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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Isotope ratios of tooth enamel from ten Early Neolithic individuals buried in a long cairn at Whitwell in central England were measured to determine where they sourced their childhood diet. Five individuals have low Sr concentrations (11–66 ppm) and high 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7164–0.7212). Three individuals have relatively low 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.712–0.711) and Sr concentrations ranging between 54 and 109 ppm. Two individuals have strontium isotope values that bridge the gap between the isotope compositions of these two groups. The high 87Sr/86Sr values are rare in human enamel and exclude sources within the biosphere of central England. Oxygen isotope values are comparable to those found within human archaeological populations buried in temperate regions of Europe. The strontium isotope results should be interpreted in the context of other evidence for migration from northern France to Britain during the Early Neolithic.
Dietary pattern analyses have most commonly used food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) data for large population studies, whilst food diaries (FD) tend to be used with smaller datasets and followed up for shorter terms, restricting the possibility of a direct comparison. Studies comparing dietary patterns derived from two different assessment methods, in relation to diet and disease are limited. The aims of this study are to assess the agreement between dietary patterns derived from FFQ and FDs and to compare the associations between the Mediterranean dietary pattern and the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) dietary pattern in relation to colorectal cancer incidence.
The study population included 2276 healthy middle-aged women – participants of the UK Women's Cohort Study. Energy and nutrient intakes, derived from 4-day FDs and from a 217-item FFQ were compared. A 10 and an 8-component score indicating adherence to the Mediterranean diet and to the 2007 WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations respectively were generated. Agreement was assessed by weighted Kappa statistics and the Bland-Altman method. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for colorectal cancer risk for both the FD and the FFQ patterns, for each score separately.
The Bland-Altman method showed that the FFQ gave a higher energy intake compared to the FD with a bias of -525 kcal (95% CI -556, -493) between the two methods. Agreement was slight for the Mediterranean diet score (Κ = 0.15; 95% CI: 0.14, 0.16) and fair for the WCRF/AICR score (Κ = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.37, 0.39). A total of 173 incident cases of colorectal cancer were documented. In the multi-variable adjusted models, the estimates for an association with colorectal cancer were weak: HR = 0.94 (95% CI: 0.83 to 1.06) for a 1-unit increment in the Mediterranean diet score using FD and HR = 1.01 (95% CI: 0.83 to 1.24) for a 1-unit increment in the WCRF/AICR score using FD. For scores derived from the FFQ, estimates were inverse, but weak (HR = 0.80 (95% CI: 0.90 to 1.00) for a 1-unit increment in the Mediterranean diet score using FFQ and HR = 0.84 (95% CI: 0.67 to 1.05) for a 1-unit increment in the WCRF/AICR score using FFQ.
There is insufficient evidence of an association of colorectal cancer risk with the Mediterranean dietary pattern or with the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations, irrespective of the dietary assessment method in this sample. Further studies with larger sample sizes, using FD for diet assessment are warranted.
The nature of landscape use and residence patterns during the British earlier Neolithic has often been debated. Here we use strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel, from individuals buried at the Hambledon Hill causewayed enclosure monument complex in Dorset, England to evaluate patterns of landscape use during the earlier Neolithic. Previous analysis suggests that a significant proportion of the artefacts found at the site may originate from lithology of Eocene and Upper to Middle Jurassic age that the enclosures overlook to the immediate west and south. The excavators therefore argued that the sector of landscape visible from Hambledon Hill provides an approximate index for the catchment occupied by the communities that it served. Most of the burial population exhibit isotope ratios that could be consistent with this argument. Connections between Hambledon Hill and regions much further afield are also hypothesised, based on the presence of artefacts within the assemblage that could have been sourced from lithology in Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall in south-west England. However, few of the sampled individuals have strontium isotope ratios consistent with having obtained the majority of their diet from such areas during childhood. The individuals who exhibit the highest strontium isotope ratios are all adult males, whom the excavators suggest to have died during one or more episodes of conflict, following the burning and destruction of surrounding defensive outworks built during the 36th century bc. At least one of these individuals, who was found with an arrowhead amongst his ribs, did not obtain his childhood diet locally and has 87Sr/86Sr values that could be comparable to those bioavailable in the south-west peninsula.
Operational risk events in banks include extreme events with significant losses being incurred and with substantial impact on share prices. A pooling arrangement between banks that would be able to reduce overall costs and reduce share price impacts would seem desirable, but one of the major inhibiting factors to establish the feasibility of such a pooling arrangement is that statistical models of these extreme events are difficult to build with any reliability. This paper uses both quantitative and qualitative analysis of operational risk losses for EU and US banks over the period 2008–2014 to establish the feasibility of creating a pooling arrangement between the banks and concludes that such an arrangement might be feasible but would require compulsory membership of the pool and capping of losses.
