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Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows for imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopy of materials on length scales ranging from microns to atoms. By using a high-speed, direct electron detector, it is now possible to record a full two-dimensional (2D) image of the diffracted electron beam at each probe position, typically a 2D grid of probe positions. These 4D-STEM datasets are rich in information, including signatures of the local structure, orientation, deformation, electromagnetic fields, and other sample-dependent properties. However, extracting this information requires complex analysis pipelines that include data wrangling, calibration, analysis, and visualization, all while maintaining robustness against imaging distortions and artifacts. In this paper, we present py4DSTEM, an analysis toolkit for measuring material properties from 4D-STEM datasets, written in the Python language and released with an open-source license. We describe the algorithmic steps for dataset calibration and various 4D-STEM property measurements in detail and present results from several experimental datasets. We also implement a simple and universal file format appropriate for electron microscopy data in py4DSTEM, which uses the open-source HDF5 standard. We hope this tool will benefit the research community and help improve the standards for data and computational methods in electron microscopy, and we invite the community to contribute to this ongoing project.
Financial literacy is a core life skill for participating in modern society. But how many of us have been educated about money; the importance of budgeting and saving for a rainy day; how bank accounts and debt work and when it makes sense to save for a pension? Our brief research to date indicates a shockingly low level of financial literacy in the general population. And, it does not look like this will get better soon; regarding improving financial literacy, the Financial Services Authority stated in 2003 that “Never has the need been so great or so urgent”. And yet many children will go through school without an hour spent studying financial literacy. Furthermore, efforts to improve financial literacy at older ages are either non-existent or piecemeal at best.
The consequences of poor financial literacy are especially damaging for vulnerable people. Vulnerable groups of people are most at risk of making poor financial decisions throughout their lives, which has negative consequences for saving, home ownership, debt levels, retirement and financial inclusion. In this paper, we consider various mechanisms to protect such financial customers, whilst recognising that improving financial literacy is not a silver bullet to improve customer outcomes from financial products.
Financial literacy cannot be brought to a point where the public can understand many financial products without support and advice. But surely, awareness of basic financial literacy principles can be raised, including the most important: when to seek support and advice before undertaking important financial decisions. The paper suggests some key principles for financial literacy and will also consider methods and tools to allow the public to access much-needed support and advice.
In the last three decades the life insurance industry was rocked by a series of mis-selling scandals such as endowment mortgage, personal pension and payment protection insurance mis-selling. Regulators have stepped in to try to address the underlying causes and improve customer protection by introducing more stringent regulation targeted at sales practices and remuneration, product design, disclosure and ongoing monitoring together with significantly larger financial penalties for non-compliance. Against this background, the paper considers whether customers understanding of risks and outcomes associated with life insurance products can be further improved and how poor customer outcomes can be avoided in the future. We acknowledge the complexity of these issues, which involve many stakeholders, covering all stages of the product lifecycle and customer journey and being impacted by a constantly changing regulatory landscape. We first review the current regulatory landscape across both the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, concluding that whilst regulators have acted to improve customer protection, gaps still remain, particularly around the areas of disclosure and consideration of changing customers’ needs throughout product lifetimes. The paper then considers how the current situation could be improved for customers in a cost effective manner. We focus on improvements in disclosure, needs-based selling, ongoing assessment and communication as a means of ensuring that products continue to meet the customers’ needs and risk profile, and on introducing a duty of care which would force financial services firms to act in the best interests of their customers. In this paper we present our preliminary thoughts and recommendations. Some of the recommendations will cost something to implement, and should therefore be supported by cost-benefit analyses that would weigh these costs against the potentially larger benefits to both customers and the insurance industry.
We present an overview of the performance of the Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment-II (NDCX-II) accelerator at Berkeley Lab, and report on recent target experiments on beam-driven melting and transmission ion energy loss measurements with nanosecond and millimeter-scale ion beam pulses and thin tin foils. Bunches with around 1011 ions, 1 mm radius, and 2–30 ns full width at half maximum duration have been created with corresponding fluences in the range of 0.1–0.7 J/cm2. To achieve these short pulse durations and mm-scale focal spot radii, the 1.1 MeV [megaelectronvolt (106 eV)] He+ ion beam is neutralized in a drift compression section, which removes the space charge defocusing effect during final compression and focusing. The beam space charge and drift compression techniques resemble necessary beam conditions and manipulations in heavy ion inertial fusion accelerators. Quantitative comparison of detailed particle-in-cell simulations with the experiment plays an important role in optimizing accelerator performance.
