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The onset of magnetic reconnection in space, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas is reviewed discussing results from theory, numerical simulations and observations. After a brief introduction on magnetic reconnection and approach to the question of onset, we first discuss recent theoretical models and numerical simulations, followed by observations of reconnection and its effects in space and astrophysical plasmas from satellites and ground-based detectors, as well as measurements of reconnection in laboratory plasma experiments. Mechanisms allowing reconnection spanning from collisional resistivity to kinetic effects as well as partial ionization are described, providing a description valid over a wide range of plasma parameters, and therefore applicable in principle to many different astrophysical and laboratory environments. Finally, we summarize the implications of reconnection onset physics for plasma dynamics throughout the Universe and illustrate how capturing the dynamics correctly is important to understanding particle acceleration. The goal of this review is to give a view on the present status of this topic and future interesting investigations, offering a unified approach.
Potential effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems depends upon seed shatter of the target weed species at crop maturity, enabling its collection and processing at crop harvest. However, seed retention likely is influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter phenology in thirteen economically important broadleaf weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to four weeks after physiological maturity at multiple sites spread across fourteen states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic U.S. Greater proportions of seeds were retained by weeds in southern latitudes and shatter rate increased at northern latitudes. Amaranthus species seed shatter was low (0 to 2%), whereas shatter varied widely in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) (2 to 90%) over the weeks following soybean physiological maturity. Overall, the broadleaf species studied shattered less than ten percent of their seeds by soybean harvest. Our results suggest that some of the broadleaf species with greater seed retention rates in the weeks following soybean physiological maturity may be good candidates for HWSC.
Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to four weeks after maturity at multiple sites spread across eleven states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic U.S. From soybean maturity to four weeks after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased as the states moved further north. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1 to 70%. That range had shifted to 5 to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 days after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output at during certain years.
Two of the most problematic Amaranthus species in soybean production today are tall waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. This study determined the percentage of tall waterhemp and Palmer amaranth seed that was retained by the weed at soybean maturity to assess the likelihood of using at-harvest weed seed control tactics for soil seedbank management. Palmer amaranth plants were collected from fields in Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska, and tall waterhemp plants were collected from fields in Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Collected plants were assessed for at-harvest weed seed retention in 2013 and 2014. Within 1 wk of soybean maturity, Amaranthus plants were harvested and the loose soil and debris beneath the plants were swept into a pan with a hand broom to collect any shattered seed. Percent seed retention ranged from 95 to 100% for all states both years, regardless of species. There was a strong correlation between weed biomass (g) and total seed production (no. plant−1) in that the larger the plant, the more seeds it produced. However, there was no correlation between percent seed retention and weed biomass, which indicates that regardless of plant size and likely time of emergence, seed retention is high at the time of crop maturity. Overall, this study demonstrated that there is great opportunity for Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp seed capture or destruction at soybean harvest. It is likely that nearly all of the seeds produced for both Amaranthus species passes through the combine during harvest to be returned to the soil seedbank. Thus, there is continued need for research focused on developing and testing harvest weed seed control tactics that aim at reducing the soil seedbank and lowering risks for evolution of herbicide resistance.
Deflection missions to near-Earth asteroids will encounter non-negligible uncertainties in the physical and orbital parameters of the target object. In order to reliably assess future impact threat mitigation operations such uncertainties have to be quantified and incorporated into the mission design. The implementation of deflection demonstration missions offers the great opportunity to test our current understanding of deflection relevant uncertainties and their consequences, e.g., regarding kinetic impacts on asteroid surfaces. In this contribution, we discuss the role of uncertainties in the NEOTωIST asteroid deflection demonstration concept, a low-cost kinetic impactor design elaborated in the framework of the NEOShield project. The aim of NEOTωIST is to change the spin state of a known and well characterized near-Earth object, in this case the asteroid (25143) Itokawa. Fast events such as the production of the impact crater and ejecta are studied via cube-sat chasers and a flyby vehicle. Long term changes, for instance, in the asteroid's spin and orbit, can be assessed using ground based observations. We find that such a mission can indeed provide valuable constraints on mitigation relevant parameters. Furthermore, the here proposed kinetic impact scenarios can be implemented within the next two decades without threatening Earth's safety.
Interactions between environmental conditions and management practices can significantly affect soil function. Soil quality assessments may improve our understanding of how soils interact with the hydrosphere and atmosphere. This information can then be used to develop management practices that improve the capacity of the soil to perform its various functions and help identify physical, chemical, and biological soil attributes to quantify the present state of a soil and detect changes resulting from management. In protocols established by the Great Plains cropping system network, sampling and testing procedures were selected to identify physical, chemical, and biological soil attributes responsive to management that may serve as useful indicators in assessing the effects of management on the soil resource. Eight existing long-term studies from throughout the Great Plains in the central USA were used to make these assessments because, (1) many years are required for certain soil properties to change measurably; (2) annual weather causes variation in system performance; and (3) the soil pools of interest are spatially variable. This paper includes detailed descriptions of the treatments and sites, and both long-term and short-term (1999–2002) data on precipitation, temperature, and yields for each location.
One of the inherent challenges of teaching any emerging technology like nanotechnology, is the fact that its core competencies flux in the new disciplines' early stages. Nanotechnology presents an additional challenge in that its underpinnings cross multiple traditional disciplinary boundaries. We have designed a course that aims to address some of these challenges through a handful of structural features: team-based learning; a “reverse of the learning pyramid” approach; team-teaching; embedded information literacy techniques; and application-centered content. Our course is organized around four applications that are in their developmental stages: gold nanoshells for cancer treatment; molecular manufacturing; tissue engineering of a vital organ; and a microfluidic glucose sensor. These applications provide natural contexts for learning biology at the cellular level, the molecular level, the organ level and the biological systems level, respectively. They also provide natural contexts to introduce ideas of scientific uncertainty in emerging fields. In this paper, we will present the design features of our sophomore-level course Nanotechnology, biology, ethics and society and some preliminary results.
X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and Photoelectron Spectroscopy (PES) have been performed upon highly radioactive samples, particularly Plutonium, at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, CA, USA. First results from alpha and delta Plutonium are reported as well as a detailed analysis of sample quality.
The standard method to determine the band structure of a condensed phase material is to (1) obtain a single crystal with a well defined surface and (2) map the bands with angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (occupied or valence bands) and inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (unoccupied or conduction bands). Unfortunately, in the case of Pu, the single crystals of Pu are either nonexistent, very small and/or having poorly defined surfaces. Furthermore, effects such as electron correlation and a large spin-orbit splitting in the 5f states have further complicated the situation. Thus, we have embarked upon the utilization of unorthodox electron spectroscopies, to circumvent the problems caused by the absence of large single crystals of Pu with well-defined surfaces. Our approach includes the techniques of resonant photoelectron spectroscopy , x-ray absorption spectroscopy [1,2,3,4], electron energy loss spectroscopy [2,3,4], Fano Effect measurements , and Bremstrahlung Isochromat Spectroscopy , including the utilization of micro-focused beams to probe single-crystallite regions of polycrystalline Pu samples. [2,3,6]
As a consequence of the unusual nature of plutonium's electronic structure, point- and extended-defects are expected to, and do exhibit extraordinary properties. Low temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements on Pu and fcc-Pu(Ga) show that the magnetic susceptibility increases as a function of time, yet upon annealing the specimen returns to its initial magnetic susceptibility. This excess magnetic susceptibility (EMS) arises from the alpha-decay and U recoil damage cascades which produce vacancy and interstitials as point and extended defects. The temperature of the first annealing stage defines a temperature (<35K) below which we are able to characterize the time and temperature evolution of the accumulating damage cascades as being a saturation function. The temperature dependence of the EMS is well described by a time independent, Curie-Weiss curve arising from a volumetric region surrounding each U damage cascade. This saturation picture also leads directly to a determination of the microscopic volume of the specimen that is affected by the frozen-in damage cascade. For our measurements in δ-Pu we calculate a diameter of the magnetically affected volume of ∼250Å per damage cascade. This should be compared with an estimated volume that encloses the damage cascade itself (determined from molecular dynamics) of ∼100 Å. Hence, the ratio of these volumes is ∼8. The observed anomalous magnetic behavior is likely a consequence of the highly correlated nature of the electrons. Similarities with defects in hole-doped superconductors suggest a general phenomenon in strongly correlated electron systems, of which Pu may be a particularly unusual or special example.
Deficits in visual-spatial ability can be associated with
Parkinson's disease (PD), and there are several possible reasons
for these deficits. Dysfunction in frontal–striatal and/or
frontal–parietal systems, associated with dopamine deficiency,
might disrupt cognitive processes either supporting (e.g., working
memory) or subserving visual-spatial computations. The goal of this
study was to assess visual–spatial orientation ability in
individuals with PD using the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), along with
other measures of cognitive function. Non-demented men with PD were
significantly less accurate on this test than matched control men. In
contrast, women with PD performed similarly to matched control women,
but both groups of women did not perform much better than chance.
Further, mental rotation accuracy in men correlated with their
executive skills involving mental processing and psychomotor speed. In
women with PD, however, mental rotation accuracy correlated negatively
with verbal memory, indicating that higher mental rotation performance
was associated with lower ability in verbal memory. These results
indicate that PD is associated with visual–spatial orientation
deficits in men. Women with PD and control women both performed poorly
on the MRT, possibly reflecting a floor effect. Although men and women
with PD appear to engage different cognitive processes in this task,
the reason for the sex difference remains to be elucidated.
(JINS, 2003, 9, 1078–1087.)