Download e-book for iPad: Ada, a life and a legacy by Stein D.

By Stein D.

During this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the various layers of fable to bare a narrative way more dramatic and engaging than prior debts have indicated

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Example text

While it is true that the continuum approach has heretofore proven very effective in fluid mechanics, this does not preclude one from viewing these phenomena as developing networks. For example, the spatial domain over which the organized flow occurs can be divided up into a gridwork of small spatial elements (an act that is now quite commonplace, given the popularity of numerical simulation techniques). Each spatial element becomes a node exchanging matter and energy with its immediate neighbors, thus giving rise to a flow network.

In short, one may use the structure matrices to analyze any direct flow within the system. One must keep in mind, however, that there are linear assumptions implicit in input-output analysis. Because it is possible to estimate the origins and fates of any given flow in a static network, it does not follow that a change in that flow (or its sources and sinks) will be distributed according to the principle of linear superposition. Thus far, attention has been focused on the origins and fates of direct flows.

Matters can be placed in perspective by remembering that the purpose of thermodynamics is phenomenological description and not explanation, so that in this scheme, the forces (explanations) are of distinctly secondary importance. Other disciplines, notably the field of economics, have made reasonable progress in describing the behavior of systems using only flows without explicit mention of eliciting forces. It would appear a useful exercise, then, to review the study of fluxes and the networks they form in the search for suitable objects with which to describe ecosystems level phenomena.

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Ada, a life and a legacy by Stein D.


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