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1.
Detection of gamma-ray sources and search for dark matter signals with Cherenkov Telescope Array surveys : dissertation
Veronika Vodeb, 2024, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Gamma rays serve as important messengers in modern astrophysics, offering insights into the most energetic processes in the cosmos. Advancements in gamma-ray astronomy, facilitated by international scientific collaboration, have expanded its reach and capabilities. The Fermi-Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) has so far contributed immensely to our understanding of the gamma-ray sky at GeV energies, surveying numerous source classes. At the same time, ground-based observatories like H.E.S.S., MAGIC, VERITAS, HAWC, and LHASSO, enable the exploration of high-energy (HE) phenomena across various energy scales, reaching the PeV range. The collective data from Fermi-LAT and ground-based instruments provide a comprehensive picture of cosmic phenomena across diverse energy regimes. Efforts to catalog HE gamma-ray sources have resulted in the detection of several thousand sources at GeV, including Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe), Supernova Remnants (SNRs), pulsars, blazars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), with the observational capability to study their spectral and spatial morphology enhancing our understanding of their origin and evolution. Looking ahead, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) represents the next frontier in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy. Operating at very high energies (VHE) between 20 GeV and 300 TeV, CTA's improved sensitivity, angular resolution, and expanded field of view (FoV) promise enhanced imaging of extended sources and performance of large-scale surveys. CTA's Key Science Projects (KSPs) include the Extragalactic (EGAL) survey, a survey of a quarter of the extragalactic sky, and the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS), a survey of the entire Galactic Plane (GP). The KSPs will receive dedicated observation time and careful planning to ensure the optimization of their scientific output. As CTA is currently entering the construction phase, simulations are being extensively employed to predict its response to various signals, playing a vital role in comprehending CTA's response and sensitivity to different signals. The derived predictions are paving the way for estimating the CTA's scientific output, informing the observational strategy, and ensuring its success in maximizing the contribution to HE gamma-ray astronomy. In this thesis, I contribute to assessing the sensitivity of the CTA surveys, particularly the GPS and the EGAL survey, to diverse astrophysical sources and signals. Focusing on the GPS, I delve into understanding the detectability of pulsar halos, which emit multi-TeV gamma rays, the detection of which was recently reported by the HAWC Observatory. The study involves a spatial-spectral likelihood analysis, evaluating sensitivity to simple Gaussian extended sources and physically modeled sources. Employing a template-fitting approach, I analyze CTA's GPS sensitivity to extended sources and explore the prospects for pulsar halo detection and characterization. A preliminary population study addresses the visibility of pulsar halos to CTA's GPS and explores the angular sensitivity to extended sources. The thesis sets the detectability prospects of pulsar halos with CTA and investigates what fraction of the preliminary pulsar halo population CTA will be able to probe. The thesis extends its exploration into the persistent mystery of dark matter (DM), a fundamental puzzle in cosmology. The search for DM signals remains a vigorous pursuit in the physics community, utilizing various astrophysical messengers resulting from DM particle annihilation or decay. I investigate the potential of CTA's GPS to detect dark sub-halos within our galaxy, utilizing a similar approach as in the sensitivity assessment to pulsar halos, applied to recent sub-halo population simulations. Furthermore, the thesis addresses the intricate task of disentangling DM components from astrophysical contributions in the observed gamma-ray sky. In terms of the EGAL survey, employing advanced statistical methods such as the cross-correlation technique, I explore the prospects of using CTA's EGAL survey to correlate the Extragalactic Gamma-ray Background (EGRB) with galaxy catalogs, providing insights into DM properties. While traditional methods rely on likelihood analysis with background subtraction or template fitting, the emergence of supervised machine learning (ML) offers a novel, potentially more effective approach for cataloging the sky. The thesis touches upon the usability of ML in the high and VHE gamma-ray sky. My study focuses on CTA's GPS and utilizes deep-learning-based algorithms in a detection pipeline for the automatic classification of extended sources from gamma-ray data. As CTA stands at the forefront of gamma-ray astronomy as the next-generation observatory, the research presented in this thesis contributes a small step towards answering the open questions about pulsar halos and DM, showcasing the potential breakthroughs that may emerge from CTA's observations. The detailed likelihood analysis performed aims to advance our understanding of these enigmas, from the physical intricacies of pulsar halos to the elusive nature of DM, driven by curiosity about the continuous exploration of the Universe's mysteries.
