A novel method of reconstructing missing data will shed new light on how and why our climate moved us on from ice ages to warmer periods as researchers will be able to calculate lost information and put together a more complete picture.
Similarly they will be able to tackle ecological studies that are currently incomplete or distorted. Why do populations of animals like rabbits and foxes fluctuate so dramatically? Which factors most heavily influence population decline and, eventually, lead to extinction?
Published in the June issue of New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society) the paper 'Recovering "lost" information in the presence of noise: Application to rodent-predator dynamics' offers a solution to the problem of reconstructing missing or lost information in studies of dynamical systems such as the Earth's climate or animal populations.
It could potentially uncover new findings on topical scientific issues such as climate change and the extreme population fluctuations in some animal species.
By developing a novel Hamiltonian approach to the problem, using a mathematical algorithm, assuming the dynamics of each system has unknown parameters and that the data are distorted by random fluctuations, the researchers from California and Lancaster were able to successfully recreate measurements in a study on a vole-mustelid community.
Many small mammalian species have cyclic population dynamics, periodically oscillating between large and small communities, a behavioral phenomenon which has puzzled ecologists for decades. Reconstructed data on such predator-prey dynamics could now give new insight into why some species suddenly decline.
Climate evolution is subject to similar cyclical variations, which could be uncovered by applying the method to measuring the distribution of isotopes in sediments taken from the ocean floor, potentially giving further insight into the reasons behind climate change.
As the researchers write, "The method will also be applicable quite generally to cases where some state variables could not be recorded." These could include, not only climate change and ecology, but also contexts such as populations at risk from epidemics and rocket motors for new space crew exploration vehicles.
Lena Weber | EurekAlert!
NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
29.05.2017 | University of Strathclyde
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
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29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy