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Physics, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The measurement in 1947 of the energy difference between the 2s1/2 and 2p1/2 levels of the hydrogen atom, the Lamb shift, began a revolution in modern physics. The ingenious two-page calculation by Bethe included the effects of the quantum vacuum on atomic energy levels and tamed the infinities arising in the computation of the radiative shift, leading to modern quantum electrodynamics. This paper gives the history of this milestone and discusses radiative shifts for two central force systems, the harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom, from a classical and quantum perspective. The Lamb shift is calculated in a fundamental way based on the equations of motion to emphasize the physical processes and develop a simple model to understand the results. For comparison, the radiative shift for a relativistic harmonic oscillator is calculated. View this paper.
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Article
The Effect of Anti-COVID-19 Policies on the Evolution of the Disease: A Complex Network Analysis of the Successful Case of Greece
Physics 2020, 2(2), 325-339; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020017 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2354
Abstract
Within the context of Greece promising a success story in the fight against the disease, this paper proposes a novel method for studying the evolution of the Greek COVID-19 infection curve in relation to the anti-COVID-19 policies applied to control the pandemic. Based [...] Read more.
Within the context of Greece promising a success story in the fight against the disease, this paper proposes a novel method for studying the evolution of the Greek COVID-19 infection curve in relation to the anti-COVID-19 policies applied to control the pandemic. Based on the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the insufficient data for applying classic time-series approaches, the analysis builds on the visibility graph algorithm to study the Greek COVID-19 infection curve as a complex network. By using the modularity optimization algorithm, the generated visibility graph is divided into communities defining periods of different connectivity in the time-series body. These periods reveal a sequence of different typologies in the evolution of the disease, starting with a power pattern, where a second order polynomial (U-shaped) pattern intermediates, being followed by a couple of exponential patterns, and ending up with a current logarithmic pattern revealing that the evolution of the Greek COVID-19 infection curve tends towards saturation. In terms of Gaussian modeling, this successive compression of the COVID-19 infection curve into five parts implies that the pandemic in Greece is about to reach the second (decline) half of the bell-shaped distribution. The network analysis also illustrates stability of hubs and instability of medium and low-degree nodes, implying a low probability of meeting maximum (infection) values in the future and high uncertainty in the variability of other values below the average. The overall approach contributes to the scientific research by proposing a novel method for the structural decomposition of a time-series into periods, which allows removing from the series the disconnected past-data facilitating better forecasting, and provides insights of good policy and decision-making practices and management that may help other countries improve their performance in the war against COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics Methods in Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis)
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Article
Basis and Prospects of Combining Electroadsorption Modeling Approaches for Capacitive Deionization
Physics 2020, 2(2), 309-324; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020016 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Electrically driven adsorption, electroadsorption, is at the core of technologies for water desalination, energy production, and energy storage using electrolytic capacitors. Modeling can be crucial for understanding and optimizing these devices, and hence different approaches have been taken to develop multiple models, which [...] Read more.
Electrically driven adsorption, electroadsorption, is at the core of technologies for water desalination, energy production, and energy storage using electrolytic capacitors. Modeling can be crucial for understanding and optimizing these devices, and hence different approaches have been taken to develop multiple models, which have been applied to explain capacitive deionization (CDI) device performances for water desalination. Herein, we first discuss the underlying physics of electroadsorption and explain the fundamental similarities between the suggested models. Three CDI models, namely, the more widely used modified Donnan (mD) model, the Randles circuit model, and the recently proposed dynamic Langmuir (DL) model, are compared in terms of modeling approaches. Crucially, the common physical foundation of the models allows them to be improved by incorporating elements and simulation tools from the other models. As a proof of concept, the performance of the Randles circuit is significantly improved by incorporating a modeling element from the mD model and an implementation tool from the DL model (charge-dependent capacitance and system identification, respectively). These principles are accurately validated using data from reports in the literature showing significant prospects in combining modeling elements and tools to properly describe the results obtained in these experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Physics)
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Article
Kinetic Freeze-Out Properties from Transverse Momentum Spectra of Pions in High Energy Proton-Proton Collisions
Physics 2020, 2(2), 277-308; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020015 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
Transverse momentum spectra of negative and positive pions produced at mid-(pseudo)rapidity in inelastic or non-single-diffractive proton-proton collisions over a center-of-mass energy, s , range from a few GeV to above 10 TeV are analyzed by the blast-wave fit with Boltzmann (Tsallis) distribution. The [...] Read more.
