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Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
This article will argue that the history of East India Company Bombay – like that of many foreign British enterprises, and like many other ‘global’ cities and indeed colonies generally – is best understood as the product of contradictions and contingencies. Bombay was never easy to define geographically and its identity as an ‘English’ settlement was precarious. It could not insulate itself militarily from the powerful polities nearby; nor could it always rely on the loyalty of its subjects, whether English or of other ethnicities. It was a city constructed out of crisis and tragedy, trial and error, a history that the story about a European dynastic ‘dowry’ obscures, and which Company representatives worked hard to conceal.
After the failures of 1858 and 1865, the Atlantic was finally spanned by a submarine cable in 1866. A boom in cable laying ensued as British firms built a global cable network would remain a bulwark of British imperial and commercial power well into the twentieth century. The surging cable industry created a demand for electrical knowledge that stimulated the emergence of physics teaching laboratories in Britain. These laboratories turned out scientists, engineers, and teachers trained in precision electrical measurement—essentially cable testing room techniques. The cable enterprise also set the direction of British electrical research in the late nineteenth century, including the reception and articulation of Maxwell’s field theory. In the early 1880s a circle of young “Maxwellians” emerged in Britain, among them Oliver Heaviside, a former cable engineer who had taken up Maxwell’s theory as a tool to address signalling problems. Guided by ideas about energy flow and signal propagation, in 1884 Heaviside recast the long list of equations Maxwell had given in his Treatise into the compact set now universally known as “Maxwell’s equations.” The form of Maxwell’s field theory that passed into textbooks in the 1890s was rooted in important ways in the global cable network.
"When the first underground and submarine telegraph cables were laid around 1850, engineers noticed that sharp signals sent in at one end emerged at the other badly blurred and appreciably delayed. This “retardation” grew worse on longer cables and threatened to make operation of the proposed 2000-mile Atlantic line unprofitably slow. Retardation presented British physicists and engineers with both an intriguing physical phenomenon and a serious practical problem, and they studied it closely from the 1850s on.
Latimer Clark, a prominent British cable engineer, brought retardation to Michael Faraday’s attention late in 1853, and Faraday’s published account of the phenomenon served to publicize both retardation and the ideas about the electromagnetic field that he invoked to explain it. Faraday’s paper led William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) to reprint two papers on field theory he had written in the 1840s, and later in 1854 a related cable question prompted Thomson to work out what became the accepted mathematical theory of signal transmission. Moreover, it was at just this time, and largely under Thomson’s guidance, that James Clerk Maxwell first took up the study of electricity, with results that were to transform electromagnetic theory."
James Clerk Maxwell’s field theory of electromagnetism had important and previously unrecognized roots in the cable industry of the mid-nineteenth century. When he took up electrical physics in 1854, the subject was permeated by a concern with cable problems. Guided by William Thomson, Maxwell soon adopted Faraday’s field approach, which in 1861 he sought to embody in a mechanical model of the electromagnetic ether. Seeking evidence to bolster the electromagnetic theory of light to which this model had led him, Maxwell joined the British Association Committee on Electrical Standards, which had been formed in 1861 largely to meet the needs of the submarine telegraph industry. Maxwell’s work on the committee between 1862 and 1864 brought home to him the value of framing his theory in terms of quantities he could measure in the laboratory—particularly the “ratio of units”—rather than relying on a hypothetical mechanism. Maxwell’s shift from his mechanical ether model of 1861 to his seemingly abstract “Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” of 1864 thus reflected the often overlooked role concerns rooted in cable telegraphy played in the evolution of his thinking.
An agreed system of electrical units and standards was crucial to building a workable cable system in the 1860s, as well as to advancing electrical science. Without such standards, it was almost impossible to extend accurate electrical knowledge beyond a single laboratory or testing room. Amid conflicts over competing standards and in response to rising demands from the telegraph industry, in 1861 William Thomson called on the British Association for the Advancement of Science to establish a Committee on Electrical Standards. The committee proved very influential, and its work marks one of the most important points of intersection between electrical science and technology in the mid-nineteenth century. Led by James Clerk Maxwell ,and Fleeming Jenkin, the committee determined the value of the ohm experimentally in 1862–64 and distributed standard resistance coils around the world. Standard ohms soon became a key part of quality control in the cable industry; indeed, the aim in manufacture became to make a cable that was, in effect, a chain of standard ohms strung end to end, its properties at each point known and recorded.
