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Category: Physics

TESS Science Office at MIT hits milestone of 5,000 exoplanet candidates | MIT News
January 20, 2022

The catalog of planet candidates found with NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) recently passed 5,000 TOIs, or TESS Objects of Interest. The catalog has been growing steadily since the start of the mission in 2018, and the batch of TOIs boosting the catalog to over 5,000 come mostly from the Faint Star Search led by MIT postdoc Michelle Kunimoto. Kunimoto reflects, “This time last year, TESS had found...

Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense “glue” | MIT News
January 11, 2022

In the particle world, sometimes two is better than one. Take, for instance, electron pairs. When two electrons are bound together, they can glide through a material without friction, giving the material special superconducting properties. Such paired electrons, or Cooper pairs, are a kind of hybrid particle — a composite of two particles that behaves as one, with properties that are greater than the sum of its...

Physicists detect a hybrid particle held together by uniquely intense “glue” | MIT News
January 10, 2022

In the particle world, sometimes two is better than one. Take, for instance, electron pairs. When two electrons are bound together, they can glide through a material without friction, giving the material special superconducting properties. Such paired electrons, or Cooper pairs, are a kind of hybrid particle — a composite of two particles that behaves as one, with properties that are greater than the sum of its...

Richard Cohen: Pioneering biomedical research and education at MIT for half a century | MIT News
January 7, 2022

Richard J. Cohen, the Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and a faculty member in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), has seen a lot during his years at MIT. He is a rare “MIT lifer,” rising from student to senior faculty member and spending half a century at the Institute. Cohen joined HST as a first-year medical...

Physicists watch as ultracold atoms form a crystal of quantum tornadoes | MIT News
January 5, 2022

The world we experience is governed by classical physics. How we move, where we are, and how fast we’re going are all determined by the classical assumption that we can only exist in one place at any one moment in time. But in the quantum world, the behavior of individual atoms is governed by the eerie principle that a particle’s location is a probability. An atom, for instance, has a certain chance of being in one...

Kerstin Perez is searching the cosmos for signs of dark matter | MIT News
January 2, 2022

Kerstin Perez is searching for imprints of dark matter. The invisible substance embodies 84 percent of the matter in the universe and is thought to be a powerful cosmic glue, keeping whole galaxies from spinning apart. And yet, the particles themselves leave barely a trace on ordinary matter,  thwarting all efforts at detection thus far. Perez, a particle physicist at MIT, is hoping that a high-altitude balloon...

Could acid-neutralizing life-forms make habitable pockets in Venus’ clouds? | MIT News
December 20, 2021

It’s hard to imagine a more inhospitable world than our closest planetary neighbor. With an atmosphere thick with carbon dioxide, and a surface hot enough to melt lead, Venus is a scorched and suffocating wasteland where life as we know it could not survive. The planet’s clouds are similarly hostile, blanketing the planet in droplets of sulfuric acid caustic enough to burn a hole through human skin. And yet, a new...

MIT engineers produce the world’s longest flexible fiber battery | MIT News
December 20, 2021

Researchers have developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the form of an ultra-long fiber that could be woven into fabrics. The battery could enable a wide variety of wearable electronic devices, and might even be used to make 3D-printed batteries in virtually any shape. The researchers envision new possibilities for self-powered communications, sensing, and computational devices that could be worn like ordinary...

Sensor based on quantum physics could detect SARS-CoV-2 virus | MIT News
December 20, 2021

A novel approach to testing for the presence of the virus that causes Covid-19 may lead to tests that are faster, less expensive, and potentially less prone to erroneous results than existing detection methods. Though the work, based on quantum effects, is still theoretical, these detectors could potentially be adapted to detect virtually any virus, the researchers say. The new approach is described in a paper published...

“Newer, nimbler, faster:” Venus probe will search for signs of life in clouds of sulfuric acid | MIT News
December 10, 2021

With multiple rovers landed and a mission set to return samples to Earth, Mars has dominated the search for life in the solar system for decades. But Venus has some fresh attention coming its way. In a new report published today, a team led by MIT researchers lays out the scientific plan and rationale for a suite of scrappy, privately-funded missions set to hunt for signs of life among the ultra-acidic atmosphere of the...

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