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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Under stress, corals and foraminifera may eject or consume their algal symbionts (“bleach”), which can increase mortality. How bleaching relates to species viability over warming events is of great interest given current global warming. We use size-specific isotope analyses and abundance counts to examine photosymbiosis and population dynamics of planktonic foraminifera across the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum (PETM, ~56 Ma), the most severe Cenozoic global warming event. We find variable responses of photosymbiotic associations across localities and species. In the NE Atlantic (DSDP Site 401) PETM, photosymbiotic clades (acarininids and morozovellids) exhibit collapsed size-δ13C gradients indicative of reduced photosymbiosis, as also observed in Central Pacific (ODP Site 1209) and Southern Ocean (ODP Site 690) acarininids. In contrast, we find no significant loss of size-δ13C gradients on the New Jersey shelf (Millville) or in Central Pacific morozovellids. Unlike modern bleaching-induced mass mortality, populations of photosymbiont-bearing planktonic foraminifera increased in relative abundance during the PETM. Multigenerational adaptive responses, including flexibility in photosymbiont associations and excursion taxon evolution, may have allowed some photosymbiotic foraminifera to thrive. We conclude that deconvolving the effects of biology on isotope composition on a site-by-site basis is vital for environmental reconstructions.
Poverty brome (Bromus sterilis L.) [sterile or barren brome, syn. Anisantha sterilis (L.) Nevski] is a problematic UK arable weed. There are currently no confirmed cases of glyphosate resistance in any weed species in the United Kingdom or in B. sterilis worldwide. However, there are reports of poor control by glyphosate in this species. Here, we report experiments to confirm the suspected on-farm resistance of B. sterilis populations to glyphosate. Glyphosate screening and dose–response experiments established that glyphosate sensitivity of three UK B. sterilis populations exhibiting poor field control is outside the normal range of sensitivity of 30 sensitive populations and adjacent unexposed populations. Control of sensitive populations ranged from 49% to 82% and for suspected resistant populations from 21% to 30%. Dose–response ED50 values of sensitive populations ranged between 241 and 313 g ai ha−1; corresponding values of suspected resistant populations ranged between 420 and 810 g ha−1, and resistance indices ranged from 1.55 to 4.5. Suspected resistant populations were incompletely controlled at the recommended field rate of glyphosate (540 g ha−1), while adjacent unexposed populations were completely controlled. We conclude that some UK populations of B. sterilis have reduced glyphosate sensitivity and are in the process of evolving resistance. This is the first reported case of reduced glyphosate sensitivity in any UK weed species and in B. sterilis worldwide. This, coupled with increasing glyphosate use, highlights the need for increased vigilance and monitoring for glyphosate resistance in the United Kingdom.
Field-harvested johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.) rhizomes were assayed for bud dormancy and growth potential under a number of experimental conditions. Natural dormancy was not detected in single-node rhizome pieces harvested at any time of the year. Shoot growth rates were highly variable. Kinetin, benzyl adenine, gibberellic acid, and 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid were ineffective in enhancing germination or normalizing shoot growth. Scale leaves of rhizomes had no effect on bud growth. Rhizome buds were strongly influenced by apical dominance and emerged shoots partially suppressed germination of adjacent buds. The optimum temperature for bud germination and shoot growth was approximately 30 C. Bud germination was suppressed at 15 C. Johnsongrass rhizomes failed to exhibit cold hardiness at any time in their life cycle.
The influence of repeated clipping of the shoots on the translocation of 14C-assimilates and 2,2-dichloropropionic acid 2-14C (dalapon) into the rhizome system of established johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.) was studied when regrowth was in the preboot, boot, and flowering stages. Radioautography and radio-assay procedures were used to follow the distribution of label within the plants. Plants defoliated three times prior to treatment showed no increase in basipetal translocation over plants defoliated once. As plants matured to the flowering stage, assimilate translocation into rhizomes increased. This increase was closely related to the degree of secondary rhizome growth occurring at time of label application. During preboot, assimilate movement was restricted to rhizome apices with very little retention in intervening tissue. Labeled dalapon followed a similar translocation pattern to that of assimilates. The role of assimilate translocation and storage as correlated with life cycle changes in carbohydrate nutrition of established johnsongrass is discussed.