Ključne besede: high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, astroparticle physics, Cherenkov Telescope Array, pulsar halos, dark matter, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 06.06.2024; Ogledov: 354; Prenosov: 5
.pdf Celotno besedilo (36,25 MB)

2.
Degradation of microplastics in the environment : dissertation
Vaibhav Budhiraja, 2024, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Plastics are based on organic polymers that are sensitive to the environment in which they find themselves and will gradually decay through a variety of chemical reactions. This process is of great importance for the transformation and persistence of microplastics (MPs) that pollute the environment. The rate of degradation depends on two major factors: Firstly, the intrinsic properties of the polymers, such as chemical structure, molecular weight, crystallinity and the presence of additives, fillers or reinforcement and secondly, the environment to which they are exposed. The degradation rate of plastic will vary in different environmental matrices like soil, freshwater, seawater, wastewater, land etc., as well as in diverse environmental conditions like UV radiation, temperature, humidity, the effect of pollutants etc. Plastic mainly undergoes two fundamental reactions: oxidation and hydrolysis and the chemical structure of the polymer and its additives plays a key role in the degradation mechanism of plastic. Polyolefins having a carbon-only main chain are resistant to hydrolysis but susceptible to oxidation, whereas polyesters and polyamides containing heteroatoms are sensitive to hydrolysis and much more resistant to oxidation. In the context of the present work, five different studies were done involving both naturally degraded plastic and accelerated weathering of plastics in the form of small particles, MPs. In the first study, natural degraded polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) samples with a life span of more than forty years were collected from the environment and their physiochemical properties were analysed. The results show that red coloured PE samples were more degraded as compared to blue coloured samples, indicating that pigment plays a key role in the degradation. The PP sample shows extreme surface degradation, leading to fragmentation and the generation of MPs. In the second study, the effect of hydrodynamic cavitation on MPs in waste water treatment plant sludge was evaluated. PE, PP, polyethylene terephthalate and polyamide were extracted from the sludge. It was found that hydrodynamic cavitation does not disintegrate the MPs, although it removes some toxic metals and shows cell disruption mechanisms. Other studies were done with accelerated weathered MPs, which include PE, PP and tire wear particles (TWP), that were treated in accordance with an ISO 4892 standard weathering procedure that mimics natural weathered conditions. In the third study, we used weathered PE films to evaluate the synergistic adsorption behaviour of two pollutants, namely triclosan (TCS) and methylparaben (MeP). It was found that weathered MPs adsorb more pollutants and the adsorption behaviour of TCS is enhanced in the presence of MeP. In the fourth study, the magnetic extraction of pristine and weathered PE and TWP particles was performed. The results confirmed that the magnetic VI extraction of weathered MPs is difficult as compared to pristine MPs as their surface becomes more hydrophilic with weathering. In the fifth study, the effect of weathering on the density of PE and PP was evaluated. We found that weathering enhances the density of polyolefins, which is one of the main reasons for the observed sinking of polyolefin MPs in water.
Ključne besede: accelerated weathering, aging, density, magnetic separation, pigment, plastic degradation, pollutants, polyethylene, polyolefin, polypropylene, sinking, tire wear particles, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.06.2024; Ogledov: 481; Prenosov: 0
.pdf Celotno besedilo (7,35 MB)

3.
Morphological dependencies : a dissertation
Guy Tabachnick, 2023, doktorska disertacija

Opis: This dissertation investigates morphological dependencies: correlations between two lexically specific patterns, such as selection of inflectional affixes. Previous work has established that such correlations exist in the lexicon of morphologically rich languages (Ackerman et al., 2009; Wurzel, 1989), but has not systematically tested whether speakers productively extend these patterns to novel words. I present a series of corpus and nonce word studies—in Hungarian, Czech, and Russian—testing whether speakers vary their selection of suffixed forms of novel words based on the forms of that word that are presented to them. In all three cases, speakers vary their responses in accordance with the provided stimuli, demonstrating that they have learned and productively apply morphological dependencies from the lexicon. I present a theoretical account of morphological dependencies that can account for my experimental results, based on the sublexicon model of phonological learning (Allen & Becker, 2015; Becker & Gouskova, 2016; Gouskova et al., 2015). In this model, speakers index lexically specific behavior with diacritic features attached to underlying forms in lexical entries, and learn generalizations over sublexicons defined as words that share a feature. These generalizations are stored as constraints in phonotactic grammars for each sublexicon, enabling speakers to learn phonological and morphological dependencies predicting words that pattern together. This model provides a unified treatment of morphological dependencies and generalizations that are phonological in nature. My studies show a wide range of learned effects, not limited to those that follow an organizational principle like paradigm uniformity. The sublexicon model assumes that speakers can learn arbitrary generalizations without restrictions, giving it needed flexibility over more restrictive models which rely on notions of morphophonological naturalness.
