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Category: School of Science

Encapsulation as a method for preventing degradation in Li-air batteries | MIT News
January 21, 2022

Lithium-air batteries were thought promising in the 1970s as a potential power source for electric vehicles, offering energy densities that rival gasoline and significantly surpass conventional lithium-ion batteries. However, scientists over the last few decades have been unable to overcome challenges to practical application of this technology, including reversible charging and low cyclability that results in battery...

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...

Babies can tell who has close relationships based on one clue: saliva | MIT News
January 20, 2022

Learning to navigate social relationships is a skill that is critical for surviving in human societies. For babies and young children, that means learning who they can count on to take care of them. MIT neuroscientists have now identified a specific signal that young children and even babies use to determine whether two people have a strong relationship and a mutual obligation to help each other: whether those two...

Brave Behind Bars: Prison education program focuses on computing skills for women | MIT News
January 19, 2022

A programming language textbook might not be the first thing you’d expect to see when walking into a correctional facility.  The creators of the Brave Behind Bars program are hoping to change that.  Founded in 2020, Brave Behind Bars is a pandemic-born introductory computer science and career-readiness program for incarcerated women, based out of The Educational Justice Institute at MIT (TEJI). It’s taught both...

Clean room as classroom | MIT News
January 14, 2022

MIT undergraduates are using labs at MIT.nano to tinker at the nanoscale, exploring spectrometry, nanomaterial synthesis, photovoltaics, sensor fabrication, and other topics. They’re also getting an experience not common at the undergraduate level — gowning up in a bunny suit and performing hands-on research inside a clean room. During the fall 2021 semester, these students were part of 6.S059 (Nanotechnology —...

Seeing the natural world through a mathematical lens | MIT News
January 13, 2022

Growing up in Wallingford, Connecticut, David Darrow loved spending time outside, hiking and camping with his Boy Scout troop. He was fascinated by the environment around him, constantly asking questions about the natural world. Now a senior at MIT majoring in math and minoring in German and physics, Darrow is still studying natural phenomena. With fluid dynamics and climate modeling as his primary fields of interest, he...

Three with MIT ties win 2022 Churchill Scholarships | MIT News
January 13, 2022

MIT seniors David Darrow and Tara Venkatadri have been selected as 2022 Churchill Scholars and will embark on a year of graduate studies in the U.K. starting next fall. James Diao, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), received the Kanders Churchill Scholarship in Science Policy. The Churchill Scholarship is a highly competitive fellowship that annually offers 16 American...

Four with MIT ties honored with 2022 American Mathematical Society prizes | MIT News
January 12, 2022

Four mathematicians with MIT ties were recently honored by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Professors Michel Goemans and Richard Stanley, along with Cornell University Professor David Williamson PhD ’93, are recipients of AMS’s Leroy P. Steele Prizes for 2022. Associate Professor Semyon Dyatlov received the inaugural 2022 Mikhail Gordin Prize, offered jointly by the AMS and the European Mathematical Society...

Synthesis too slow? Let this robot do it. | MIT News
January 12, 2022

Researchers in the lab of Bradley Pentelute, MIT professor of chemistry, have invented a fully automated fast-flow instrument that can synthesize peptide-nucleic acids in a single shot. By automating the process of synthesizing CPP-conjugated peptide-nucleic acids (PPNAs) using the robot dubbed “Tiny Tides” by the research team, typical PPNA synthesis time was reduced from multiple days to just two hours. “This new...

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...

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