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Concept: Ordinary differential equations


Tapping or clapping to an auditory beat, an easy task for most individuals, reveals precise temporal synchronization with auditory patterns such as music, even in the presence of temporal fluctuations. Most models of beat-tracking rely on the theoretical concept of pulse: a perceived regular beat generated by an internal oscillation that forms the foundation of entrainment abilities. Although tapping to the beat is a natural sensorimotor activity for most individuals, not everyone can track an auditory beat. Recently, the case of Mathieu was documented (Phillips-Silver et al. 2011 Neuropsychologia 49, 961-969. (doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.002)). Mathieu presented himself as having difficulty following a beat and exhibited synchronization failures. We examined beat-tracking in normal control participants, Mathieu, and a second beat-deaf individual, who tapped with an auditory metronome in which unpredictable perturbations were introduced to disrupt entrainment. Both beat-deaf cases exhibited failures in error correction in response to the perturbation task while exhibiting normal spontaneous motor tempi (in the absence of an auditory stimulus), supporting a deficit specific to perception-action coupling. A damped harmonic oscillator model was applied to the temporal adaptation responses; the model’s parameters of relaxation time and endogenous frequency accounted for differences between the beat-deaf cases as well as the control group individuals.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Oscillation, Resonance, Normal mode, Harmonic oscillator, Simple harmonic motion, Pendulum, Ordinary differential equations


We study a trial-offer market where consumers may purchase one of two competing products. Consumer preferences are affected by the products quality, their appeal, and their popularity. While the asymptotic convergence or stationary states of these, and related dynamical systems, has been vastly studied, the literature regarding the transitory dynamics remains surprisingly sparse. To fill this gap, we derive a system of Ordinary Differential Equations, which is solved exactly to gain insight into the roles played by product qualities and appeals in the market behavior. We observe a logarithmic tradeoff between quality and appeal for medium and long-term marketing strategies: The expected market shares remain constant if a decrease in quality is followed by an exponential increase in the product appeal. However, for short time horizons, the trade-off is linear. Finally, we study the variability of the dynamics through Monte Carlo simulations and discover that low appeals may result in high levels of variability. The model results suggest effective marketing strategies for short and long time horizons and emphasize the significance of advertising early in the market life to increase sales and predictability.

Concepts: Mathematics, Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo methods in finance, Differential equation, Marketing, Ordinary differential equation, Economics terminology, Ordinary differential equations


The nonlinear vibration behavior of a Tapping mode atomic force microscopy (TM-AFM) microcantilever under acoustic excitation force has been modeled and investigated. In dynamic AFM, the tip-surface interactions are strongly nonlinear, rapidly changing and hysteretic. First, the governing differential equation of motion and boundary conditions for dynamic analysis are obtained using the modified couple stress theory. Afterwards, closed-form expressions for nonlinear frequency and effective nonlinear damping ratio are derived utilizing perturbation method. The effect of tip connection position on the vibration behavior of the microcantilever are also analyzed. The results show that nonlinear frequency is size dependent. According to the results, an increase in the equilibrium separation between the tip and the sample surface reduces the overall effect of van der Waals forces on the nonlinear frequency, but its effect on the effective nonlinear damping ratio is negligible. The results also indicate that both the change in the distance between tip and cantilever free end and the reduction of tip radius have significant effects on the accuracy and sensitivity of the TM-AFM in the measurement of surface forces. The hysteretic behavior has been observed in the near resonance frequency response due to softening and hardening of the forced vibration response.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Force, Classical mechanics, Resonance, Cantilever, Damping, Ordinary differential equations


We consider an ideal gas of active Brownian particles that undergo self-propelled motion and both translational and rotational diffusion under the influence of gravity. We solve analytically the corresponding Smoluchowski equation in two space dimensions for steady states. The resulting one-body density is given as a series, where each term is a product of an orientation-dependent Mathieu function and a height-dependent exponential. A lower hard wall is implemented as a no-flux boundary condition. Numerical evaluation of the suitably truncated analytical solution shows the formation of two different spatial regimes upon increasing Peclet number. These regimes differ in their mean particle orientation and in their variation of the orientation-averaged density with height.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Dimension, Space, Spacetime, Manifold, Real number, Polynomial, Ordinary differential equations


Although the charting of normal intracranial volume (ICV) is fundamental for managing craniosynostosis, Asian norms in this regard are unknown. The purpose of this study was to establish a growth curve for ICVs in a large series of normal Asian children, providing reference values to guide corrective surgery.