Ključne besede: inflectional affixes, nonce word study, lexical productivity, morphological dependencies, diacritic features, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 04.03.2024; Ogledov: 697; Prenosov: 8
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4.
Evidentials and interrogatives : a case study from Korean
Dong Sik Lim, 2010, doktorska disertacija

Ključne besede: evidentiality, origo-shift, questions, Korean, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 29.02.2024; Ogledov: 838; Prenosov: 52
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5.
Why even ask? : on the pragmatics of questions and the semantics of answers
Elena Guerzoni, 2003, doktorska disertacija

Ključne besede: presupposition projection, questions, focus, negative polarity, semantics, pragmatics, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 27.02.2024; Ogledov: 879; Prenosov: 7
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Synthesis and application of transition metal phosphide nanomaterials as electrocatalysts for water splitting and chemical transformations : dissertation
Takwa Chouki, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: In this thesis, we will focus on the solvothermal synthesis of iron phosphides (FeP, Fe2P) using triphenylphosphine (TPP) as an inexpensive and stable phosphorus source. The obtained iron phosphides were applied as electrocatalysts in hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), Rhodamine B (RhB) degradation, Escherichia coli (E. coli) inactivation, nitrates reduction reaction (NO3RR) to ammonia (NH3), and as counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Detailed characterizations of catalysts were carried out to investigate the correlations between the material structure and catalytic activity. The first part of the thesis gives an introduction to the topic which cover overview of literature about the use of transition metal phosphide as efficient electrocatalysts in water splitting studies, NO3RR to NH3 and DSSCs. The second part is a description of the experimental methods. The third part discusses the solvothermal synthesis of FeP and Fe2P catalysts using TPP precursor. The phase conversion of iron phosphides at elevated temperatures under reductive atmosphere was reported. Structural characterizations of the obtained materials were achieved using multiple techniques. The electrocatalytic activities of heat-treated iron phosphide films for HER were studied in acidic environment. The fourth part discusses the use of Fe2P nanoparticles (NPs) for OER. The fifth part outlines the use of Fe2P precatalyst in water treatment studies. Using a thin film of Fe2P precatalyst, RhB degradation and E. coli inactivation in the presence of in-situ generated reactive chlorine species were reported. Characterization of Fe2P electrocatalysts before and after the test was carried out using different techniques. The sixth part shows for the first time the use of FeP and Fe2P as a noble metal-free electrocatalysts for NO3RR to NH3. In this chapter we will emphasize the nitrate reaction pathways, which are highly complex and poorly understood. The seventh part demonstrates the use of FeP and Fe2P catalysts as robust and efficient counter electrodes in DSSCs.
Ključne besede: solvothermal synthesis, iron phosphides, electrocatalysis, HER, OER, RhB degradation, E. coli inactivation, NO3RR to NH3, DSSCs, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 29.08.2022; Ogledov: 2337; Prenosov: 106
.pdf Celotno besedilo (6,35 MB)
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9.
