From Clubs and Spears to the Invisible Cloak, the Role of Technology in Weaponry Looking at the historical development, usage and technology related to weapons from 3.5 billions years ago till present. **************************************************
Week 1, Nature, the maestro..(3.5 billions years to a few millions years) Week 2, Pre-historic and Ancient (Up to 500 AD) Week 3, Medieval to WW I (500 AD to 1914) Week 4, WW I (1914 to 1918) Week 5, WW II (1939 to 1945)
Week 6, Post war, Present, Future.. (1945 to present and future) Last weeks business Question of the week In 2003 Congress officially renamed
the menu item in Congressional cafeterias in response to France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. What was the new name for French Fries?
And the winner is.. Week 5, WW II (1939 to 1945)
How to get copy of the course. 1 Bringing Flash Drive next week 2 thru dropbox Flash Drive
4 gig for all the lessons 8 gig for extra stuff (goulash!) Dropbox
If you already have an account, you can login and download. If you like to get an account, please e-mail me. If you dont want to open an account, Ill give you my user and
pass. Recommended site http://www.atomicheritage.org/
WW2 firsts The deadliest and some believe the most important device, the atomic bomb. Nuclear Fission
Interesting facts about Manhattan Project Cost of the Manhattan Project (through August 1945): $20,000,000,000. Box 1663, Santa Fe, NM was the "blind" address used for all correspondence to and from Los
Alamos. The actual name Los Alamos was prohibited from showing up on any letters or parcels - coming or going! The address shown on the birth certificates of the children born at the Los Alamos Engineers
Hospital during the war years indicated a simple "Box 1663". Interesting facts about Manhattan Project More than 140,000 civilians, all passing rigorous background checks, worked at
various locations on the Manhattan Project. No formal record exists of their participation, let alone what they did. no more than a dozen men in the entire country knew the full meaning of the Manhattan Project.
In Japan, the Committee on Research in the Application of Nuclear Physics concluded in 1943 that while an atomic bomb was, in principle, feasible, "it would probably be difficult even for the United States to realize
the application of atomic power during the war". This caused the Navy to lose interest and to concentrate instead on research into radar. Question of the week
True or False? The Exploratorium is the creation of Oppenheimer, the same person who was the director of Manhattan project.
Prize The Chicago Pile was built under the abandoned west stands of the stadium, at the University of Chicago.
Fermi himself described the apparatus as "a crude pile of black bricks and wooden timbers.
Nuclear Reactor Fission Chain Reaction A critical mass is the smallest amount of
fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. The half-life, is the time taken for the activity of a given amount of a radioactive substance to decay to half of its initial value
U-235 Critical mass = 15 Kg. Half life = 159,200 Y Pu-239
Critical mass = 10 Kg. Half life = 24,110 Y Unlike most reactors that have been built since, this first one had no radiation shielding and no cooling system of any kind.
Fermi had convinced everyone that his calculations were reliable enough to rule out a runaway chain reaction or an explosion. As the official historians of the Atomic Energy Commission later noted, the "gamble" remained in conducting "a possibly
catastrophic experiment in one of the most densely populated areas of the nation!" During the peak years of its operation, the Clinton Engineer Works (later known as Oak Ridge) consumed 1/7 of the total
electrical output of the United States. Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device. 20 kilotons of TNT. The official technical report on the
history of the Trinity test was not released until May 1976. It left a crater of radioactive glass in the desert 10 feet (3 m) deep and 1,100 feet (330 m) wide.
Trinitite The name given to the radioactive glass substance formed from super-heated sand in the blast crater during the Trinity Test. The Hiroshima bomb
Little Boy (using uranium-235) 16 kilotons of TNT 600 to 860 milligrams of matter in the bomb was converted into the active energy. Gun Method was used.
The Nagasaki bomb Fat Man (using plutonium-239) The original target for the bomb was the city of Kokura, but obscuring clouds necessitated changing course to the alternative target, Nagasaki.
21 kilotons of TNT. Some of the most important devices were not a weapon: Radar
Proximity switches Radar A means of detecting and tracking distant objects by transmitting waves and then measuring the reflections.
