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Author: Camilla Shumaker

Professor Travels to China to Research Music and Narrative

Have you ever listened to a piece of music and had the sense that you were hearing a story unfold? Some melodies, especially when they incorporate dramatic shifts in dynamics or rhythm, can give listeners the sense of a narrative in the music. Elizabeth Margulis, a professor of music at the University of Arkansas, wondered how much these narratives are influenced by the listener’s culture. She is currently working with Patrick Wong of the City University of Hong Kong on a three year project, funded by the National Science Foundation. They are studying the relationship of music and narratives...

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Bubbles and Anti-hedgehogs: Studying the Nanostructures that Could Lead to the Future of Data Storage

  Electronic devices are getting smaller, faster and more efficient, but these improvements are limited by the size of their components—the transistors, resistors, capacitors and other components that are crammed onto smaller and smaller integrated circuits. In order to overcome this challenge, physicists are exploring a new method of storing and transmitting electrical current and information: using the complex structures of certain crystalline materials, referred to as “ferroelectric” or “ferromagnetic.” At the nanoscale, “ferroelectric” materials exhibit ordered patterns of electric dipoles. Electric dipoles are pairs of positive and negative charges that are caused by  atomic displacement — atoms that...

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Chemists Develop Improved Method to Create Artificial Photosynthesis

Researchers covered glass and polymer nanospheres with a thin layer of zinc oxide (left). After the polymer spheres were dissolved (right), they had a material that could act as a photoanode. A team of chemistry and chemical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas has developed a method of creating materials for artificial photosynthesis that is more efficient and cost-effective than current methods. Plants use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into chemical energy, which they store in the form of sugars or fatty acids. A device known as an artificial leaf mimics this natural process, providing a reliable, economical and...

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Oversharing Can Have Consequences, Research Says

Social media and digital communication tools make sharing private information easier than ever, but communication research suggests that people often fail to set clear expectations and boundaries when they share private information with friends and family. This prompted Lindsey Aloia to investigate how people react when information they consider secret is made public by someone they trust. Her results were published in Communications Studies. Aloia, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Arkansas, examined this question in the context of communication privacy management theory. According to this theory, private information is a possession, and when it is shared,...

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