7,509 research outputs found

    Thermal fluctuations in moderately damped Josephson junctions: Multiple escape and retrapping, switching- and return-current distributions and hysteresis

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    A crossover at a temperature T* in the temperature dependence of the width s of the distribution of switching currents of moderately damped Josephson junctions has been reported in a number of recent publications, with positive ds/dT and IV characteristics associated with underdamped behaviour for lower temperatures T<T*, and negative ds/dT and IV characteristics resembling overdamped behaviour for higher temperatures T>T*. We have investigated in detail the behaviour of Josephson junctions around the temperature T* by using Monte Carlo simulations including retrapping from the running state into the supercurrent state as given by the model of Ben-Jacob et al. We develop discussion of the important role of multiple escape and retrapping events in the moderate-damping regime, in particular considering the behaviour in the region close to T*. We show that the behaviour is more fully understood by considering two crossover temperatures, and that the shape of the distribution and s(T) around T*, as well as at lower T<T*, are largely determined by the shape of the conventional thermally activated switching distribution. We show that the characteristic temperatures T* are not unique for a particular Josephson junction, but have some dependence on the ramp rate of the applied bias current. We also consider hysteresis in moderately damped Josephson junctions and discuss the less commonly measured distribution of return currents for a decreasing current ramp. We find that some hysteresis should be expected to persist above T* and we highlight the importance, even well below T*, of accounting properly for thermal fluctuations when determining the damping parameter Q.Comment: Accepted for publication in PR

    Multiple mechanisms of spiral wave breakup in a model of cardiac electrical activity

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    It has become widely accepted that the most dangerous cardiac arrhythmias are due to re- entrant waves, i.e., electrical wave(s) that re-circulate repeatedly throughout the tissue at a higher frequency than the waves produced by the heart's natural pacemaker (sinoatrial node). However, the complicated structure of cardiac tissue, as well as the complex ionic currents in the cell, has made it extremely difficult to pinpoint the detailed mechanisms of these life-threatening reentrant arrhythmias. A simplified ionic model of the cardiac action potential (AP), which can be fitted to a wide variety of experimentally and numerically obtained mesoscopic characteristics of cardiac tissue such as AP shape and restitution of AP duration and conduction velocity, is used to explain many different mechanisms of spiral wave breakup which in principle can occur in cardiac tissue. Some, but not all, of these mechanisms have been observed before using other models; therefore, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate them using just one framework model and to explain the different parameter regimes or physiological properties necessary for each mechanism (such as high or low excitability, corresponding to normal or ischemic tissue, spiral tip trajectory types, and tissue structures such as rotational anisotropy and periodic boundary conditions). Each mechanism is compared with data from other ionic models or experiments to illustrate that they are not model-specific phenomena. The fact that many different breakup mechanisms exist has important implications for antiarrhythmic drug design and for comparisons of fibrillation experiments using different species, electromechanical uncoupling drugs, and initiation protocols.Comment: 128 pages, 42 figures (29 color, 13 b&w

    Breakdown of weak-field magnetotransport at a metallic quantum critical point

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    We show how the collapse of an energy scale in a quantum critical metal can lead to physics beyond the weak-field limit usually used to compute transport quantities. For a density-wave transition we show that the presence of a finite magnetic field at the critical point leads to discontinuities in the transport coefficients as temperature tends to zero. The origin of these discontinuities lies in the breakdown of the weak field Jones-Zener expansion which has previously been used to argue that magneto-transport coefficients are continuous at simple quantum critical points. The presence of potential scattering and magnetic breakdown rounds the discontinuities over a window determined by tau Delta < 1 where Delta is the order parameter and tau is the quasiparticle elastic lifetime.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures RevTeX forma

    Product risk assessment: a Bayesian network approach

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    Product risk assessment is the overall process of determining whether a product, which could be anything from a type of washing machine to a type of teddy bear, is judged safe for consumers to use. There are several methods used for product risk assessment, including RAPEX, which is the primary method used by regulators in the UK and EU. However, despite its widespread use, we identify several limitations of RAPEX including a limited approach to handling uncertainty and the inability to incorporate causal explanations for using and interpreting test data. In contrast, Bayesian Networks (BNs) are a rigorous, normative method for modelling uncertainty and causality which are already used for risk assessment in domains such as medicine and finance, as well as critical systems generally. This article proposes a BN model that provides an improved systematic method for product risk assessment that resolves the identified limitations with RAPEX. We use our proposed method to demonstrate risk assessments for a teddy bear and a new uncertified kettle for which there is no testing data and the number of product instances is unknown. We show that, while we can replicate the results of the RAPEX method, the BN approach is more powerful and flexible

