5,955 research outputs found

    Adobe Flash as a medium for online experimentation: a test of reaction time measurement capabilities

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    Adobe Flash can be used to run complex psychological experiments over the Web. We examined the reliability of using Flash to measure reaction times (RTs) using a simple binary-choice task implemented both in Flash and in a Linux-based system known to record RTs with millisecond accuracy. Twenty-four participants were tested in the laboratory using both implementations; they also completed the Flash version on computers of their own choice outside the lab. RTs from the trials run on Flash outside the lab were approximately 20 msec slower than those from trials run on Flash in the lab, which in turn were approximately 10 msec slower than RTs from the trials run on the Linux-based system (baseline condition). RT SDs were similar in all conditions, suggesting that although Flash may overestimate RTs slightly, it does not appear to add significant noise to the data recorded

    The Fluctuating Intergalactic Radiation Field at Redshifts z = 2.3-2.9 from He II and H I Absorption towards HE 2347-4342

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    We provide an in-depth analysis of the He II and H I absorption in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at redshifts z = 2.3-2.9 toward HE 2347-4342, using spectra from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and the Ultraviolet-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) on the VLT telescope. Following up on our earlier study (Kriss et al. 2001, Science, 293, 1112), we focus here on two major topics: (1) small-scale variability (Delta z = 10^-3) in the ratio eta = N(He II)/N(H I); and (2) an observed correlation of high-eta absorbers (soft radiation fields) with voids in the (H I) Ly-alpha distribution. These effects may reflect fluctuations in the ionizing sources on scales of 1 Mpc, together with radiative transfer through a filamentary IGM whose opacity variations control the penetration of 1-5 ryd radiation over 30-40 Mpc distances. Owing to photon statistics and backgrounds, we can measure optical depths over the ranges 0.1 < tau(HeII) < 2.3 and 0.02 < tau(HI) < 3.9, and reliably determine values of eta = 4 tau(HeII)/tau(HI) over the range 0.1 to 460. Values of eta = 20-200 are consistent with models of photoionization by quasars with observed spectral indices alpha_s = 0-3. Values of eta > 200 may require additional contributions from starburst galaxies, heavily filtered quasar radiation, or density variations. Regions with eta < 30 may indicate the presence of local hard sources. We find that eta is higher in "void" regions, where H I is weak or undetected and 80% of the path length has eta > 100. These voids may be ionized by soft sources (dwarf starbursts) or by QSO radiation softened by escape from the AGN cores or transfer through the "cosmic web". The apparent differences in ionizing spectra may help to explain the 1.45 Gyr lag between the reionization epochs, z(HI) = 6.2 +/-0.2 and z(HeII) = 2.8 +/-0.2.Comment: 27 pages, 7 figures, to appear in Ap

    Using Adobe Flash Lite on mobile phones for psychological research: reaction time measurement reliability and inter-device variability

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    Mobile telephones have significant potential for use in psychological research, possessing unique characteristics—not least their ubiquity—that may make them useful tools for psychologists. We examined whether it is possible to measure reaction times (RTs) accurately using Adobe Flash Lite on mobile phones. We ran simple and choice RT experiments on two widely available mobile phones, a Nokia 6110 Navigator and a Sony Ericsson W810i, using a wireless application protocol (WAP) connection to access the Internet from the devices. RTs were compared within subjects with those obtained using a Linux-based millisecond-accurate measurement system. Results show that measured RTs were significantly longer on mobile devices, and that overall RTs and distribution of RTs varied across device

    Probing the variability of the fine-structure constant with the VLT/UVES

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    We assess the cosmological variability of the fine-structure constant from the analysis of an ensemble of Fe II absorption lines at the redshift z=1.15 toward the QSO HE 0515-4414 by means of the standard many-multiplet (MM) technique and its revision based on linear regression (RMM). This is the first time the MM technique is applied to exceptional high-resolution and high signal-to-noise QSO spectra recorded with the UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). Our analysis results in the most stringent bounds hitherto infered from QSO absorption lines. Our results support the null hypothesis of a non-varying fine-structure constant at a significance level of 91 percent, whereas the support for the results presented in former MM studies indicating a variation in the fine-structure constant is 12 percent.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letter