Transverse momentum spectra of negative and positive pions produced at mid-(pseudo)rapidity in inelastic or non-single-diffractive proton-proton collisions over a center-of-mass energy, s , range from a few GeV to above 10 TeV are analyzed by the blast-wave fit with Boltzmann (Tsallis) distribution. The blast-wave fit results are well fitting to the experimental data measured by several collaborations. In a particular superposition with Hagedorn function, both the excitation functions of kinetic freeze-out temperature ( T 0 ) of emission source and transverse flow velocity ( β T ) of produced particles obtained from a given selection in the blast-wave fit with Boltzmann distribution have a hill at s 10 GeV, a drop at dozens of GeV, and then an increase from dozens of GeV to above 10 TeV. However, both the excitation functions of T 0 and β T obtained in the blast-wave fit with Tsallis distribution do not show such a complex structure, but a very low hill. In another selection for the parameters or in the superposition with the usual step function, T 0 and β T increase generally quickly from a few GeV to about 10 GeV and then slightly at above 10 GeV, there is no such the complex structure, when also studying nucleus-nucleus collisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Statistical Approaches in High Energy Physics)
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Hypothesis
Hypothesis about Enrichment of Solar System
Physics 2020, 2(2), 213-276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020014 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4856
Abstract
Despite significant progress in the understanding of galactic nucleosynthesis and its influence on the solar system neighborhood, challenges remain in the understanding of enrichment of the solar system itself. Based on the detailed review of multi-disciplinary literature, we propose a scenario that an [...] Read more.
Despite significant progress in the understanding of galactic nucleosynthesis and its influence on the solar system neighborhood, challenges remain in the understanding of enrichment of the solar system itself. Based on the detailed review of multi-disciplinary literature, we propose a scenario that an event of nucleogenesis—not nucleosynthesis (from lower nucleon numbers A to higher A) but nuclear-fission (from higher A to lower A)—occurred in the inner part of the solar system at one of the stages of its evolution. We propose a feasible mechanism of implementation of such event. The occurrence of such event could help explain the puzzles in yet-unresolved isotopic abundances, certain meteoritic anomalies, as well as peculiarities in the solar system’s composition and planetary structure. We also discuss experimental data and available results from existing models (in several relevant sub-fields) that provide support and/or appear consistent with the hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Astronomy, Astrophysics and Planetology)
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Article
Covid-19 Predictions Using a Gauss Model, Based on Data from April 2
Physics 2020, 2(2), 197-212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020013 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
We study a Gauss model (GM), a map from time to the bell-shaped Gaussian function to model the deaths per day and country, as a simple, analytically tractable model to make predictions on the coronavirus epidemic. Justified by the sigmoidal nature of a [...] Read more.
We study a Gauss model (GM), a map from time to the bell-shaped Gaussian function to model the deaths per day and country, as a simple, analytically tractable model to make predictions on the coronavirus epidemic. Justified by the sigmoidal nature of a pandemic, i.e., initial exponential spread to eventual saturation, and an agent-based model, we apply the GM to existing data, as of 2 April 2020, from 25 countries during first corona pandemic wave and study the model’s predictions. We find that logarithmic daily fatalities caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are well described by a quadratic function in time. By fitting the data to second order polynomials from a statistical χ 2 -fit with 95% confidence, we are able to obtain the characteristic parameters of the GM, i.e., a width, peak height, and time of peak, for each country separately, with which we extrapolate to future times to make predictions. We provide evidence that this supposedly oversimplifying model might still have predictive power and use it to forecast the further course of the fatalities caused by Covid-19 per country, including peak number of deaths per day, date of peak, and duration within most deaths occur. While our main goal is to present the general idea of the simple modeling process using GMs, we also describe possible estimates for the number of required respiratory machines and the duration left until the number of infected will be significantly reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics Methods in Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis)
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Article
Quantum Hopfield Model
Physics 2020, 2(2), 184-196; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020012 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
We find the free-energy in the thermodynamic limit of a one-dimensional XY model associated to a system of N qubits. The coupling among the σ i z is a long range two-body random interaction. The randomness in the couplings is the typical interaction [...] Read more.
We find the free-energy in the thermodynamic limit of a one-dimensional XY model associated to a system of N qubits. The coupling among the σ i z is a long range two-body random interaction. The randomness in the couplings is the typical interaction of the Hopfield model with p patterns ( p < N ), where the patterns are p sequences of N independent identically distributed random variables (i.i.d.r.v.), assuming values ± 1 with probability 1 / 2 . We show also that in the case p α N , α 0 , the free-energy is asymptotically independent from the choice of the patterns, i.e., it is self-averaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Accelerators and Artificial Intelligence)
Article
A Model Study of a Homogeneous Light-Water Thorium Reactor
Physics 2020, 2(2), 171-183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020011 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 1251
Abstract
This work presents a computational study of a 232 Th -based homogeneous light-water reactor. Thorium reactors have been proposed as an alternative to the uranium fuel cycle since they exploit both the availability of thorium and its ability to afford fissile uranium isotopes [...] Read more.