    Chapter 23: Climate change and Great Barrier Reef: industries and communities

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    Climate change is driving shifts in environmental conditions that, together with other human pressures, are impacting the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Individuals, communities, and industries in the GBR catchment depend directly or indirectly on the GBR for ecosystem goods and services. These take the form of direct economic benefits (including commercial activities such as tourism and fishing), social services (including recreational activities and cultural linkages) and environmental services (including shoreline protection from barrier reefs and mangrove stands).This is Chapter 23 of Climate change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment. The entire book can be found at http://hdl.handle.net/11017/13

    Impact of wild-type and genetically modified Pseudomonas fluorescens on soil enzyme activities and microbial population structure in the rhizosphere of pea

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    The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com. Copyright Blackwell Publishing DOI : 10.1046/j.1365-294x.1998.00367.xThe aim of this work was to determine the impact of wild type along with functionally and non-functionally modified Pseudomonas fluorescens strains in the rhizosphere. The wild type F113 strain carried a gene encoding the production of the antibiotic 2,4 diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG) useful in plant disease control, and was marked with a lacZY gene cassette. The first modified strain was a functional modification of strain F113 with repressed production of DAPG, creating the DAPG negative strain F113 G22. The second paired comparison was a non-functional modification of wild type (unmarked) strain SBW25, constructed to carry marker genes only, creating strain SBW25 EeZY-6KX. Significant perturbations were found in the indigenous bacterial population structure, with the F113, (DAPG+) strain causing a shift towards slower growing colonies (K strategists) compared with the non-antibiotic producing derivative (F113 G22) and the SBW25 strains. The DAPG+ strain also significantly reduced, in comparison with the other inocula, the total Pseudomonas populations but did not affect the total microbial populations. The survival of F113 and F113 G22 were an order of magnitude lower than the SBW 25 strains. The DAPG+ strain caused a significant decrease in the shoot to root ratio in comparison to the control and other inoculants, indicating plant stress. F113 increased soil alkaline phosphatase, phosphodiesterase and aryl sulphatase activities compared to the other inocula, which themselves reduced the same enzyme activities compared to the control. In contrast to this, the -glucosidase, -galactosidase and N-acetyl glucosaminidase activities decreased with the inoculation of the DAPG+ strain. These results indicate that soil enzymes are sensitive to the impact of GMM inoculation.Peer reviewe

    Investigating the relationship between HIV testing and risk behaviour in Britain: National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles 2000.

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    OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of, and identify factors associated with, HIV testing in Britain. DESIGN: A large, stratified probability sample survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles. METHODS: A total of 12,110 16-44 year olds completed a computer-assisted face-to-face interview and self-interview. Self-reports of HIV testing, i.e. the timing, reasons for and location of testing, were included. RESULTS: A total of 32.4% of men and 31.7% of women reported ever having had an HIV test, the majority of whom were tested through blood donation. When screening for blood donation and pregnancy were excluded, 9.0% of men and 4.6% of women had had a voluntary confidential HIV test (VCT) in the past 5 years. However, one third of injecting drug users and men who have sex with men had a VCT in the past 5 years. VCT in the past 5 years was significantly associated with age, residence, ethnicity, self-perceived HIV risk, reporting greater numbers of sexual partners, new sexual partners from abroad, previous sexually transmitted infection diagnosis, and injecting non-prescribed drugs for men and women, and same-sex partners (men only). Whereas sexually transmitted disease clinics were important sites for VCT, general practice accounted for almost a quarter of VCT. CONCLUSION: HIV testing is relatively common in Britain; however, it remains largely associated with population-based blood donation and antenatal screening programmes. In contrast, VCT remains highly associated with high-risk (sexual or drug-injecting) behaviours or population sub-groups at high risk. Strategies to reduce undiagnosed prevalent HIV infection will require further normalization and wider uptake of HIV testing