Ant colonies regulate activity in response to changing conditions without using centralized control. Harvester ant colonies forage in the desert for seeds, and their regulation of foraging manages a tradeoff between spending and obtaining water. Foragers lose water while outside in the dry air, but the colony obtains water by metabolizing the fats in the seeds they eat. Previous work shows that the rate at which an outgoing forager leaves the nest depends on its recent experience of brief antennal contact with returning foragers that carry a seed. We examine how this process can yield foraging rates that are robust to uncertainty and responsive to temperature and humidity across minutes to hour-long timescales. To explore possible mechanisms, we develop a low-dimensional analytical model with a small number of parameters that captures observed foraging behavior. The model uses excitability dynamics to represent response to interactions inside the nest and a random delay distribution to represent foraging time outside the nest. We show how feedback of outgoing foragers returning to the nest stabilizes the incoming and outgoing foraging rates to a common value determined by the ``volatility’’ of available foragers. The model exhibits a critical volatility above which there is sustained foraging at a constant rate and below which there is cessation of foraging. To explain how the foraging rates of colonies adjust to temperature and humidity, we propose a mechanism that relies on foragers modifying their volatility after they leave the nest and get exposed to the environment. Our study highlights the importance of feedback in the regulation of foraging activity and points to modulation of volatility as a key to explaining differences in foraging activity in response to conditions and across colonies. Our results present opportunities for generalization to other contexts and systems with excitability and feedback across multiple timescales.
We measure the coherent Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering (CRBS) signal integral as a function of the recorded gas pressure in He, Co2, SF6, and air, and we confirm the already established quadratic dependence of the signal on the gas density. We propose the use of CRBS as an effective diagnostic for the remote measurement of gas’ density (pressure) and temperature, as well as polarizability, for gases of known composition.
Heating magnetically confined plasmas using waves in the ion-cyclotron range of frequencies typically requires coupling these waves over a steep density gradient. This process has produced an unexpected and deleterious phenomenon on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX): a prompt loss of wave power along magnetic field lines in front of the antenna to the divertor. Understanding this loss may be key to achieving effective heating and expanding the operational space of NSTX-Upgrade. Here, we propose that a new type of mode, which conducts a significant fraction of the total wave power in the low-density peripheral plasma, is driving these losses. We demonstrate the existence of such modes, which are distinct from surface modes and coaxial modes, in a cylindrical cold-plasma model when a half wavelength structure fits into the region outside the core plasma. The latter condition generalizes the previous hypothesis regarding the occurence of the edge losses and may explain why full-wave simulations predict these losses in some cases but not others. If valid, this condition implies that outer gap control is a potential strategy for mitigating the losses in NSTX-Upgrade in addition to raising the magnetic field or influencing the edge density.
The National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) will advance the physics basis required for achieving steady-state, high-beta, and high-confinement conditions in a tokamak by accessing high toroidal field (1 T) and plasma current (1.0 - 2.0 MA) in a low aspect ratio geometry (A = 1.6 - 1.8) with flexible auxiliary heating systems (12 MW NBI, 6 MW HHFW). This paper describes progress in the development of L- and H-mode discharge scenarios and the commissioning of operational tools in the first ten weeks of operation that enable the scientific mission of NSTX-U. Vacuum field calculations completed prior to operations supported the rapid development and optimization of inductive breakdown at different values of ohmic solenoid current. The toroidal magnetic field (B_T0 = 0.65 T) exceeded the maximum values achieved on NSTX and novel long-pulse L-mode discharges with regular sawtooth activity exceeded the longest pulses produced on NSTX (tpulse > 1.8s). The increased flux of the central solenoid facilitated the development of stationary L-mode discharges over a range of density and plasma current (Ip). H-mode discharges achieved similar levels of stored energy, confinement (H98y,2 > 1) and stability (beta_N/beta_N-nowall > 1) compared to NSTX discharges for Ip < 1 MA. High-performance H-mode scenarios require an L-H transition early in the Ip ramp-up phase in order to obtain low internal inductance (li) throughout the discharge, which is conducive to maintaining vertical stability at high elongation (kappa > 2.2) and achieving long periods of MHD quiescent operations. The rapid progress in developing L- and H-mode scenarios in support of the scientific program was enabled by advances in real-time plasma control, efficient error field identification and correction, effective conditioning of the graphite wall and excellent diagnostic availability.
The WallDYN package has recently been applied to a number of tokamaks to self-consistently model
the evolution of mixed-material plasma facing surfaces. A key component of the WallDYN model is the
concentration-dependent surface sputtering rate, calculated using SDTRIM.SP. This modeled sputtering
rate is strongly influenced by the surface binding energies (SBEs) of the constituent materials, which
are well known for pure elements but often are poorly constrained for mixed-materials. This work examines
the sensitivity of WallDYN surface evolution calculations to different models for mixed-material
SBEs, focusing on the carbon/lithium/oxygen/deuterium system present in NSTX. A realistic plasma background is reconstructed from a high density, H-mode NSTX discharge, featuring an attached outer strike
point with local density and temperature of 4e20 m^-3 and 4 eV, respectively. It is found that various
mixed-material SBE models lead to significant qualitative and quantitative changes in the surface evolution
profile at the outer divertor, with the highest leverage parameter being the C-Li binding model.
Uncertainties of order 50%, appearing on time scales relevant to tokamak experiments, highlight the importance of choosing an appropriate mixed-material sputtering representation when modeling the surface
evolution of plasma facing components. These results are generalized to other fusion-relevant materials
with different ranges of SBEs.
This dataset includes information about approximately 6,000 books and other items with bibliographic data as well as summary information about when the item circulated in the Shakespeare and Company lending library and the number of times an item was borrowed or purchased.