Here we demonstrate wireless energy transfer that exploits the conductivity and permittivity of soil to create a potential gradient on the surface around an earthed electrode, distributing electrical energy over the area. This generated surface potential can be amplified using a special standing-wave receiver for harnessing the distributed energy. We have experimentally mapped the surface potential around the electrode and plotted the received energy covering an area of 1200 m2. Key operating parameters are determined with a discussion on optimizing the system efficiency. This technique could address the challenge of distributing electrical energy to many low power devices over large outdoor areas without the use of wires.
Current robotic systems have achieved great sophistication in kinematic motion, control, and neural processing. One of the most challenging limitations imposed on modern robotics is the portable power source needed to sustain tether-free operation. Energy storage devices such as batteries and combustion engines may be heavy, require a great deal of space, and invariably have a finite energy capacity. Methods to control such devices may also impose limitations as most robotic systems rely on either tethered or radiative communication. The unavoidable repercussion of these limitations is the ultimate reduction of mobility and operation time to achieve specific tasks. To address these challenges, we apply our quasi-wireless powering methodology to show the operation of two robotic devices over a 1×1 m2 surface. Both power and control signals are transmitted simultaneously, producing seamless storage-free functionality over the entire area with a communication technique that is not line-of-sight or radiation dependent. We demonstrate an average power transfer efficiency of 93% using commercially available toy robots and discuss parameters relating to the power and communication performance.
A method of power transmission is proposed that delivers power through the resonance of a helical receiver with its surrounding stray capacitance. The system operates in a quasi-wireless state where power is transferred over a single connection to a surface much larger than the dimensions of the receiver. This ensures high-efficiency energy transfer over large areas without the need of strong coupling electromagnetic fields. Standard power connectors such as tracks, plugs, and cords may be easily replaced with conductive surfaces or objects such as foil sheets, desks, and cabinets. Presently, the method is experimentally demonstrated at the small scale using loads of up to 50 W at an efficiency of 83% with both bare and insulated surfaces. Simple circuit modeling of the system is presented which shows close agreement with experimental results.
We investigated whether insertion of urinary catheters that had been coated with Escherichia coli HU2117 could establish bladder colonization with this nonvirulent organism. Ten of 12 subjects were successfully colonized for 14 days or more. The rate of symptomatic UTI during colonization was 0.15 per 100 patient-days.
An algorithmic approach to the semantic interpretation of deverbal nominalizations found
in encyclopedic texts, such as support, publication and control, is described. Interpreting these
nominalizations is crucial because they are quite common in encyclopedic texts, hence a great
deal of information is represented within them. Interpretation involves three tasks: deciding
whether the nominalization is being used in a verbal or non-verbal sense; disambiguating the
nominalized verb when a verbal sense is used; and determining the fillers of the thematic roles
of the verbal concept or predicate of the nominalization. A verbal sense can be recognized
by the presence of modifiers that represent the arguments of the verbal concept. It is these
same modifiers which provide the semantic clues to disambiguate the nominalized verb. In
the absence of explicit modifiers, heuristics are used to discriminate between verbal and
non-verbal senses. A correspondence between verbs and their nominalizations is exploited so
that only a small amount of additional knowledge is needed to handle the nominal form.
These methods are tested in the domain of encyclopedic texts and the results are shown.
This paper reports the first experimental results in which the kinetic
energy of cold fog, generated in a water arc plasma, exceeds the electrical
energy supplied to form and maintain the arc. The cold fog explosion is
produced by breaking down a small quantity of liquid water and passing a
kiloampere current pulse through the plasma. The 90-year history of unusually
strong water arc explosions is reviewed. Experimental observations leave little
doubt that internal water energy is being liberated by the sudden electrodynamic
conversion of about one-third of the water to dense fog. High-speed
photography reveals that the fog expels itself from the water at supersonic
velocities. The loss of intermolecular bond energy in the conversion from liquid
to fog must be the source of the explosion energy.