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With relatively few exceptions, personal petitions from individuals have received much less attention from historians than those from groups in the public political sphere. In one sense, personal petitions adopted many of the same rhetorical strategies as those delivered by a group. However, they also offer unique insights into the quotidian relationship between the people and their rulers. This article examines surviving personal petitions to various administrators at different levels of government in western India during the decades surrounding the East India Company’s conquests. The analysis of these petitions helps to refine our understanding of the place of the new judicial system in the social world of early-nineteenth-century India, especially by illuminating the discourse of justice that petitioners brought to the presentation of their cases to their new governors. The conclusion of this article seeks to place the rhetoric of personal petitioning within the larger context of mass political petitioning in India during the early nineteenth century.
As Israel's National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider, Magen David Adom (MDA) is constantly looking for ways to improve the response to mass casualty incidents (MCIs). Previous research has shown that in an MCI situation, the demand for resources is disproportionate to the available resources, thus creating a dilemma of how to triage and treat the patients, as well as how to best prioritize and treat the critical patients.
Smartwatches have become an integral part of society. MDA constantly looks for ways to integrate new technologies into their emergency response protocols. Smartwatches were used in this experiment to determine if in an MCI, relaying live information to the dispatch center would improve the time it takes for emergency crews to effectively treat and transport critical patients.
A drill and scenario were designed to simulate an MCI in which there were 3 severe, 2 moderate, and 5 lightly wounded patients. There were then different colored smartwatches placed on each victim. The watches transmitted real-time blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation readings to the dispatch center. The live information was transferred directly to responding teams. A second drill was conducted using the same scenario, same number of patients, but without watches to examine the differences in response times.
MDA found that the use of smartwatches directly improved the times (by 3.27 minutes) in which emergency teams were able to reach the most severely wounded patients and evacuate them to the hospital in a timely manner.
Using smartwatches to transmit live information to the dispatch center allowed for effective treatment and transport of patients in an MCI. Use of such information allows the dispatch center to direct teams to provide accurate treatment to the patients according to their needs.
Following a mass casualty incident (MCI), it can take several minutes for emergency medical services (EMS) to arrive. The course was developed by Magen David Adom (MDA) based on unique experience in dealing with MCIs, and the time between alerting emergency services to such an incident until they arrive. The course is focused on teaching the general public to channel their desire to help in such a situation into useful skills which can potentially improve patient outcomes. The seminar focuses on key principles such as safety, calling for help, providing an accurate picture of the scene, and initiating basic treatment with an emphasis on hemorrhage control.
MDA examined the ability of the general public with no previous medical training to perform a basic triage and treatment in an MCI situation. Additionally, the study examined the abilities of the study groups to manage a scene until the arrival of EMS based on the principles taught in the course.
MDA has sent teams of instructors around the world to teach over 1,000 participants. Upon completing the course, the participants partake in a drill that assesses their ability to manage a scene of 20 patients. Their ability to initiate the call for help, provide an accurate picture, initiate treatment, and give an accurate report to arriving emergency responders are examined.
The average times were recorded. Within 38 seconds, dispatch was alerted to the situation. Within 2:30 minutes, treatment was initiated for all patients. Within 4:37 minutes, the scene was fully under control, and within 6:37 minutes, an accurate report was transferred to EMS on the scene.
The participants demonstrated an unexpected willingness to learn, practice, and partake in the drills, and the results were unexpected.
Emergency medical services (EMS) is a high-stress profession, which can lead to deterioration in provider mental health over time. EMS providers may find themselves in a situation where they are not only treating the general public, but also each other. Until now, there has been no active training or emphasis on provider mental health. This has taken its toll and can lead to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in field providers and managers alike.
Identifying and managing stressors is crucial to longevity in the field of EMS. Managers must have the ability to broach sensitive matters with their subordinates, and effectively debrief them following such stressful incidents.
Magen David Adom held a two-day seminar for its administration, from which they learned signs and symptoms of PTSD, how to approach teams who had been in stressful situations, and how to properly debrief the teams. The seminar culminated in mass casualty incident (MCI) drills, where there were 4 active scenes. Scene 1 had a team that was physically injured. Scene 2 had a team which cared for the team from scene 1. Scene 3 had a team suffering from emotional stress and ceased to function. Scene 4 had only wounded civilians. The drill focused on provider emotions and used actors and props to simulate an exceedingly complex MCI situation.
Following the drill, a debriefing was held and it was found that all of the points of interest had been noted and properly dealt with.
