Evolutionary psychologists believe it is useful to look at innate reflexes in order to better understand societal trends and personal behaviour. Frank Kachanoff, an undergraduate student in the Dept. of Psychology, was curious about the link between meat and aggression. With the support of Dr. Donald Taylor, he set up an experiment involving 82 vegetarian and omnivorous males that relied on flash cards featuring pictures of meat and long-established techniques for provoking and measuring aggression. Contrary to his expectation, Kachanoff found the participants were significantly less aggressive after seeing the pictures of meat. “We used imagery of meat that was ready to cook. In terms of behaviour, with the benefit of hindsight, it would make sense that our ancestors would be calm, as they would be surrounded by friends and family at meal time,” Kachanoff explained. “I would like to run this experiment again, using hunting images.”
Optimizing comfort in business jets
Non-synchronous vibration (NSV) in roller bearings is known as a significant source of noise in aircraft engines, and can be avoided by minimizing internal radial clearance [the space between moving parts]. However, fixing the clearance too tightly can have an effect on the durability of the bearings, so engineers often tend to set the clearance more loosely than is necessary and adjust the engine only when NSV becomes a problem. “The frequency range of this NSV is typically in the region which causes cabin comfort issues for mid-size business jets – 50 to 200Hz,” wrote Jing Wu, a Master’s student researching with Dean of Engineering Christophe Pierre and Mathias Legrand, of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. The team knew that current methods for predicting the influence of NSV are very resource heavy, and found a new model that reduces computer processing time. They presented their findings at this year’s International Conference on Rotor Dynamics in Seoul, South Korea.