46 research outputs found

    A1_3 I believe in MIRACLs, where're you from?

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    The Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) antimissile system is currently being developed by the US Army. Its aim is to destroy incoming missiles with lasers. This paper determines that there is a maximum of 10 minutes preparation time (assuming the missile is fired from at least 10 minutes flight time away), and it would take a 1 MW laser about 0.82 seconds to destroy a typical missile made of aluminium. It does not however cover the practical difficulties involved with implementing such a system

    A1_7 The Neutrino Problem

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    This report examines the premise from the movie "2012" (2009) that solar neutrinos start interacting with the core of the Earth, causing it to melt. A lower energy limit required for this interaction is found to be 9.55*10^4 GeV√ā¬† and it is shown that the source of such energetic neutrinos is unlikely to be from within the solar system

    A1_6 Do you want to hang out?

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    This paper addresses the simple question: how much time will it take for wet clothes to dry, if they are hung up on a washing line, based on the current weather conditions? The metric form of the Penman equation is used to calculate the evaporation rate of water from a plane surface, which is dependent on the meteorological conditions of ambient temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, and the various properties of air and water at said ambient temperature. Empirically measuring the surface area of, and the mass of water contained in, a wet piece of clothing enables the time taken t for total evaporation to be determined. This paper concludes with an equation for t, provided the above factors are known, and gives example results for different items of clothing

    A1_5 Atomising Death Ray

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    This report examines the weapons commonly found in science fiction movies which are able to completely atomise a human being, leaving nothing visible behind. To atomise a human body, this report uses the approximation that every bond connecting their atoms must be broken simultaneously. The energy required from such a device is found to be√ā¬†~3.75 GJ√ā¬†and it is found that it would require 11.06 mg√ā¬†of Deuterium-Tritium to undergo fusion to provide this energy. It is also found that targets will glow deep violet in the visible spectrum shot

    A1_2 Duck, duck... Spruce!

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    The H-4 Hercules was a prototype aircraft built in 1947 which was never properly flight tested. This report explores a theory that this aircraft would never have been able to fly more than a few hundred feet off of the ground due to the ground effect and that the plane was not viable for the purpose of transporting heavy military equipment. By exploring the pressure difference over the wing surfaces, the aircraft is shown to be able to reach a maximum altitude of 9,660 m and to require a minimum takeoff speed of 113.6 km/h. It is therefore shown that the aircraft would have been able to takeoff fully loaded and could have reached a high altitude successfully.√ā

    A1_1 Tick, tick, tick... GRBoom!

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    This paper considers the possibility that a gamma ray burst (GRB) will cause a mass extinction on our planet. The distance over which a low energy GRB would expose a human to a lethal amount of radiation is calculated and found to be approximately 73 kiloparsecs. This indicates that we only need to consider GRBs occurring within the Milky Way galaxy. GRBs are also highly directional; the probability of a GRB striking the Earth is calculated to be 0.06%. From these calculations it is found that a lethal GRB is likely to impact on the Earth once every 328 million years

    A1_9 The solar contract?

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    This report examines the claim by the 'Institute for Creation Research' that the Sun is contracting by about 5 ft per hour. It is determined that the gravitational potential energy released from the Sun contracting from its currently established radius to a radius 2.5 ft smaller would be larger than the Sun's current luminosity. It has also been shown that this would result in Earth being hotter than the current surface temperature of Venus and the Sun's peak of radiation would be in the ultra violet range rather than the visible

    An integrated genetic-demographic model to unravel the origin of genetic structure in European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.)

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    The evolutionary enlightened management of species with complex life cycles often requires the development of mathematical models integrating demographic and genetic data. The genetic structure of the endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) has been thoroughly analyzed in several studies in the past years. However, the interpretation of the key demographic and biologic processes that determine the observed spatio-temporal genetic structure has been very challenging owing to the complex life cycle of this catadromous species. Here, we present the first integrated demographic-genetic model applied to the European eel that explicitly accounts for different levels of larval and adult mixing during oceanic migrations and allows us to explore alternative hypotheses on genetic differentiation. Our analyses show that (i) very low levels of mixing occurring during larval dispersal or adult migration are sufficient to erase entirely any genetic differences among sub-populations; (ii) small-scale temporal differentiation in recruitment can arise if the spawning stock is subdivided in distinct reproductive groups; and (iii) the geographic differentiation component might be overestimated if a limited number of temporal recruits are analyzed. Our study can inspire the scientific debate on the interpretation of genetic structure in other species characterized by complex life cycle and long-range migrations
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