Holding a successful drill assisted in providing participants with an accurate sense of such stressful situations in which their subordinates find themselves on a daily basis. The debriefing session succeeded in identifying potential stressors for field providers and teaching the participants the appropriate way to approach such sensitive matters.
Managing an MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) can be a daunting task for emergency responders. Effective management can be a matter of life and death but can be directly impacted by the feelings of the incident commander.
Students were trained to be incident commanders, then following the course were given a survey. In the days following the training, an MCI occurred involving a train full of passengers. The students were then given another survey to assess their readiness following the practical use of their studies.
Students were given a survey to determine their mean level of confidence in managing MCIs prior to training, and following the training. Following the training, there was an increase in confidence. After the training, there was an MCI in which their theoretical knowledge was put to the test.
The pre-training self-efficacy mean scores of younger students (M=3.5, SD+0.23) increased after the training (M=3.8, SD+0.28) and rose even more following the presentation of the Turin train accident (M=4, SD+0.26). While a similar increase in self-efficacy was found among the more mature students post-training compared to the level prior to the training (M=3.7, SD+0.44 versus M=3.4, SD+0.56), the mean self-efficacy score of the mature students decreased following the presentation of the Turin train accident to the pre-training level (M=3.4, SD+0.51).
Mean scores of self-efficacy and confidence in managing MCIs were found to be higher among medical students that were previously trained in coping with MCIs compared to medical students who participated in such a training program for the first time.
During a mass casualty incident (MCI) seminar in Rome, Italy a survey was used to gauge the self-efficacy and confidence of the participants in managing an MCI. Following the course, a follow-up presentation was held by the Torino EMS Medical Director to evaluate and debrief the Torino Railway incident that occurred one day prior. Students partook in a seminar on MCI management, as well as a debriefing of the Turin Railway accident in which they evaluated the skills used by teams on the scene to manage the incident.
Medical students partook in a seminar to learn to manage an MCI scene, as well as a debriefing of the Turin Railway accident. Following both seminars, the students were given a survey to assess their sense of self-confidence in managing such a situation.
The mean level of self-efficacy prior to the MCI training (M=3.43, SD+0.42) increased after the training (M=3.71, SD+0.37) and remained at the same higher level (M=3.71, SD+0.51) after the medical students were exposed to the details of the Turin train accident. The overall difference between the mean self-efficacy scores in the three time frames was not found to be significant. The mean level of confidence in managing MCIs prior to the training (M=2.83; SD+0.89) increased after the training (M=3.56; SD+0.53) and remained higher following the presentation of the Turin train accident, despite a slight decrease (M=3.52, SD+0.63).
The participants’ surveys showed an increase in their self-efficacy and confidence following the course and follow-up presentation. It is our professional recommendation that real-life events be used in such seminars to increase self-efficacy and confidence. The topic will continue to be evaluated further.
Head rotation causes compression and occlusion of the ipsilateral internal jugular (IJ) vein. This can result in raised intracranial pressure and increased bleeding if the patient is having or has recently had surgery. The amount of head rotation in adults resulting in occlusion of the ipsilateral IJ vein is unknown however. We measured the amount of head turn that produced occlusion of the ipsilateral IJ vein in 25 patients having surgery under general anesthesia. On average, 80% of IJ veins occlude at a mean of 55.6° on the left and 53.3° on the right.
The 1960's formed the last stretch of the path that was to end in the existential defeat of a generation of Polish-Jewish communists. The 1960's were preceded by the shared experience of turmoil of the thaw, the so-called Polish October, which gained its peak in October 1956. For most members of the generation, the thaw meant a painful awakening from the trance of holy madness, shocking realizations, new hopes - and subsequent frustrations.
Academic literature, practitioners, courts, and regulators routinely assert that both private and subsidiary targets sell at discounts relative to public targets. However, the empirical evidence to support this conclusion is thin. Our work alters the methodology from prior research to avoid biases due to both one-sided sample truncation and Jensen’s inequality. Following these changes, we find no evidence that unlisted targets sell at discounts. Our results hold under a number of different approaches and after controlling for known determinants of acquisition pricing.