Heavy-tailed distributions have been observed for various financial risks and papers have observed that these heavy-tailed distributions are power law distributions. The breakdown of a power law distribution is also seen as an indicator of a tipping point being reached and a system then moves from stability through instability to a new equilibrium. In this paper, we analyse the distribution of operational risk losses in US banks, credit defaults in US corporates and market risk events in the US during the global financial crisis (GFC). We conclude that market risk and credit risk do not follow a power law distribution, and even though operational risk follows a power law distribution, there is a better distribution fit for operational risk. We also conclude that whilst there is evidence that credit defaults and market risks did reach a tipping point, operational risk losses did not. We conclude that the government intervention in the banking system during the GFC was a possible cause of banks avoiding a tipping point.
Evidence on adherence to diet-related cancer prevention guidelines and associations with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk is limited and conflicting. The aim of this cohort analysis is to evaluate associations between adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute of Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) 2007 recommendations and incident CRC. The UK Women’s Cohort Study comprises over 35 372 women who filled in a FFQ at baseline in 1995. They were followed up for CRC incidence for a median of 17·4 years, an individual score linking adherence to eight of the WCRF/AICR recommendations was constructed. Cox proportional hazards regression provided hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the estimation of CRC risk, adjusting for confounders. Following exclusions, 444 CRC cases were identified. In the multivariate-adjusted model, women within the second and third (highest) categories of the WRCF/AICR score had HR of 0·79 (95 % CI 0·62, 1·00) and 0·73 (95 % CI 0·48, 1·10), respectively, for CRC compared with those in the lowest, reference category. The overall linear trend across the categories was not significant (P=0·17). No significant associations were observed between the WCRF/AICR score and proximal colon, distal colon and rectal cancers separately. Of the individual score components, a BMI within the normal weight range was borderline significantly protective only for rectal cancer in the fully adjusted model. In view of the likely different causes of CRC subtypes, further research is needed to identify the optimal dietary patterns associated with reducing colon and rectal cancer risk, respectively.
Geochemical and related studies have been made of near-surface sediments from the River Clyde estuary and adjoining areas, extending from Glasgow to the N, and W as far as the Holy Loch on the W coast of Scotland, UK. Multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar and shallow seismic data, taken with core information, indicate that a shallow layer of modern sediment, often less than a metre thick, rests on earlier glacial and post-glacial sediments. The offshore Quaternary history can be aligned with onshore sequences, with the recognition of buried drumlins, settlement of muds from quieter water, probably behind an ice dam, and later tidal delta deposits. The geochemistry of contaminants within the cores also indicates shallow contaminated sediments, often resting on pristine pre-industrial deposits at depths less than 1m. The distribution of different contaminants with depth in the sediment, such as Pb (and Pb isotopes), organics and radionuclides, allow chronologies of contamination from different sources to be suggested. Dating was also attempted using microfossils, radiocarbon and 210Pb, but with limited success. Some of the spatial distribution of contaminants in the surface sediments can be related to grain-size variations. Contaminants are highest, both in absolute terms and in enrichment relative to the natural background, in the urban and inner estuary and in the Holy Loch, reflecting the concentration of industrial activity.
This paper explores the characteristics of 2,141 operational risk events amongst European (EU) and US banks over the period 2008–2014. We have analysed the operational risk events using a method originating in biology for the study of interrelatedness of characteristics in a complex adaptive system. The methodology, called cladistics, provides insights into the relationships between characteristics of operational risk events in banks that is not available from the traditional statistical analysis. We have used cladistics to explore if there are consistent patterns of operational risk characteristics across banks in single and different geographic zones. One significant pattern emerged which indicates there are key, stable characteristics across both geographic zones and across banks in each zone. The results identify the characteristics that could then be managed by the banks to reduce operational risk losses. We also have analysed separately the characteristics of operational risk events for “big” banks and extreme events and these results indicate that big banks and small banks have similar key operational risk characteristics, but the characteristics of extreme operational risk events are different to those for the non-extreme events.
Supraglacial ponds play a key role in absorbing atmospheric energy and directing it to the ice of debris-covered glaciers, but the spatial and temporal distribution of these features is not well documented. We analyse 172 Landsat TM/ETM+ scenes for the period 1999–2013 to identify thawed supraglacial ponds for the debris-covered tongues of five glaciers in the Langtang Valley of Nepal. We apply an advanced atmospheric correction routine (Landcor/6S) and use band ratio and image morphological techniques to identify ponds and validate our results with 2.5 m Cartosat-1 observations. We then characterize the spatial, seasonal and interannual patterns of ponds. We find high variability in pond incidence between glaciers (May–October means of 0.08–1.69% of debris area), with ponds most frequent in zones of low surface gradient and velocity. The ponds show pronounced seasonality, appearing in the pre-monsoon as snow melts, peaking at the monsoon onset at 2% of debris-covered area, then declining in the post-monsoon as ponds drain or freeze. Ponds are highly recurrent and persistent, with 40.5% of pond locations occurring for multiple years. Rather than a trend in pond cover over the study period, we find high interannual variability for each glacier after controlling for seasonality.
