September 5, 2019
The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, which includes a number of MIT researchers, has been honored with the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their work capturing the first image of a black hole, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. Prof. Max Metlitski was also honored with a New Horizons Prize.
Nearly 30 MIT-affiliated researchers will share in the prize, while David Jay Julius ’77 wins Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences; assistant professor of physics Max Metlitski shares New Horizons prize with Xie Chen PhD ’12 and Michael Levin PhD ’06.
Washington Post reporter Justin Wm. Moyer highlights graduate student Ensign Christian Montgomery’s participation in the International Burn Camp, as part of an effort to support and inspire young people living with burn scars. “My scar is just something on my skin,” said Montgomery. “It’s not any deeper than that.”
MIT alumnus Cody Friesen, a professor at Arizona State University, has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT prize for his work developing long-lasting rechargeable batteries and solar panels that extract drinking water from the air, reports Max Jungreis for The Boston Globe. Friesen’s innovations “are truly improving lives,” said Lemelson Foundation Executive Director Carol Dahl.
NBC MACH reporter Denise Chow writes that researchers at MIT have created the blackest material to date using carbon nanotubes. “It was unexpected — like a proper scientific discovery,” explains Prof. Brian Wardle. “We were working on a new way to grow nanotubes, and when you make a new material, its properties may be interesting.”
Writing for Ms., Julie Wosk spotlights Prof. Dava Newman’s work developing the BioSuit, a form-fitting suit that will provide astronauts greater mobility in space. Newman hopes that the suit will inspire girls and young women. “I do believe they need to ‘see’ themselves as astronauts and aerospace engineers to open up their minds and to allow themselves to accomplish these dreams!”
Using a computing platform that applies unused processing power from home computers, researchers have solved a longstanding mathematical mystery by finding three cubes that sum to 3, reports Ryan Mandelbaum for Gizmodo. “Having access to this kind of computational power is like giving an astronomer a new telescope that is 100 times more powerful than any that existed before,” explains principal research scientist Andrew Sutherland.