Multi-casualty incidents (MCIs) continue to occur throughout the world, whether they be mass shootings or natural disasters. Prehospital emergency services have done a professional job at stabilizing and transporting the victims to local hospitals. When there are multiple casualties, there may not be enough professional responders to care for the injured. Bystanders and organized volunteer first responders have often helped in extricating the victims, stopping the bleeding, and aiding in the evacuation of the victims. Magen David Adom (MDA translated as “Red Shield of David”), the national Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider for Israel, has successfully introduced a program for volunteer first responders that includes both a mobile-phone-based application and appropriate life-saving equipment. Most of the responders, known as Life Guardians, are already medical professionals such as physicians, nurses, or off-duty medics. They are notified by a global positioning system application if there is a nearby life-threatening incident such as respiratory or cardiac arrest, major trauma, or an MCI. They are given a kit that includes a bag-valve mask device, oropharyngeal airways, tourniquets, and bandages. There are currently 17,000 Life Guardians, and in the first-half of 2017, they responded to 253 events.
The Life Guardians are essentially an out-of-hospital manpower multiplier using a simple crowdsourcing application who have the necessary skills and equipment to treat those in cardiopulmonary arrest, or victims of trauma, including MCIs. Such a model can be integrated into other systems throughout the world to save lives.
JaffeE, DadonZ, AlpertEA. Wisdom of the Crowd in Saving Lives: The Life Guardians App. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(5):550–552.
Children with chronic illness often experience difficulties at school, yet little is known about the impact of the child's illness on siblings’ school experiences. This study investigated parents’ perceptions of siblings’ school experiences and school support. We conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with 27 parents of children with a chronic illness who had a sibling or siblings (4–25 years), representing the experiences of 31 siblings. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed using content analysis. Parents believed that 14 of 31 (45.2%) siblings had school difficulties related to the ill child, such as increased anxiety or stress at school, lack of attention from teachers, and changes in behaviour as a result of increased carer responsibilities. Parents identified increased absenteeism due to the ill child's hospitalisation and the impact of parent absences on sibling school functioning. Parents described general and psychological support from the school, and the importance of monitoring the sibling at school and focusing on their unique needs. Overall, our findings suggest the need for a school-based sibling support model that combines psycho-education for siblings and school personnel, individualised sibling psychological support, and shared school and parent responsibility in normalising the sibling experience and providing consistent support.
At the core of every atom is a nucleus composed of neutrons and protons (nucleons). The number of protons in the nucleus determines the charge – and hence the chemical properties – of the atom. In most familiar circumstances, atomic nuclei contain a fixed set of nucleons. Despite centuries of effort, aspiring alchemists who desired to turn lead into gold were frustrated by the intransigent nature of atomic matter. Nonetheless, in many important energy processes nuclear structure can change, often leading to the release of tremendous quantities of energy. Such processes are central to the energy production mechanisms involved in solar energy, geothermal energy, and nuclear power plants.
While nuclear physics has a reputation as a difficult subject, and nuclei are often regarded as somewhat mysterious, even by practitioners of energy science, in some ways the basic ideas of nuclear physics are similar to the basic ideas of chemistry. Indeed, the classification of nuclei is in a sense much simpler than that of chemical compounds, as the number of fundamental building blocks for nuclei is much smaller.
The binding together of protons and neutrons into nuclei is effected by a balance between two forces. The strong nuclear interactions (§14.1.3), like the residual electromagnetic force between neutral atoms, exert a strong attractive force between nucleons that are in close proximity. Coulomb repulsion, on the other hand, tends to drive protons apart. For large atomic nuclei, the Coulomb repulsion destabilizes the nucleus, so that it can decay, breaking apart into smaller, more stable pieces and releasing energy in the process. Depending upon the sizes of the pieces, this process is known as nuclear fission or α-decay. These processes are responsible for geothermal energy production and can be harnessed in nuclear reactors to provide large amounts of power from small amounts of material. On the other hand, for small nuclei the strong attraction at short distances is great enough that if they come together with enough energy to overcome the longer-range Coulomb repulsion, the nuclei can fuse, again releasing tremendous amounts of energy. This is the energy production mechanism in the Sun; decades of effort have been exerted to produce energy by similar processes here on Earth. In this chapter, we introduce the basic ideas needed to understand nuclear binding and nuclear fission and fusion processes.
Thermal energy has played a central role in energy systems through all of human history. Aside from human and animal power, and limited use of wind and hydropower, most energy put to human use before 1800 AD came in the form of heat from wood and other biomass fuels that were burned for cooking and warmth in pre-industrial societies (and still are in many situations). The development of the steam engine in the late eighteenth century enabled the transformation of thermal energy into mechanical energy, vastly increasing the utility of thermal energy. Humankind has developed ever-increasing reliance on the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels as sources of thermal energy that can be used to power mechanical devices and to generate electricity. Today, over 90% of the world's energy relies either directly or in an intermediate stage on thermal energy, the major exception being hydropower.