Radar in World War II was used to track attacking bombers, for airplane-toairplane combat, to guide bombers to their targets, to direct gunfire, even to follow mortar shells back to their sources.
Radar RAdio Detection And Ranging Radar is an object detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects.
Radar was secretly developed by several nations before and during World War II. By the time of the Battle of Britain in mid1940, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had incorporated RDF ( Range and Direction Finding)stations as vital
elements in Britain's air defense capabilities. In February 1940, researchers in Great Britain developed the resonant-cavity magnetron, capable of producing microwave power in the kilowatt range, opening the path to secondgeneration radar systems.
Today every house has one! In the microwave oven. Proximity Fuse Considered to be one the most important
inventions effecting WWII outcome. One of the first practical proximity fuzes was codenamed the VT fuse, an acronym of "Variable Time fuse", as deliberate camouflage for its operating principle.
It was said, that shooting down an aircraft at night was like shooting a fly in a darkened room with a pea shooter''. The concept in the context of
artillery shells originated in the UK with British researchers. It was developed under the direction of physicist Merle A. Tuve at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
How does it work? Jet Fighter A military fighter airplane that is powered by turbines, rather than
propellers. Jet engines (Turbo Engine) create forward thrust by taking in a large amount of air and discharging it as a high-speed
jet of gas. Turbo Engine Turbo
In a jet engine, these four actions all happen simultaneously. The exhaust phase provides the thrust that moves the engine (and the airplane) forward.
The jet engine does not require valves, pistons and dozens of other moving parts to control and change the movement of the air within the machine. As long as there is air flowing
through the engine, and fuel to burn, it keeps running. Gas turbine engines have a great power-to-weight ratio Gas turbine engines are smaller
The main disadvantage of gas turbines is that they are expensive. Because they spin at such high speeds and because of the high operating temperatures,
designing and manufacturing gas turbines is a tough problem from both the engineering and materials standpoint. Gas turbines also tend to use more fuel when they are idling, and they prefer a constant rather than a fluctuating load.
That makes gas turbines great for things like transcontinental jet aircraft and power plants, Jet Planes in WW2 Before World War II, in 1939, jet engines primarily existed in labs.
Germany developed the world's first jet plane. Its first flight was on August 27, 1939. The Jet Plane spent a significant amount of time on the ground due to its high consumption of fuel. It was often described as a sitting duck for Allied
attacks. Axis, Germany Messerschmitt Me 262 - first operational jetpowered fighter. Heinkel He 162 - Second jet fighter
Axis, Germany Arado Ar 234 - first jet-powered bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. Axis , Japan Kuugisho/Yokosuka MXY7 - "Ohka" Suicide
Attacker - prototype jet version of rocketpowered kamikaze aircraft was constructed but never entered service. 2 Axis, Italy Experimental
Allies, United Kingdom Gloster Meteor - First operational Allied jet fighter, entered Service July 27 1944 De Havilland Vampire - Production aircraft entered service in April 1945.
Allies , United States Bell P-59 Airacomet first Air Forces jet to fly, never saw operational service, contract terminated after 66 built. Allies , United States
Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star - first operational USAAF jet fighter in 1945, grounded due to problems until after the war. Did not see the combat Allies , United States
Ryan FR Fireball - mixed prop and jet aircraft for US Navy, first flew on June 25, 1944, but never saw combat. 66 delivered. Allies, Soviet Union Mikoyan-Gurevich I-250 - mixed power fighter using
a motor jet engine creating jet thrust at the rear and also turning a propeller at the front. 10-20 estimated built. Overtaken by pure jet aircraft. Things moved very fast after WWII 1948 First turbojet breaks sound
barrier. 1949 First use of turbojet for commercial service. 1955 First use of reheat (afterburner ) to increase thrust of turbojet for supersonic military jet.
Aircraft Carriers In 1918, HMS Argus (British Royal Navy) became the world's first carrier capable of launching and landing naval aircraft. She was converted from an ocean liner that
was under construction when the First World War began. Lacking the firepower of other warships, carriers by themselves are considered vulnerable to attack by other ships,
aircraft, submarines, or missiles. Therefore, aircraft carriers are generally accompanied by a number of other ships to provide protection for the relatively unwieldy carrier, to carry supplies, and to
provide additional offensive capabilities. Types of Carriers A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and usually provides an offensive capability.
