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Author: Camilla Shumaker

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a new material that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. This exceptional metal is transparent, 200 times stronger than steel, and capable of carrying heat away 10 times more efficiently than copper. Graphene is also extremely flexible, allowing it to be folded without breaking. From a basic physics perspective, graphene’s remarkable properties enable scientists to test the laws of physics. For example, when electrons migrate through graphene, they move as if they have no mass, similar to the way light moves through an optical pipe. Researchers are trying to discover if it is possible to regulate the flow of electrons in graphene using optical interference effects, rather than stopping and restarting the movement of electrons, with the potential application of making devices faster while consuming less power.

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Elizabeth Margulis: Making Sense of Music

In this episode, Elizabeth Margulis, professor of music and director of the Music Cognition Lab in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science, discusses how we make sense of music through repetition. Elizabeth Margulis: Today, I want to talk about repetition in music. Specifically, how does repetition help define music? I believe that when we hear something as music, we aren’t so much listening toit as we are listening along with it. In other words, part of what of it means to listen to something musically is to participate imaginatively. Repetition is one of the key elements that enables us...

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Terahertz Imaging, the Wave of the Future

One of the U of A’s most impressive pieces of research equipment is the terahertz imaging system in the lab of electrical engineering professor Magda El-Shenawee. This system uses terahertz radiation, which falls between microwaves and infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum. Though research on terahertz imaging is relatively new, this field has many potential applications in areas including healthcare and security. Two sides of the system The terahertz imaging system can scan small objects or large objects. Small objects, such as tissue samples or small electronic devices, can be secured on a tray that moves back and forth. In...

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Packaging Fuel

We rely on electronics and energy every day, but almost as important as the energy source is the packaging that protects and integrates all the different parts of our devices. At the High Density Electronics Center, researchers explore the use of different materials to package high tech devices, including the lightweight ceramic that supports and protects these hydrogen fuel cells. Tom Cannon, electrical engineering research assistant, designs fuel cell units that produce power using only hydrogen and leave behind only water. The blue 8-cell units in this video are using hydrogen (produced by the clear plastic device on the...

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