August 16, 2018
Graduate student Vishal Patil speaks with NPR’s Rebecca Hersher about his work determining how to snap dry spaghetti in two. Patil found that, “when you twist it, you don't have to bend it as much before it breaks. When there's less bending in it, the snap-back — as the spaghetti tries to become a straight rod again — is weakened, so that no more fractures can occur.”
Popular Mechanics reporter John Wenz writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers examines how lithium moves through batteries. The findings could be used to help build a smarter battery, including “designing selective transport channels, additional shielding on batteries, or a battery additive that would prevent against corrosion or the formation of hot spots.”
A study co-authored by Prof. Amy Finkelstein finds that bundling Medicare payments for procedures such as hip and knee replacements reduces the use of post-acute care by about 3 percent, reports Austin Frakt for The New York Times. Finkelstein explains that she examined the use of post-acute care as “it is an area where there is concern about overuse.”
Axios reporter Andrew Freeman writes that the TESS satellite, which is searching for nearby exoplanets, has captured its first images of the southern sky. “This swath of the sky’s southern hemisphere includes more than a dozen stars we know have transiting planets based on previous studies from ground observatories,” explains MIT’s George Ricker, TESS’ principal investigator.
Keith Powers highlights Prof. Tod Machover’s new opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood,” in WBUR’s guide to the most innovative operas being performed in Boston this fall. Powers writes that in the opera, Machover “investigates the improbable but true story of Schoenberg, the leader of the Second Viennese School, who actually did flee to Hollywood to escape the Nazis.”
Smithsonian reporter Emily Matchar highlights how MIT researchers have developed a new system that enables data sharing between underwater and airborne devices. Prof. Fadel Adib explains that the technology could be used to “study marine life and have access to a whole new world that is still pretty much out of our reach today.”