Carries: fighter squadron, torpedo bomber squadron, and a dive bomber squadron. Types of Carriers Escort carriers were developed to
provide defense for convoys of ships. They were typically half the length of fleet carriers. In the Atlantic, the escort carriers were used to protect convoys against U-boats.
Types of Carriers Light aircraft carriers were carriers that were fast enough to operate with the fleet but of smaller size with reduced aircraft capacity.
Intended for higher speeds to be deployed alongside fleet carriers. At the beginning of the war, the Royal Navy had 7 aircraft carriers at the start of the war as neither the
Germans nor the Italians had carriers of their own. Aircraft Carriers construction or
conversion of several aircraft carriers, but with the exception of the nearly-finished Graf Zeppelin, no ship was launched.
Japan started the war with 10 aircraft carriers, the largest and most modern carrier fleet in the world at that time. By the end of the war, Japan had 31
carriers. There were 7 American aircraft carriers at the beginning of the hostilities, although only three of them were operating in the Pacific.
By the end of the war US had 119. Launching and landing on the carrier Tailhook
The pilot's goal is to snag the tailhook on one of four arresting wires, sturdy cables woven from high-tensile steel wire. The arresting wires are stretched across the deck and are attached on
both ends to hydraulic cylinders below deck. If the tailhook snags an arresting wire, it pulls the wire out, and the hydraulic cylinder system absorbs the
energy to bring the plane to a stop. The arresting wire system can stop a 54,000-pound aircraft travelling 150 miles per hour in only two seconds, in a 315-foot landing area.
There are four parallel arresting wires, spaced about 50 feet part, to expand the target area for the pilot. Pilots are aiming for the third wire, as it's the safest and most effective target.
The landing procedure starts when the various returning planes "stack up" in a huge oval flying pattern near the carrier. The Carrier Air Traffic Control Center decides the landing order of the waiting planes based on their various fuel levels.
Landing Signals Officers (LSOs) help guide the plane in, through radio communication as well as a collection of lights on the deck. As soon as the plane hits the deck, the pilot
will push the engines to full power, instead of slowing down, to bring the plane to a stop. This may seem counterintuitive, but if the tailhook doesn't catch any of the arresting wires, the plane needs to be moving fast enough to take off again and come around for
another pass. The landing runway is tilted at a 14-degree angle to the rest of the ship, so bolters like this can take off from the side of the ship instead of plowing into the planes on the
other end of the deck. meatball An optical landing system (OLS) (nicknamed "meatball" or simply, "Ball") is used to give
glidepath information to pilots in the terminal phase of landing on an aircraft carrier. Rocketry Rocketry The German rocket team at Peenemunde developed liquidfueled rocket weapons that were
used to attack civilians in London and throughout southeast England. Hitler believed that these new weapons would turn the tide of war in the Nazis favor.
American engineers developed smaller, but tactically more effective, solid fuel rockets. These technologies, along with engineers German, American, and Russian, made the period after WWII
into the Space Age that continues to this day. Other Firsts DDT
DDT was first synthesized in 1874. Its insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939. In WWII, it was used with great effect among both military and
civilian populations to control mosquitoes spreading malaria and lice transmitting typhus, resulting in dramatic reductions in both diseases. Its overuse after the war led to
concerns about environmental impact, spawning the modern environmental movement. D-Ration A high-calorie chocolate bar created
by the U.S. Army during WWII to serve as an emergency ration for soldiers who did not have access to any other food. The Army purposely made the Dration taste bad, so that soldiers would not be tempted to eat it
unless they had to. Penicillin A bacteria-killing substance derived from certain mold spores.
Penicillin was first discovered in 1928, but was not successfully massproduced until 1942. It saved countless lives of soldiers and civilians by preventing bacterial infections that could easily turn deadly.
Plasma The liquid component of blood composed of 90% water. During WWII scientists discovered
that wounded soldiers could be given plasma as a temporary substitute for whole blood. Plasma was easier to transport and did not decompose as easily as blood.
