6 Population growth

Earlier it was stated that three factors check population growth. These are predation, disease and insufficient food supply. For much of our history, our ancestors’ numbers were indeed limited by wars, disease and famine. The world population remained relatively stable until around 300 years ago. Then at the beginning of the 19th century (100 years after population growth started its geometric increase), the demographer Thomas Malthus predicted that population growth would outstrip food pro
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4 4 Renewable energy sources

Fossil and nuclear fuels are often described as non-renewable because supplies are finite and will eventually run out. Renewable fuels are those energy sources that will not run out in the future.

Most renewable energy sources originate from the sun (solar energy), while tidal energy originates from the gravitational pull of the moon, and geothermal energy results from heat trapped below the surface of our planet.

Solar energy can be used directl
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Conclusion

In this Introduction we have explored the development of technology from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day. At the same time we have traced the increasing impact our industrial societies have had on our environment, and the role that science and technology has played in this. We have explored some major global environmental issues, in particular our dependence on the exploitation of fossil fuels, and have outlined some of the fundamental constraints on the abili
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6.4.4 Environmental limits

There are many different definitions of what sustainable development means; you were given one in Section 5.3, and how this should guide policy. The underpinning concepts are: equity for human development, and limits on the capacity of the environment. The idea of environmental limits on the ability of the Earth's biophysical systems to cope with and adapt to pressures from human activity, whether from demand for natural resources, the waste products of modern economies, or from habitat modif
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Acknowledgements

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The material acknowledged below is contained in: Ordering the International: History, Change and Transformation (eds William B
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References

Beetham, D. (1999) Democracy and Human Rights, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Brown, C. (2001) ‘Human rights’ in Baylis, J. and Smith, S. (eds) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Caney, S.(2001) ‘International distributive justice’ Political Studies, vol. 49, pp. 974–97.
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this block:

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6.3.1 Prototyping

The first prototypes may be made of any convenient material, such as clay, plaster-of-Paris or wood. Plastic models can also be made by fabrication or vacuum forming of thin sheet. Their primary function is to ensure that the product has ‘customer appeal’ when considered in aesthetic or ergonomic terms. This is particularly important for products which are to be consumer durables. It may be the first time in the design process that the concept sketches and initial engineering drawings are
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4.2 Chain and step growth

There are two basic ways of making chains. The first is to activate a small number of monomer units M which then successively consume other monomers. This mechanism is known as chain growth and is shown schematically in Figure 36 (a), where a monomer unit is activated by initiator I and forms a chain very quickly. After 7
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5.3 The systems engineering methodology used in the course

The aim of systems engineering is to achieve a solution that is effective and sustainable through its life cycle, together with the associated processes and facilities needed to realise the system and introduce it into the real world. Therefore it is important that systems engineering is itself conducted in full consideration of the following five systems:

  • the technology development system that provides new or modified technology for the other systems
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1.7 Increasing complication, complexity and risk: a spectrum of systems intractability

Summarising the discussion in the previous two sections, Figure 12 shows what might be termed ‘a spectrum of systems intractability’. At one end of the scale are simple systems. These are easily understandable and their design and development (relatively) unproblematic. The way in which
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2.3 Attenuation

Activity 2

At approximately what wavelength is the attenuation of optical fibre lowest? What, approximately, is the attenuation at that wavelength? What other wavelengths are used and why?


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1.1 Uses of optical fibre in communication

Using optical fibres, very high data rates (gigabits per second and higher) can be transmitted over long distances (tens of kilometres) without amplifiers or regenerators. As a consequence, optical fibre has completely superseded copper wires as the primary medium for cabled transmission over long distances. Until recently, however, optical fibre has been used less in LANs, where twisted-pair copper cable has been dominant. Similarly, fibre has been slow to penetrate the access network, from
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Activity answers

Study Note: As outlined in the text I have not provided answers to all Activities. This is for two reasons:

  1. For some activities only you can devise the answer and any I gave would be distracting or unhelpful.

  2. For others in-text answers are given.


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Acknowledgements

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Unit development

This unit has been create
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3.4 Managing across interfaces

Increasingly, operations management is seen as an interface discipline (Voss, 1995). Managing across interfaces, both internal and external to the organisation, is a particular challenge for managers and this is discussed further in this section.

Information and communications technology is an important means of linking across the various interfaces. Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

This unit is adapted from the Open University course Business operations: delivering value (T883_1), which is about the essence of any enterprise – that core set of processes needed to convert various resources (such as materials, money and the effort of people) into outputs (such as manufactured goods and/or delivered services) that provide value to customers and other stakeholders. T
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Introduction

This unit looks at the ways in which technology has influenced the music industry and how this has changed the way we listen to music and buy records. It is a brief history of the recording industry from its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century. Step changes in technology will be highlighted in a story that often is as much about the people who built the industry and the recordings they made as about the technologies that were developed and used.

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Learning outcomes

After you have completed this unit you should be able to:

  • describe and give examples of how self-assembly enables construction ‘from the bottom up’ in natural materials;

  • explain what is meant by primary and higher-order structure in proteins and give examples;

  • give examples of the range of functions carried out by proteins within cells;

  • describe how a combination of strong and weak bonding within biopolymers and lipids is used to
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4.2 Frequency, wavelength and the speed of sound

The speed of sound has a joint relationship with both the wavelength and the frequency of the sound. To see why, recall that at the end of Section 2.5, in connection with the wave produced by a tuning fork, I said ‘in the time it has taken for the source to go through one cycle of oscillation, the wave h
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