Insurance accounting has for many years proved a challenging topic for standard setters, preparers and users, often described as a “black box”. Will recent developments, in particular the July 2010 Insurance Contracts Exposure Draft, herald a new era?
This paper reviews these developments, setting out key issues and implications. It concentrates on issues relevant to life insurers, although much of the content is also relevant to non-life insurers.
The paper compares certain IFRS and Solvency II developments, recognising that UK insurers face challenges in implementing new financial and regulatory reporting requirements in similar timeframes. The paper considers resulting external disclosure requirements and a possible future role for supplementary information.
We review the progress in the electron tomography of dislocation microstructures in the transmission electron microscope (TEM). Dislocation contrast is visible both in conventional TEM and scanning TEM (STEM) modes and, despite the complicated intensity variations, dislocation contrast can be isolated using computational filtering techniques prior to reconstruction. We find that STEM annular dark-field (STEM-ADF) imaging offers significant advantages in terms of dislocation contrast and background artifacts. We present several examples, both in semiconducting and metallic systems, illustrating the properties of 3D dislocations. We present the high-angle triple-axis (HATA) specimen holder where the diffraction condition can be chosen at will and dislocation tomograms of multiple reflections can be combined. 3D dislocations are analyzed in terms of dislocation density and dislocation nodal structures. Several avenues of study are suggested that may exploit the 3D dislocation data.
So devastating were the outcomes of Cyclone Nargis for the people of the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar in May 2008, and so inadequate and perverse were the responses of their government, that numerous calls were made for international intervention by invoking the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. The foundations for R2P actions lie in ‘specific legal obligations under human rights and human protection declarations, covenants and treaties, international humanitarian law and national law’. If taken by invoking R2P, an action to intervene in a disaster setting on behalf of those who have been affected would, therefore, be undertaken in the name of human rights; an action in which the international community assumes the role of duty bearer because a given sovereign state has failed to fulfil or is unable to meet its primary duty to provide adequate protection.
Disasters have three phases: the evolution of vulnerability through social processes preceding the disaster; the disaster singularity; and the recovery that follows. It is well established, though not always set out in sharp relief or adhered to in practice, that human rights principles of fair and equal treatment for all who suffer underpin approaches to the care of disaster victims. That is, established human rights norms have been drawn upon to govern the treatment of those impacted in the second and third phases of a natural disaster.
While investigating variations in agglutinability, occurring among certain strains of paratyphoid bacilli, it became desirable to obtain cultures derived from single bacterial cells. The technique at first adopted was that devised by Mutch (1919), but the results obtained were not satisfactory. Certain modifications of this method were attempted, but were no more successful.
The main difficulty, and one which appears to us to have been far too little emphasised in all the methods hitherto described, has been encountered in obtaining satisfactory conditions for the microscopical observation of the bacillary suspensions employed. The difficulty of accurately observing hanging-drop preparations, and still more of controlling manipulation of them by microscopical observation, would seem to us to have been insufficiently realised; and the ease with which faulty interpretation of microscopical appearances may introduce fatal errors into work of this kind has not, perhaps, been fully taken into account.
There are few theoretical proposals that attempt to account for the variation in affective processing across different affective states of bipolar disorder (BD). The Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS) framework has been recently extended to account for manic states. Within the framework, positive mood state is hypothesized to tap into an implicational level of processing, which is proposed to be more extreme in states of mania.
Thirty individuals with BD and 30 individuals with no history of affective disorder were tested in euthymic mood state and then in induced positive mood state using the Question–Answer task to examine the mode of processing of schemas. The task was designed to test whether individuals would detect discrepancies within the prevailing schemas of the sentences.
Although the present study did not support the hypothesis that the groups differ in their ability to detect discrepancies within schemas, we did find that the BD group was significantly more likely than the control group to answer questions that were consistent with the prevailing schemas, both before and after mood induction.