Vitamins During WWII scientists made great advances in their understanding of how the human body uses vitamins, enabling them to make
recommendations for daily nutrition and create military rations with appropriate amounts of nutrients. Colossus computer
Colossus The first programmable, digital computer. Created by the British to crack the German Lorenz code, Colossus used more than 1,500 vacuum tube switches to quickly and efficiently run through possible letter
sequences looking for recognizable patterns. Enigma The German field encoding machine. Thought to create an unbreakable
code, the Germans had no idea that the British had broken the Enigma code using a mechanical machine called the Bombe. The Enigma could create a code whose solution had 100.
More about code breaking and secret communication next week.
Engineers created different kinds of simulators to recreate combat conditions in a laboratory setting to aid in training.
Media Training The development of great numbers of new weapons, vehicles, and fighting techniques during WWII necessitated the development of new training methods. The military hired film makers and cartoonists
to create movies and training manuals that could be understood by 18, 19, and 20-year old draftees. operations research Organization WWII saw great advances in the way complex
problems, such as transportation, supply, and planning for military campaigns, are carried out. The science of operations research is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses methods such as mathematical modeling, statistics, and algorithms to arrive at optimal solutions to very
complex problems. In other words, Operations Research helps armies, businesses, and governments achieve their goals using scientific methods. Topic by request
Maginot Line (in France) line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defenses, which France constructed along its borders with
Germany and Italy. Using WW1 experience, military experts believed it would prevent any further invasions from the east (notably, from Germany).
The line was built in several phases from 1930 till 1939, at a cost of around 3 billion French francs. While the fortification system successfully prevented a direct
attack, it was strategically ineffective, as the Germans invaded through Belgium. Germany was able to conquer France in about 6 weeks.
Reference to the Maginot Line is used to recall a strategy or object that people hope will prove effective but instead fails miserably. Use of Rockets
A very small (but not the smallest) gyroscope. For stabilizing phones and cameras. Largest one are used as stabilizer in ocean liner and
yachts. Unusual weapons of WWII Unusual weapons of WWII
Anti-tank dogs Deployed by the Soviet Union It was an attempt to halt the German advance during 1941. Unusual weapons of WWII
The dogs were kept hungry, and food was placed under tanks in order to teach them to look under vehicles for food. In action, these dogs proved less
than effective. Pigeon Guided Missile Pigeon Guided Missile
proposed by American psychologist B.F. Skinner. later Project Orcon, for "organic control" An image of the target would be projected in front of it, and the
pigeon would be trained to recognize it. Pigeon Guided Missile It would then peck on one of four
levers (up, down, left or right) until the target was dead centre of the screen. Pigeon Carriers United Kingdom used About 250,000 pigeons
during World War II by all branches of the military and the Special Operations Executive. Flying from mainland Europe to Britain, the birds heroically delivered all sorts of messages through a gauntlet of enemy hawk patrols and potshots from soldiers.
The Dickin Medal, the highest possible decoration for valor given to non-human animals, was awarded to 32 pigeons, including the United States Army Pigeon Service's G.I. Joe and the Irish pigeon Paddy.
The head of the Air Ministry Pigeon Section reported in 1945 that pigeons could be trained to deliver small explosives or bio-weapons to precise targets.
The ideas were not taken up by the committee, In 1948 the UK military stated that pigeons were of no further use. In November 2012, the skeleton of a
World War II carrier pigeon is found in a man's chimney in England. A red canister attached to a leg bone holds a coded message UK agency can't crack.
Anti-Communication Falcons They patrolled the air over the British coasts in two-hour shifts, and took down any pigeons flying off toward the mainland.
Project Habakkuk Project Habakkuk Suggested by Geoffrey Pyke. He invented Pykrete as a response to the steel shortage at the beginning of World War
II. It is a mix of water and 14 percent sawdust in a mold, let it freeze, and you have Pykrete. It doesn't shatter like ice, it's strong enough to use in building projects, and strangely, it doesn't appear to melt.
The aircraft carrier (carrying 150 planes ) design called for a giant carrier (2000ft) long, built out of pykrete, fitted with an extensive cooling system to prevent the pykrete melting.
The British Military eventually decided that the 10 million pound price tag for a carrier was not something they were willing to risk. See myth buster episode about Pykrete.