After the failure of the first Atlantic cable, proponents of oceanic submarine telegraphy sought to parry claims that the task they had attempted was simply impossible and to argue that it instead resulted from a series of correctable errors. Their first step was to pin as much blame as they could on Wildman Whitehouse while separating his practices from those of proper electrical scientists and engineers. The Atlantic Telegraph Company then teamed with the British government to establish a Joint Committee to investigate how such disasters might be avoided in the future. In 1861 the committee issued a massive Report that identified the rationalization of methods and standardization of materials as keys to bringing order and reliability to an industry that had hitherto lacked both. The Joint Committee Report exemplified the power of expertise backed by official authority, and it soon became the bible of British cable practice as the idiosyncratic methods of Whitehouse and other cable amateurs gave way to William Thomson and Latimer Clark’s emphasis on precise and standardized measurement. Guided by this new measurement-based approach to telegraph engineering, the Atlantic cable project was resurrected and would finally succeed in 1866.
"The first attempt to lay a transoceanic cable, the Atlantic cable project of 1856–58, had far-reaching effects on electrical theory and practice. Although it was launched by an American, Cyrus Field, the project soon came to be dominated by British capital and technical expertise. Among the leading figures in the Atlantic Telegraph Company were Charles Bright, the young chief engineer; Wildman Whitehouse, a Brighton surgeon turned electrical experimenter; and William Thomson, professor of natural philosophy at Glasgow and a member of the company’s board of directors. Whitehouse and Thomson had argued about signal propagation and cable design before joining the company; the circumstances of this dispute, and of its temporary resolution early in 1857, shed valuable light on how scientific and practical concerns interacted in the project, particularly around questions of measurement. The dispute flared again when the Atlantic cable failed in September 1858 after only a month of fitful service. The response to that failure would shape British cable telegraphy and electrical physics for decades to come."
In January 1889, in the wake of Heinrich Hertz’s dramatic discovery of electromagnetic waves, the British physicist Oliver Lodge declared that with this experimental confirmation of James Clerk Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of light, “the whole domain of Optics is annexed to Electricity, which has thus become an imperial science.” Lodge had hit on a very up-to-date way to express the preeminence electrical science had achieved by the last decades of the nineteenth century. But in 1889 electricity was an imperial science in a less metaphorical sense as well: it lay at the scientific heart of submarine telegraphy, one of the characteristic technologies of the Victorian British Empire.
In 1902, a consortium of British imperial powers laid a string of cables across the Pacific, connecting Canada to Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. The new cables completed the “All Red Line,” circling the globe while touching only on British-controlled territories, and set the capstone to the worldwide British cable network (Figure 7.1). That network would remain of vital strategic and economic importance for decades to come, but as the twentieth century dawned, both physics and electrical technology found themselves moving in new directions. Cable telegraphy had nourished the rise of field theory, but that theory had led in its turn to the discovery of electromagnetic waves and then to the development and promotion by Oliver Lodge, Guglielmo Marconi and others of practical systems of wireless telegraphy.
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.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, British firms and engineers built, laid, and ran a vast global network of submarine telegraph cables. For the first time, cities around the world were put into almost instantaneous contact, with profound effects on commerce, international affairs, and the dissemination of news. Science, too, was strongly affected, as cable telegraphy exposed electrical researchers to important new phenomena while also providing a new and vastly larger market for their expertise. By examining the deep ties that linked the cable industry to work in electrical physics in the nineteenth century - culminating in James Clerk Maxwell's formulation of his theory of the electromagnetic field - Bruce J. Hunt sheds new light both on the history of the Victorian British Empire and on the relationship between science and technology.
Parenting has a strong influence on child development. However, there is minimal empirical evidence on why some parents use beneficial techniques, while others use harmful behaviours. Thus, there is a significant gap in the knowledge needed to address problematic parenting. Theories suggest that parental self-concept has a large influence on parenting behaviours. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between parent self-cognitions and parenting behaviours. One-hundred and four mothers of Grade 7 students completed questionnaires measuring their self-esteem, self-criticism, domain-specific self-concept, and parenting behaviours (support, behavioural control, and psychological control). Regression analyses demonstrated that self-cognitions largely predicted psychological control but support or behavioural control did not. These findings suggest that psychologically controlling behaviour in parents may be due to poor self-worth. With psychological control known to deeply damage children, these findings have major implications for interventions targeting harmful parenting.
The Taunton Stop Line was a defensive work built in the second half of 1940 to contain a possible German invasion of the south-west peninsula of Britain. The line ran across the ‘waist of the South West’ from the mouth of the river Parrett (in Somerset) to the mouth of the River Axe at Seaton (in Devon). This was a massive feat of construction involving both military and civilian personnel working under the threat of an imminent German invasion. Recently, some fifty contemporary sketches have come to light that were used to show the builders how to camouflage the individual pillboxes and emplacements. Discovering that many of these drawings were by well-known artists has led to an investigation of their role, an evaluation of their contribution to the camouflage, its effectiveness and limitations, and how this influenced subsequent army camouflage doctrine. They are believed to be the only such set of drawings to have survived.