This work presents a computational study of a 232 Th -based homogeneous light-water reactor. Thorium reactors have been proposed as an alternative to the uranium fuel cycle since they exploit both the availability of thorium and its ability to afford fissile uranium isotopes by a sequence of neutron captures. Besides 233 U , as a result of the neutron captures, a significant amount of 234 U (36.3%) and 6.46% of 235 U are formed in the reactor under study. More importantly, the proposed simulation points out the possibility of a continuous withdrawal of the uranium isotopes without compromising the criticality and the power output of the reactor. This withdrawal affords the fissile material for the startup of reactors other than the first one, which requires a one-time only limited amount of fissile material. The significant molar fraction of the 234 U (0.17) in the extracted fuel does not pose a limitation on weapon proliferation, as a consequence of its high fission cross section for high-energy neutrons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Physics)
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Article
A Gaussian Model for the Time Development of the Sars-Cov-2 Corona Pandemic Disease. Predictions for Germany Made on 30 March 2020
Physics 2020, 2(2), 164-170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020010 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
For Germany, it is predicted that the first wave of the corona pandemic disease reaches its maximum of new infections on 11 April 2020 3.4 + 5.4 days with 90% confidence. With a delay of about 7 days the maximum demand on [...] Read more.
For Germany, it is predicted that the first wave of the corona pandemic disease reaches its maximum of new infections on 11 April 2020 3.4 + 5.4 days with 90% confidence. With a delay of about 7 days the maximum demand on breathing machines in hospitals occurs on 18 April 2020 3.4 + 5.4 days. The first pandemic wave ends in Germany end of May 2020. The predictions are based on the assumption of a Gaussian time evolution well justified by the central limit theorem of statistics. The width and the maximum time and thus the duration of this Gaussian distribution are determined from a statistical χ 2 -fit to the observed doubling times before 28 March 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics Methods in Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis)
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Article
Faraday’s Law and Magnetic Induction: Cause and Effect, Experiment and Theory
Physics 2020, 2(2), 150-163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020009 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1737
Abstract
Faraday’s Law of induction is often stated as “a change in magnetic flux causes an electro-motive force (EMF)”; or, more cautiously, “a change in magnetic flux is associated with an EMF”. It is as well that the more cautious form exists, because the [...] Read more.
Faraday’s Law of induction is often stated as “a change in magnetic flux causes an electro-motive force (EMF)”; or, more cautiously, “a change in magnetic flux is associated with an EMF”. It is as well that the more cautious form exists, because the first “causes” form can be shown to be incompatible with the usual expression V = t Φ , where V is EMF, t is a time derivative, and Φ is the magnetic flux.This is not, however, to deny the causality as reasonably inferred from experimental observation—it is the equation for Faraday’s Law of induction which does not represent the claimed cause-and-effect relationship. Unusually, in this induction scenario, the apparent experimental causality does not match up with that of the mathematical model. Here we investigate a selection of different approaches, trying to see how an explicitly causal mathematical equation, which attempts to encapsulate the experimental ideas of “a change in magnetic flux causes an EMF”, might arise. We see that although it is easy to find mathematical models where changes in magnetic flux or field have an effect on the electric current, the same is not true for the EMF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physics Education)
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Review
History and Some Aspects of the Lamb Shift
Physics 2020, 2(2), 105-149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/physics2020008 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Radiation is a process common to classical and quantum systems with very different effects in each regime. In a quantum system, the interaction of a bound electron with its own radiation field leads to complex shifts in the energy levels of the electron, [...] Read more.
Radiation is a process common to classical and quantum systems with very different effects in each regime. In a quantum system, the interaction of a bound electron with its own radiation field leads to complex shifts in the energy levels of the electron, with the real part of the shift corresponding to a shift in the energy level and the imaginary part to the width of the energy level. The most celebrated radiative shift is the Lamb shift between the 2 s 1 / 2 and the 2 p 1 / 2 levels of the hydrogen atom. The measurement of this shift in 1947 by Willis Lamb Jr. proved that the prediction by Dirac theory that the energy levels were degenerate was incorrect. Hans Bethe’s calculation of the shift showed how to deal with the divergences plaguing the existing theories and led to the understanding that interactions with the zero-point vacuum field, the lowest energy state of the quantized electromagnetic field, have measurable effects, not just resetting the zero of energy. This understanding led to the development of modern quantum electrodynamics (QED). This historical pedagogic paper explores the history of Bethe’s calculation and its significance. It explores radiative effects in classical and quantum systems from different perspectives, with the emphasis on understanding the fundamental physical phenomena. Illustrations are drawn from systems with central forces, the H atom, and the three-dimensional harmonic oscillator. A first-order QED calculation of the complex radiative shift for a spinless electron is explored using the equations of motion and the m a s s 2 operator, describing the fundamental phenomena involved, and relating the results to Feynman diagrams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Quantum Vacuum)
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