Comparative properties of materials Mechanical properties Ice
Concrete Pykrete Crushing strength
[MPa] 3.447 17.240
7.584 Tensile strength [MPa] 1.103
1.724 4.826 Density [kg/m]
910 2500 980
Acoustic Radars A passive device used during early years of WW2. Became obsolete when Radar was developed. A variation of that was called sound mirror.
Czech one man aircraft locator Japans war tubas Sound Mirrors
Sound Mirrors They are acoustic reflectors, dubbed by locals as the listening ears. These structures were built to protect harbors and coastal towns
from airborne attacks. Serving as an early warning system, microphones placed at the focal point of the reflector enabled it to detect sounds from flying aircraft
over the English Channel, at a range of 30 kilometers. Became obsolete with the development of RADAR. Sound Mirrors
How is it used today? Also, Kent Acoustic Mirror The Who Me? Stench Spray
This weapon stunk so bad that it didnt even reach deployment. Developed by the Office of Strategic Services, it was intended to be used by the French Resistance to demoralize German officers by
spraying the content, which smelled of fecal matter. However, the sulfur compounds used were extremely volatile and, therefore, very difficult to control.
As a result, the person spraying the substance often got as smelly as his unfortunate victim. Though this was a top-secret weapon, a recipe of ingredients to make it can now be found on the Internet.
A recipe for a kilogram 919 g of white mineral oil as an inert carrier 20 g of skatole (3-methylindole) 20 g of n-butanoic acid
20 g of n-pentanoic acid 20 g of n-hexanoic acid 1 g of pentanethiol http://www.oddee.com/item_91684.aspx#LfAyGdHDIgk0PjK7.99 Rotabuggy
British experimental aircraft was assembled by helicopter pioneer Raul Hafner. Better known as the Blitz Buggy by Hafner. Despite looking absolutely ridiculous and
almost cartoon-like, the Rotabuggy successfully went airborne, reaching gliding speeds of 45 mph in its first trial, in 1943. It flew at 65 mph for 10 minutes in 1944.
It was also surprisingly sturdy, withstanding falls from 7 ft. without experiencing damage. Despite being an engineering success and deemed to be highly satisfactory, the Rotabuggy was overlooked and
phased out. The Bouncing Bomb Better known as the Dam Busters, and used to blow up the Ruhr dams in Operation Chastise.
The bombs were issued for combat use when torpedo attacks and aerial raids on German hydroelectric proved fruitless. Torpedo nets protected and detonated
conventional torpedoes from impact. Because of its bounce, it became very effective at avoiding torpedo nets, and its ability to be aimed directly at a target was seen as a
huge advantage. The Bouncing Bomb De Lisle Commando Rifle
De Lisle Commando Rifle Silencer. Designed by William Godfray de Lisle (known as Godfray), It is was so quiet that moving the bolt to chamber the next round makes more
sound than firing a round. The De Lisle was only manufactured in small numbers and was exclusive to Special Forces. Earthquake Bomb
Earthquake Bomb The bombs are built with a tough armored tip and would reach supersonic speeds when dropped from 40 thousand feet high, penetrating deep underground and
detonating. The shock would often create a deep crater and produce a miniature earthquake capable of destroying the infrastructure of buildings and dams.
Earthquake bombs were used to destroy the V2 factories, sink the German battleship Tirpitz and destroy docked U2 boats. It was put to use 41 times. Earthquake Bomb
Major Martin Major Martin was a homeless man, who died of pneumonia and was then used as a weapon of deceit by
the British in Operation Mincemeat. The body was disguised as a dead Royal Marines Officer and left to be found in the sea off the Spanish coast, with a briefcase full of top secret files chained to his wrist.
The trick worked, and the Germans pulled thousands of troops from Sicily to defend Sardinia (which the faked documents revealed intention of the allied for invasion) .
Thousands of Allied troops owed their lives to the deception of Major Martin. Electromagnetic Degaussing
The primary goal was to render the ship undetectable, and invisible, from magnetically fused undersea mines and torpedoes. The degaussing of a ship involved the generation of a powerful electromagnetic field onboard.
