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New MicroCT Imaging System Enables Researcher to View Interior of Caddo Artifact

George Sabo, professor of anthropology and director of the Arkansas Archeological Survey, is one of five principal investigators for the MicroCT Imaging Consortium for Research and Outreach, home of the university’s new micro-computed tomography system. Computed tomography uses x-ray technology to generate high-resolution 2-D and 3-D representations of an object’s internal and external structure. Researchers can examine materials down to the micro- (less than or equal to 0.1 millimeter) and even nano-scale (less than 0.001 millimeter). For Sabo, the ability to see archeological artifacts this way enhances and, in some ways, accelerates his research. During a recent training session,...

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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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Researchers Test New MicroCT Imaging System

George Sabo stares at the screen with the intensity of a child who’s just hooked up a new Xbox. Sabo, professor of anthropology and director of the Arkansas Archeological Survey, is looking through – not at – a 500-year-old Caddo artifact. Behind him, Claire Terhune, Sabo’s colleague and assistant professor of anthropology, explains the specs and awesome power of the machine that enables Sabo to view this artifact like never before. Along with Wenchao Zhou, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Haley O’Brien and Paul Gignac at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Terhune and Sabo are principal...

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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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