area (the multi-modal urban distribution centre – MUDC) and there are transferred to low-pollution road vehicles to reach their final destination. Other schemes use tramways. The paper provides a review of rail-based schemes which have been introduced in European cities. An in-depth assessment is provided of the scheme based on the use of a MUDC. The case study relates to the distribution of fish food in Rome. The environmental and energy benefits obtainable from the shift from the current road-only scheme to the MUDC scheme are estimated in physical and monetary units. An estimate is provided of the maximum public contribution that would still make the scheme beneficial for society as a whole, obtained as the difference between the social costs of the road-only scheme and those of the MUDC scheme. Also, an assessment is provided of the profitability of the scheme from the operators‟ viewpoint
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