Many people also believe the electromagnetic degaussing attempt on the USS Engstorm might have influenced the story of the famous Philadelphia Experiment or Project Rainbow
Hollywood chimes in: Fire balloons or balloon bomb Weapon launched by Japan.
A hydrogen balloon with a load varying from a 12-kilogram (26 lb) incendiary to one 15 kg (33 lb) antipersonnel bomb and four 5 kg (11 lb) incendiary devices attached. They were designed as a cheap weapon
intended to make use of the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean and wreak havoc on Canadian and American cities, forests, and farmland. The balloons were relatively
ineffective. Between November 1944 and April 1945, Japan launched over 9,300 fire balloons. About 300 balloon bombs were found or observed in North America,
killing six people and causing a small amount of damage. Panjandrum Burlesque title of an imaginary person in some
nonsense lines by Samuel Foote. Name of a secret weapon. How did it do? German Sonic Cannon
German Sonic Cannon During the early 1940s Axis engineers developed a sonic cannon that could literally shake a person apart from the inside.
A methane gas combustion chamber leading to two parabolic dishes pulse-detonated at roughly 44hz. This sound wave created pressures that could kill a man up to 50 yards away in
30 seconds At distances of 160660 ft the sound waves could act on organ tissues and fluids by repeatedly compressing and releasing compressive resistant organs such as the kidneys, spleen, and liver.
This infrasound, magnified by the dish reflectors, caused vertigo and nausea at 220440 yd by vibrating the middle ear bones.
The Krummlauf (curved gun) The Krummlauf on display at the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung in Koblenz, Germany.
The curved barrel included a periscope sighting device for shooting around corners from a safe position. Various versions were built:
"I" version for infantry use "P" version for use in tanks versions with 30, 45, 60 and 90 bends The bent barrel attachments had very short lifespan
approx. 300 rounds for the 30 version 160 rounds for the 45 Another problem was that the bending caused the bullets to shatter and exit the barrel in
multiple fragments, producing an unintended shotgun effect. The Vortex Cannon The shells contained coal-dust and a
slow-burning explosive in the center. If all circumstances were perfect and favorable, the strange device seemed to work fairly well. The range of the prototype was estimated to be about 100m.
The gun was never used in practice. Strange Tanks Swimming Tank, Flame Thrower Tank, Rhinoceros tanks, Flail Tank
Early Drone (Operation Aphrodite) Survival Research Laboratories http://srl.org/info.html Located in Petaluma Is a machine performance art group credited
for pioneering the genre of large-scale machine performance. organization of creative technicians dedicated to re-directing the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in
practicality, product or warfare. Vertical take off/landing Death Ray Originally a sci fi theory!
Japan weighted construction of atomic bomb versus death ray. Ended up choosing death ray as a more plausible weapon. Called The Ku-go (Death Ray)
An Article on a death-ray device invented by Nikola Tesla had been in The New York Times (July 11, 1934), and was picked up by the Japanese press. In this article, Tesla was quoted as saying that his beam would "drop an army in its
tracks and bring down squadrons of airplanes 250 miles away." Invention of Magnetron (producing microwave) in 1940 was a giant step toward
possibility of making this weapon possible. In 1943, work began at the Shimada City research facility on developing a highpower magnetron that, if not as capable as Tesla had boasted, could at least
incapacitate an aircraft. By the end of the war, their effort had produced a 20-cm magnetron with a continuous output of 100 kW. This was far short of the desired 500 kW, which itself would likely have been
insufficient for the mission. Invasion Glider German Jet/Rocket plane (Natter )
Rocket powered interceptor, which was to be used in a very similar way to a manned surface-to-air missile. After vertical take-off the majority of the flight to the Allied bombers was to be controlled by an autopilot.
The primary mission of the relatively untrained pilot, perhaps better called a gunner, was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets.
The pilot and the fuselage containing the rocket motor would then land under separate parachutes, while the nose section was disposable. The design was so dangerous that the German Air Ministry rejected it.
The designer persuaded Himmler to fund the program in secret. The only manned vertical take-off flight on 1 March 1945 ended in the death of the test pilot.
Early Shuttle And the weirdest project The project X-ray
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