Exploration of yeast biodiversity potential for development of alternative biofungicides in viticulture : dissertation
Rowland Adesida, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Botrytis cinerea Pers., the fungal plant pathogen and the causal agent of gray mould diseases in grapevine, is vastly responsible for substantial economic losses in table and wine grapes production worldwide by negatively affecting plant growth and causing the reduction of grape and wine quality. The conventional approach for pathogen control has been up to date based on synthetic fungicides with good effectiveness against pathogens but a negative impact on the environment. The growing level of harmful residues in the environment and some also detected in wines have led the European Union and many winemakers to limit the application of synthetic fungicides to earlier season. However, with a high risk of disease also late in the season, the need for other solutions is clear. Consequently, more and more research is focused on finding potential alternatives in the form of effective biological control agents. Although there are several reports of yeast’s biocontrol activity, they are up to date still poorly commercialized for such purposes. As the yeasts represent an important part of the grape microflora, competing with other microorganisms (including pathogens) for nutrients and space, we decided to examine the potential of autochthonous yeasts as "green" alternatives in fighting against phytopathogens such as B. cinerea in viticulture. With this aim, we tested the biocontrol activity of 119 different indigenous yeasts belonging to 30 different species of 17 genera against filamentous fungus B. cinerea, the causal agent of grey mould or botrytis bunch rot in grape. The yeasts were screened for putative multidimensional modes of action such as antifungal volatiles (VOC), in vitro inhibition of fungal mycelial growth, competition for nutrients, hydrolytic enzyme activities, and yeast tolerance to fungicides like copper, iprodione and cyprodinil/fludioxonil combination. With a qualitative detection of the hydrolysis activity by using screening methods based on solid medium with chitin or βD-glucosides as substrates, we found that many tested yeasts were capable of producing lytic enzymes with the ability to degrade the cell wall of phytopathogenic fungi and are potentially also able to produce VOCs via hydrolysis of grape glycosides as a result of β-glucosidase presence. Furthermore, we observed the capability of tested yeast to inhibit fungal mycelia growth on plate and assimilation of a wide variety of carbon sources; however, no siderophore producers were detected. In general, the yeasts under observation were tolerant to the tested fungicides. Their fungicide resistance can indeed be regarded as a beneficial trait for potential biofungicide agent (PBA) candidates due to open possibilities of applications and combinations within low input pest management strategies in the vineyard. Finally, a field experiment in Pinot noir and Pinot gris vineyards was designed to study different combinations of optimized canopy microclimate manipulation (CMM) techniques and potential biocontrol agent (PBA) application. In experimental conditions, the ability of PBA’s to maintain appropriate population density for disease prevention was observed. In addition, the grape and wine quality parameters were analysed to observe the possible impact of implemented biocontrol yeast on final products. The biocontrol yeast Pichia guilliermondii ZIM 624 was selected and applied in experimental vineyards based on yeast testing results. We were able to detect and confirm PBA yeast’s suitable density on grapes until harvest. In the case of early defoliation for both varieties lower grape compactness was observed together with lower yield/ plant, regardless of PBA yeast/ no yeast application. Among grape basic quality parameters, the optimized techniques showed a positive effect on sugar content. Still, unexpectedly, in the treatments with biocontrol yeasts some trends toward higher acidity were noticed in Pinot gris.
Ključne besede: sustainable viticulture, Botrytis cinerea, gray mould, yeasts, biocontrol, canopy microclimate manipulation, grapevine metabolite, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 07.07.2022; Ogledov: 2207; Prenosov: 138
.pdf Celotno besedilo (4,17 MB)
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10.
Novel analytical approaches in quality and safety control in production of fermented beverages : dissertation
Jelena Topić, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: The exploitation of microorganisms for fermentation goes back centuries. Two types of fermentation are usually used in the winemaking process – alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation. Nowadays, inoculated fermentations with the use of starter cultures are commonly used in order to produce wine with more consistent quality. However, wines can lack in flavour complexity, so scientists and the industry are constantly looking for new and improved starters that can be adapted to different types of wine. In this work we focused on the development and implementation of novel analytical methods for wine quality control. In the course of method development native yeasts and lactic acid bacteria isolates were characterized for wine starter properties. We focused on the determination of biologically active compounds that determine wine quality and safety. Yeasts can influence wine colour through their adsorption capacity and synthesis of stable colour pigments pyranoanthocyanins and lactic acid bacteria can produce biogenic amines which can have adverse detrimental health effects on sensitive consumers when they are present in wines.
Ključne besede: Saccharomyces yeasts, non-Saccharomyces yeasts, pyranoanthocyanins, thermal-lens spectrometry, lactic acid bacteria, biogenic amines, thin layer chromatography, dissertations
Objavljeno v RUNG: 18.02.2022; Ogledov: 3073; Prenosov: 127
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