1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although both search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by
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1.3.1 The vertical ‘structure’ of the atmosphere

The atmosphere is not a simple, uniform slab of absorbing material. On the contrary, it gets progressively ‘thinner’ or less dense with increasing altitude (height above mean sea level); i.e. the total number of molecules in a given volume of air is lower, and so is the pressure. About 80% of the total mass of the atmosphere is within some 10 km of the surface; 99.9% lies below 50 km.

The important corollary is that the key greenhouse gas molecules (H2O and CO
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1.2.6 Defining global markets

Global markets for manufactured goods, as opposed to, say, primary commodities such as oil and timber, arose largely in the second half of the twentieth century as trade between countries intensified. The lowering of transport costs and the relative fall in trade barriers enabled firms in one country to compete with a domestic rival in another. The supply of manufactured goods across the globe as a result of worldwide demand, principally from the affluent economies, thus heightened competitio
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1.1.2 Activity 1

You have already glanced at Figure 1 and some of the worki
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6.6.2 The World Energy Council scenarios

What are the possibilities for radical changes in our energy systems when viewed from a world perspective? There have been numerous studies of the various future options for the world's energy systems. One of the most recent and most comprehensive was produced in 1998 by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the World Energy Council (WEC), a version of which was published in 2000 as part of the United Nations’ World Energy Assessment (United Nations Dev
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References

Blackmore, R. and Reddish, A. (eds.) (1996) Global Environmental Issues, Hodder & Stoughton in association with the Open University.
Blowers, A. (ed.) (1993) Planning for a Sustainable Environment, A report by the Town and Country Planning Association, London: Earthscan.
Brezet, J.C. and Van Hemel, C. (eds) (1997) Ecodesign, a promising approach to sustainable produc
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Learning outcomes

When you have completed this unit you should have:

  • developed an awareness of different ways in which our use of technology can affect the environment

  • developed your own skills in reading and interpreting texts and diagrams containing some technical descriptions


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6.4 International retributive justice

A further difference between communitarians and cosmopolitans arises over the question of retributive justice. Communitarians think that it is the responsibility of each state to uphold justice. Collectively, states can pursue international justice through the auspices of the UN, and are answerable to each other, to public opinion and to NGOs. However, there is no basis for claims to universal jurisdiction, and to deal with matters not found in specific states (such as piracy), or that cross
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2.2 Climate change in a globalised world

As you will recall from Reading 1A, the people of Tuvalu are now arguing that larger and more affluent nations should take responsibility for the climatic changes threatening their country. As Paani Laupepa from the Tuvalu environment ministry put it: ‘We are on the front line … through no fault of our own. The industrialised countries caused the problem, but we are suffering the consequences’ (Lynas, 2003). Before we look more closely at this charge, and the scientific evidence that is
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2.1 Issues of responsibility

The aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami saw an unprecedented aid effort to assist the affected regions. In the early days after the disaster, pledges of financial assistance from overseas governments were often outstripped by the generosity of their own populaces. This was a case when ordinary people around the world saw and were moved by the tragic circumstances of others far away (Rose, 2006), and they responded with gifts of money and provisions, and even with offers of their own sk
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4.3 Thermally activated processes

Thermally activated processes are those that get going not because of average effects, but because the fraction of particles in the tail of the distribution increases with temperature. This is a basic property of the thermal distribution we have been discussing. For instance, what would take 30 000 years at room temperature may happen in under one second at 1000 K if it depends on how many particles have an energy in excess of 1 eV.

The next step in the study of energy distribu
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4.2.1 Quantifying thermal energy

Thermal energy is associated with random motion – that is, in effect, a definition. Because it is random, it only makes sense to talk about it in connection with a large population of atoms. I began with fifty million million million silicon atoms – that should be enough. If whatever motion they have is random, some may have lots of it, others very little. With such a large population it is reasonable to try to think about an average motion or, better, to define an average energy of the p
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2.9 Conclusions

This reading has addressed four questions: what characterises a group, what characterises a team, how project teams are organised and what can make teams ineffective. Groups can be formal or informal depending on the circumstances. Work groups or teams are generally more focused on particular tasks and outcomes, and use processes that aim to achieve a unity of purpose, communication and action. I looked at six major types of team: functional, project, matrix, contract, self-managing and self-
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2.3.6 ‘Horses for courses’

Different team structures have different advantages and disadvantages. A structure may fit a particular task in one organisation better than another. On the next page, Table 1 sets out the strengths and weaknesses of different team structures.

Table 1 Strengths and weaknesses of different structures for project teams


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2.3.5 Mixed structures

Teams often have mixed structures:

  • some members may be employed to work full time on the project and be fully responsible to the project manager. Project managers themselves are usually employed full time.

  • others may work part time, and be responsible to the project manager only during their time on the project. For example, internal staff may well work on several projects at the same time. Alternatively, an external consultant workin
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2.3.4 The contract team

The contract team is brought in from outside in order to do the project work. Here, the responsibility to deliver the project rests very firmly with the project manager. The client will find such a team harder to control directly. On the other hand, it is the client who will judge the success of the project, so the project manager has to keep an eye constantly on the physical outcomes of the project. A variant of this is the so-called ‘outsourced supply team’, which simply means that the
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6.1 A fresh approach?

Polymeric materials offer substantial benefits over conventional materials in terms of their low density, relative freedom from corrosion, transparency or translucency, and a range of physical properties which cannot be achieved with metals, glasses or ceramics. Such unique properties include low coefficients of friction (e.g. PTFE), resistance to extreme environments (e.g. PTFE, silicones) as well as the ability to absorb and modulate damaging vibrations (e.g. most rubbery polymers). It is t
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4.5.2 Commercial copolymers

The main reason for copolymerizing different monomers is to adjust the physical properties of a given homopolymer to meet a specific demand. SBR elastomer, for example (Table 1), based on 24 wt% styrene monomer shows better mechanical properties and better resistance to degradation than polybutadiene alone. By increasing the s
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3.10 Systems techniques

The two systems methodologies provide a framework for the application of problem solving, analysis and design techniques. These fall into three groups.

  • Diagramming: ranging from single systems maps to complex flow charts. Diagrams of one sort or another provide a method of analysis, design and communication.

  • Modelling: simulation is used extensively to analyse the dynamics of an existing system and to predict the behaviour of a propos
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7.3.6 Laser ablation deposition

Another close cousin to sputter deposition is laser ablation deposition. Ion bombardment of the target is replaced by a focused pulse of light from an ultraviolet laser. Although each pulse may carry only 1 J of energy, this is delivered within 1 ns to a 1 mm spot on the target surface. This represents an astonishing power density and the target surface explodes into vapour that can be caught on the waiting wafer surface. It is vital to scan the focus point across the target surface or you wi
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