These results may reflect a general cognitive bias, that individuals with BD have a tendency to operate at a more abstract level of representation. This may leave an individual prone to affective disturbance, although further research is required to replicate this finding.
Helminth infections were studied in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from 3 woodland sites in N.E. Poland in the late summers of 1999 and 2002, to assess the temporal stability of derived statistics describing the regional helminth fauna and component community structure, and spatial influence on the latter. Regional helminth fauna changed dramatically between the two years, primarily due to a fall in the abundance of Syphacia petrusewiczi but was partially compensated for by an increase in Mesocestoides lineatus and Cladotaenia globifera. It was dominated by nematodes overall, but more so in 1999 than in 2002 when larval cestodes were more frequent. Most derived parameters for component community structure varied considerably between sites and the two surveys, the hierarchical order for sites not being maintained between surveys. They were susceptible to the disproportionate influence of three relatively rare, unpredictable species with the greatest overall aggregated distribution among hosts. Jaccard's similarity index was less influenced by the rare species, showing greater stability between sites and across years. In conclusion, temporal variation confounded any site-specific characteristics of the summary measures quantified in this study and their usefulness is therefore restricted to the years in which the surveys were conducted.
The relative importance of temporal and spatial effects was assessed in helminth communities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in 3 woodland sites in N.E. Poland in the late summers of 1999 and 2002. Among common species the rank order of sites in relation to prevalence and abundance of infection was maintained between surveys. Site effects accounted for most of the deviance (in statistical models), and time was less important, so the exact location from which voles were sampled was of critical importance. The only exception was Syphacia petrusewiczi. In contrast, for derived measures such as species richness and diversity, most deviance was accounted for by host age, and the interaction between site and year was significant, implying that rank order of sites changed between years. Temporal effects on derived measures were generated primarily by a combination of relatively small changes in prevalence and abundance of the common, rather than the rare, species between the years of the study. In the medium-term, therefore, helminth communities of bank voles in N.E. Poland had a stable core, suggesting a substantial strong element of predictability.
Electromagnetic enhancement arising from plasmon resonance excitation plays a major role in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and as a result nanoparticle morphology can significantly affect SERS intensities. In this paper we have calculated these enhancements as well as extinction spectra using the discrete dipole approximation for a system consisting of a dimer of gold disks that is made using on-wire lithography. Including surface roughness in the calculations leads to SERS enhancements for the disks whose dependence on disk spacing and thickness is in agreement with experimental measurements, with a maximum enhancement when the thickness of the disk and the disk-disk gap are 100 nm and 32 nm, respectively. These results are in better agreement with experiments than earlier estimates based on flat surfaces.
The emergence of biodiversity standards in the nature conservation literature requires that we consider the interactions between conservation and local practices from a new angle. The coastal forest of Monogaga, a protected area inhabited by a local population, is an ideal terrain for comparing the impact of local agricultural practices and the activities of Sodefor, the government agency charged with the management of this conservation area. The discourses and uses of forest resources of these two actors allow us to compare the biodiversity of forest cover categories recognized by peasant farmers and Sodefor, using the standard statistical methods for measuring biodiversity (the Shannon and Weaver index, species richness, number of special status species).
For Sodefor, it is the most dense forest ecosystems (the ‘black forests’ ) and the lands that they occupy that constitute the area's natural heritage. The agency believes that these forests must be protected from all human uses, especially farming, if the forest is to be transmitted to future generations. In contrast, Wanne farmers view the old forests (kporo) as long-term fallows (teteklwoa) or reserves of fertile land that will be cleared when there is a need for more farmland in the future. For them, patrimony is constituted by the intergenerational transmission of a bundle of resource access and farming rights within lineages.
With regard to biodiversity, a comparison of the two types of resource management practices (Sodefor and farmer) gives nuanced results. The farmers' areas are more diverse than those of Sodefor when considering the Aké Assi threatened species list. For the Sassandrian species list, both management types maintained the same quantity of species. For endemics and the IUCN red list species, the spatial units controlled by Sodefor show more diversity.