    A rotating helical filament in the L1251 dark cloud

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    (Abridged) Aims. We derive the physical properties of a filament discovered in the dark cometary-shaped cloud L1251. Methods. Mapping observations in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) inversion lines, encompassing 300 positions toward L1251, were performed with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope at a spatial resolution of 40 arcsec and a spectral resolution of 0.045 km/s. Results. The filament L1251A consists of three condensations (alpha, beta, and gamma) of elongated morphology, which are combined in a long and narrow structure covering a 38 arcmin by 3 arcmin angular range. The opposite chirality (dextral and sinistral) of the alpha+beta and gamma condensations indicates magnetic field helicities of two types, negative and positive, which were most probably caused by dynamo mechanisms. We estimated the magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 600 and the Rossby number R < 1, which means that dynamo action is important.Comment: 21 pages, 10 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in A&

    How to treat benchmark revisions? The case of German production and orders statistics

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    Elements of an econometric examination of benchmark revisions in real-time data are suggested. Structural break tests may be applied to detect heterogeneities within vintages. Systems cointegration tests are helpful to reveal inconsistencies across vintages. Differencing and rebasing, often used to adjust for benchmark revisions, are generally not sufficient to ensure consistent real-time macroeconomic data. Vintage transformation functions estimated by cointegrating regressions are more flexible. Inappropriate conversion may cause observed revision statistics to be affected by nuisance parameters. In German industrial production and orders statistics, remaining revisions are generally biased and serially correlated. --real-time data,benchmark revisions,industrial production,orders

    Associations between a one-shot delay discounting measure and age, income, education and real-world impulsive behavior

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    There has been discussion over the extent to which delay discounting – as prototypically shown by a preference for a smaller-sooner sum of money over a larger-later sum – measures the same kind of impulsive preferences that drive non-financial behavior. To address this issue, a dataset was analyzed containing 42,863 participants’ responses to a single delay-discounting choice, along with self-report behaviors that can be considered as impulsive. Choice of a smaller-sooner sum was associated with several demographics: younger age, lower income, and lower education; and impulsive behaviors: earlier age of first sexual activity and recent relationship infidelity, smoking, and higher body mass index. These findings suggest that at least an aspect of delay discounting preference is associated with a general trait influencing other forms of impulsivity, and therefore that high delay discounting is another form of impulsive behavior

    Spectral shape of the UV ionizing background and HeII absorption at redshifts 1.8 < z < 2.9

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    The shape of the UV ionizing background is reconstructed from optically thin metal absorption-line systems identified in spectra of HE2347-4342, Q1157+3143, and HS1700+6416 in the redshift interval 1.8 < z < 2.9. The systems are analyzed by means of the Monte Carlo Inversion method completed with the spectral shape recovering procedure. The UVB spectral shape fluctuates at 2.4 < z < 2.9 mostly due to radiative transfer processes in the clumpy IGM. At z < 1.8, the IGM becomes almost transparent both in the HI and HeII Lyman continua and the variability of the spectral shape comes from diversity of spectral indices describing the QSO/AGN intrinsic radiation. At z > 2.4, the recovered spectral shapes show intensity depression between 3 and 4 Ryd due to HeII Ly-alpha absorption in the IGM clouds (line blanketing) and continuous medium (true Gunn-Petersen effect). The mean HeII Ly-alpha opacity estimated from the depth of this depression corresponds within 1-2sigma to the values directly measured from the HI/HeII Ly-alpha forest towards the quasars studied. The observed scatter in eta = N(HeII)/N(HI) and anti-correlation between N(HI) and eta can be explained by the combined action of variable spectral softness and differences in the mean gas density between the absorbing clouds. Neither of the recovered spectral shapes show features which can be attributed to the putative input of radiation from soft sources like starburst galaxies.Comment: 20 pages, 20 figures. Accepted for publication in A&
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