Thermal energy, and its conversion into mechanical and electrical energy, is an important theme in this book. The scientific study of the transformation of heat into mechanical energy and vice versa, which began soon after the discovery of the steam engine, led to the discovery of energy conservation and many fundamental aspects of energy physics. Thermal energy belongs to a rich and surprisingly subtle subject – thermodynamics – that we develop systematically beginning in this chapter and continuing in §8.
In contrast to mechanical kinetic and potential energy, thermal energy involves disordered systems, and a new concept, entropy, is needed to provide a quantitative measure of disorder. The definition of entropy (as well as the precise meaning of temperature) can be best appreciated with the help of some basic knowledge of quantum physics. We introduce quantum mechanics in §7. In §8 we define and explore the concepts of entropy and free energy, leading to the fundamental result that there is a physical limit on the efficiency with which thermal energy can be converted to mechanical energy. We apply these ideas to chemical reactions in §9, to engines in §10 and §11, and to power generation in §12 and §13. As illustrated in Figure 1.2, more than half of the thermal energy released from fossil fuel combustion and nuclear reactors is lost in the current US energy stream.
Waves have the capacity to propagate energy over great distances. Ocean waves can transmit energy halfway around the world, even though the molecules of water do not themselves experience any significant net motion. Sound waves in air and seismic waves propagating through Earth's interior likewise transmit energy without net motion of material. Indeed, many of the energy systems described in this book depend at a fundamental level upon energy propagation by waves. Most notably, all of the energy that is transmitted from the Sun to Earth comes in the form of electromagnetic waves, composed of propagating excitations of the electric and magnetic fields (§22). This incident electromagnetic solar energy is the source of almost all energy used by humanity. Other examples of energy systems based on waves include technologies that harvest the energy in ocean surface waves (§31.2), the use of seismic waves to probe the structure of Earth's interior in search of geothermal (§32) or fossil fuel (§33) resources, and the vibrational waves in crystals called phonons that facilitate the conversion of light into electricity in photovoltaic cells (§25). In the atomic and subatomic world, particles themselves are in many ways best characterized in terms of a quantum mechanical wavefunction that replaces the classical position of the particle with a diffuse probability distribution (§7).
In this chapter we introduce some of the basic properties of waves, focusing on wave solutions of Maxwell's equations that describe the propagation of light. The theory of waves is a complex and many-faceted subject. Rather than treating the subject comprehensively at the outset, we introduce the basics here and develop the theory of waves further as needed throughout the book. In §4.1 we describe the simplest type of waves and the wave equation they obey. In §4.2 we use the example of waves on a stretched string to introduce some of the fundamental features of wave propagation. We introduce electromagnetic waves in §4.3, and discuss energy in electromagnetic fields and energy and momentum propagation in electromagnetic waves in §4.4. In §4.5 we conclude with a brief overview of some further wave-related phenomena that are encountered later in the book.
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to energy systems for individuals interested in understanding the fundamental scientific principles underlying energy processes from sources to end uses.
Origins and Uses
The Physics of Energy emerged from a one-semester course with the same title that we developed and have taught at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) since 2008. The course serves as an introduction to energy science in a new energy curriculum at MIT and is open to students who have completed freshman calculus, a year of physics with calculus, and a term of college chemistry. Although particularly suited to students majoring in hard sciences or engineering, many students who have taken the course were interested primarily in economics and policy. The MIT course also serves as an elective for physics majors, where the concepts developed in more formal courses are brought together into a broader context and applied to real-world problems.
Finding no existing book that matched the level of our course and the approach we wished to take, we began to generate lecture notes for “The Physics of Energy” in 2007. Those lecture notes slowly expanded in scope and depth into this book, which has developed a coherent structure in its own right. Because the students in the course have a wide range of backgrounds, we do not assume an extensive amount of physics background. Our goal in the course, and in the book, is to take students from a basic freshman physics background to a qualitative and quantitative understanding of both the physical principles underlying all energy systems and an appreciation of how these ideas are interconnected and relevant for practical energy systems.
This book can be used in many ways. It can serve as a textbook for a single-semester course for undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering fields or as a “capstone course” for physics undergraduates; these are the audiences for the MIT course. A course using this book could also be tailored primarily to focus on various subsets of the material; depending upon the goals, one could focus for example on the basic physics underlying energy sources, on the aspects most relevant to climate and twenty-first century energy choices, on renewable energy sources, etc. Some specific one-semester paths through the material are suggested below.