Portable system boosts laser precision, at room temperature

“Light squeezer” reduces quantum noise in lasers, could enhance quantum computing and gravitational-wave detection.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 7, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy quantum-computing light research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

Quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects on the human scale

Study shows LIGO’s 40-kilogram mirrors can move in response to tiny quantum effects, revealing the “spooky popcorn of the universe.”

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

How worms move: Dopamine helps nematodes coordinate motor behaviors

To spy on worms for days on end, Picower Institute scientists invent a new open-source microscopy platform.

David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory • mit
June 30, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience microscopy animals research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-science-foundation-nsf national-institutes-of-health-nih picower-institute

Super-strong surgical tape detaches on demand

Removable adhesive could make it easier for surgeons to close up internal wounds.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 22, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: medicine research medical-devices mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering national-science-foundation-nsf civil-and-environmental-engineering

Engineers design a device that operates like a brain synapse

Ion-based technology may enable energy-efficient simulations of the brain’s learning process, for neural network AI systems.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office • mit
June 19, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: research school-of-engineering electrical-engineering-computer-science-eecs quest-for-intelligence national-science-foundation-nsf nanoscience-and-nanotechnology materials-science-and-engineering dmse nuclear-science-and-engineering

Tiny sand grains trigger massive glacial surges

New model answers longstanding question of how these sudden flows happen; may expand understanding of Antarctic ice sheets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 12, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: geology environment climate nasa research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences fluid-dynamics

Newly observed phenomenon could lead to new quantum devices

Exotic states called Kohn anomalies could offer clues to why some materials have the electronic properties they do.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office • mit
June 12, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics electronics quantum-mechanics research school-of-engineering school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf nuclear-science-and-engineering department-of-energy-doe defense-advanced-research-projects-agency-darpa


Study: Reflecting sunlight to cool the planet will cause other global changes

Solar geoengineering proposals will weaken extratropical storm tracks in both hemispheres, scientists find.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 2, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change environment climate nasa research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences

Coatings for shoe bottoms could improve traction on slick surfaces

Material inspired by Japanese paper-cutting art could help to prevent falls in icy or slippery conditions.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
June 1, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: research mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering national-science-foundation-nsf

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