The appearance of the distinctive ‘Beaker package’ marks an important horizon in British prehistory, but was it associated with immigrants to Britain or with indigenous converts? Analysis of the skeletal remains of 264 individuals from the British Chalcolithic–Early Bronze Age is revealing new information about the diet, migration and mobility of those buried with Beaker pottery and related material. Results indicate a considerable degree of mobility between childhood and death, but mostly within Britain rather than from Europe. Both migration and emulation appear to have had an important role in the adoption and spread of the Beaker package.
Supraglacial ponds on debris-covered glaciers present a mechanism of atmosphere/glacier energy transfer that is poorly studied, and only conceptually included in mass-balance studies of debris-covered glaciers. This research advances previous efforts to develop a model of mass and energy balance for supraglacial ponds by applying a free-convection approach to account for energy exchanges at the subaqueous bare-ice surfaces. We develop the model using field data from a pond on Lirung Glacier, Nepal, that was monitored during the 2013 and 2014 monsoon periods. Sensitivity testing is performed for several key parameters, and alternative melt algorithms are compared with the model. The pond acts as a significant recipient of energy for the glacier system, and actively participates in the glacier’s hydrologic system during the monsoon. Melt rates are 2-4 cm d-1 (total of 98.5 m3 over the study period) for bare ice in contact with the pond, and <1 mmd-1 (total of 10.6m3) for the saturated debris zone. The majority of absorbed atmospheric energy leaves the pond system through englacial conduits, delivering sufficient energy to melt 2612 m3 additional ice over the study period (38.4 m3 d-1). Such melting might be expected to lead to subsidence of the glacier surface. Supraglacial ponds efficiently convey atmospheric energy to the glacier’s interior and rapidly promote the downwasting process.
We have successfully developed a Seebeck coefficient Standard Reference Material (SRM™), Bi2Te3, that is essential for interlaboratory data comparison and for instrument calibration. Certification measurements were performed using a differential steady-state technique on 10 samples (15 measurements) randomly selected from a batch of 390 bars. The certified Seebeck coefficient values are provided from 10 to 390 K, and they are further supported by transient measurements. The availability of this SRM will validate measurement results, leading to a better understanding of the structure/property relationships and underlying physics of potential high-efficiency thermoelectric materials.
Prompted by renewed interest in the crystalline oxides-on-semiconductors interface, periodic density functional theory and atomistic simulation techniques are used to examine the formation of a layer of CaO on a BaO substrate. We examine how CaO islands which form at coverages less than 100% adjust to the substrate in which the cation-anion separation is substantially larger than in CaO itself. All Ca-O bond lengths in the island are shorter than that in bulk CaO. Corner O atoms in the islands are associated with particularly short Ca-O bond lengths, and the shape of the islands is dominated by (100) edges. Once formed, islands with intact edges will remain intact. Interactions between islands at larger coverages are also investigated and we see the formation of characteristic elliptical gaps and loops.
This paper describes CLIME, a web-based legal advisory system with a multilingual natural language interface. CLIME is a ‘proof-of-concept’ system which answers queries relating to ship-building and ship-operating regulations. Its core knowledge source is a set of such regulations encoded as a conceptual domain model and a set of formalised legal inference rules. The system supports retrieval of regulations via the conceptual model, and assessment of the legality of a situation or activity on a ship according to the legal inference rules. The focus of this paper is on the natural language aspects of the system, which help the user to construct semantically complex queries using WYSIWYM technology, allow the system to produce extended and cohesive responses and explanations, and support the whole interaction through a hybrid synchronous/asynchronous dialogue structure. Multilinguality (English and French) is viewed simply as interface localisation: the core representations are language-neutral, and the system can present extended or local interactions in either language at any time. The development of CLIME featured a high degree of client involvement, and the specification, implementation and evaluation of natural language components in this context are also discussed.
Stonehenge is the icon of British prehistory, and continues to inspire ingenious investigations and interpretations. A current campaign of research, being waged by probably the strongest archaeological team ever assembled, is focused not just on the monument, but on its landscape, its hinterland and the monuments within it. The campaign is still in progress, but the story so far is well worth reporting. Revisiting records of 100 years ago the authors demonstrate that the ambiguous dating of the trilithons, the grand centrepiece of Stonehenge, was based on samples taken from the wrong context, and can now be settled at 2600-2400 cal BC. This means that the trilithons are contemporary with Durrington Walls, near neighbour and Britain's largest henge monument. These two monuments, different but complementary, now predate the earliest Beaker burials in Britain – including the famous Amesbury Archer and Boscombe Bowmen, but may already have been receiving Beaker pottery. All this contributes to a new vision of massive monumental development in a period of high European intellectual mobility….