Concepts: Management, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Stock market, Growth curve, Ordinary differential equations


Motivated by the propagation of thin bacterial films around planar obstacles, this paper considers the dynamics of travelling wave solutions to the Fisher-KPP equation [Formula: see text] in a planar strip [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]. We examine the propagation of fronts in the presence of a mixed boundary condition (also referred to as a ‘partially absorbing’ or ‘reactive’ boundary) [Formula: see text], with [Formula: see text], at [Formula: see text]. The presence of boundary conditions of this kind leads to the development of front solutions that propagate in x but contain transverse structure in y. Motivated by the observation that the speed of propagation in the Fisher-KPP equation is determined (for exponentially decaying initial conditions) by the behaviour at the leading edge, we analyse the linearised Fisher-KPP equation in order to estimate the speed of the stable travelling front, a function of the width L and the imposed boundary conditions. For wide strips the speed estimate based on the linearised equation agrees well with the results of numerical simulations. For narrow channels numerical simulations indicate that the stable front propagates more slowly, and for sufficiently small L or sufficiently large [Formula: see text] the front speed falls to zero and the front collapses. The reason for the collapse is the non-existence, far behind the front, of a stable positive equilibrium solution u(x, y). While existence of these equilibrium states can be demonstrated via phase plane arguments, the investigation of stability is similar to calculations of critical patch sizes carried out in similar ecological models.

Concepts: Mathematics, Partial differential equations, Equilibrium, Boundary value problem, Boundary conditions, Ordinary differential equations, Initial value problem, Dirichlet boundary condition


In recent years, the nonlinear ultrasonic technique has been widely utilized for detecting fatigue crack, one of the most common forms of damage. However, one of limitations associated with this technique is that nonlinearities can be produced not only by damage but also by various intrinsic effects such as boundary conditions. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the application of a nonlinear ultrasonic subharmonic method for detecting fatigue cracks with nonlinear boundary conditions. The fatigue crack was qualitatively modeled as two elastic, frictionless half spaces that enter into contact during vibration and where the contact obeys the basic Hertz contact law. The nonlinear ordinary differential equation drawn from the developed model was solved with the method of multiple scales. The threshold of subharmonic generation was studied. Different threshold behaviors between the nonlinear boundary condition and the fatigue crack were found that can be used to distinguish the source of nonlinear subharmonic features. To evaluate the proposed method, experiments using an aluminum plate with a fatigue crack were conducted to quantitatively verify the subharmonic resonance range. Two surface-bonded piezoelectric transducers were used to generate and receive ultrasonic wave signals. The experimental results demonstrated that the subharmonic component of the sensing signal could be used to detect the fatigue crack and further to distinguish it from inherent nonlinear boundary conditions.

Concepts: Ultrasound, Differential equation, Sound, Boundary value problem, Boundary conditions, Ordinary differential equation, Ordinary differential equations, Initial value problem


We study the effect of changes in flow speed on competition of an arbitrary number of species living in advective environments, such as streams and rivers. We begin with a spatial Lotka-Volterra model which is described by n reaction-diffusion-advection equations with Danckwerts boundary conditions. Using the dominant eigenvalue [Formula: see text] of the diffusion-advection operator subject to boundary conditions, we reduce the model to a system of ordinary differential equations. We impose a “transitive arrangement” of the competitors in terms of their interspecific coefficients and growth rates, which means that in the absence of advection, we have the following situation: for all [Formula: see text], species i out-competes species j, while species j has higher intrinsic growth rate than species i. Changing advection speed in the original spatial model corresponds to changing the value of [Formula: see text] in the spatially implicit model. Considering the cases of the odd and even n separately, we obtain explicit intervals of the values of [Formula: see text] that allow all n species to be present in the habitat (coexistence interval). Stability of this equilibrium is shown for [Formula: see text].

Concepts: Mathematics, Competition, Lotka–Volterra equation, Differential equation, Partial differential equation, Ordinary differential equation, Ordinary differential equations, Initial value problem


We present a perturbative method for ab initio calculations of rotational and rovibrational effective Hamiltonians of both rigid and non-rigid molecules. Our approach is based on a curvilinear implementation of second order vibrational Møller-Plesset perturbation theory extended to include rotational effects via a second order contact transformation. Though more expensive, this approach is significantly more accurate than standard second order vibrational perturbation theory for systems that are poorly described to zeroth order by rectilinear normal mode harmonic oscillators. We apply this method to and demonstrate its accuracy on two molecules: Si2C, a quasilinear triatomic with significant bending anharmonicity, and CH3NO2, which contains a completely unhindered methyl rotor. In addition to these two examples, we discuss several key technical aspects of the method, including an efficient implementation of Eckart and quasi-Eckart frame embedding that does not rely on numerical finite differences.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Schrödinger equation, Computational chemistry, Ab initio, Oscillation, Normal mode, Harmonic oscillator, Ordinary differential equations


Kramers' turnover theory, based on the dynamics of the collective unstable normal mode (also known as PGH theory), is extended to the motion of a particle on a periodic potential interacting bilinearly with a dissipative harmonic bath. This is achieved by considering the small parameter of the problem to be the deviation of the collective bath mode from its value along the reaction coordinate, defined by the unstable normal mode. With this change, the effective potential along the unstable normal mode remains periodic, albeit with a renormalized mass, or equivalently a renormalized lattice length. Using second order classical perturbation theory, this not only enables the derivation of the hopping rates and the diffusion coefficient, but also the derivation of finite barrier corrections to the theory. The analytical results are tested against numerical simulation data for a simple cosine potential, ohmic friction, and different reduced barrier heights.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Force, Classical mechanics, Mode shape, Normal mode, Mathematical terminology, Singular perturbation, Ordinary differential equations