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Displaying 1 - 15 of 28 news clips related to this topic.
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GBH

Edgar Herwick of GBH News visits the lab of Prof. Mathias Kolle to explore the science behind what causes rainbows to arc across the sky. “The sun has to be behind you. Then water in the atmosphere in front of you. And that's usually when it rains, you get that condition,” says Kolle. “Then what you also want to do is you want to look at the right spot.”

Science News

Scientists from MIT have observed a quantum effect that blocks ultracold atoms from scattering light, reports Emily Conover for Science News. To observe the effect, the researchers “beamed light through a cloud of lithium atoms, measuring the amount of light it scattered,” writes Conover. “Then, the team decreased the temperature to make the atoms fill up the lowest energy states, suppressing the scattering of light.”

New Scientist

A new study by MIT scientists has uncovered evidence of Pauli blocking, confirming that as atoms are chilled and squeezed to extremes their ability to scatter light is suppressed, reports Leah Crane for New Scientist. “This is a very basic phenomenon, but it’s sort of a devil to see,” explains former MIT postdoc Yair Margalit. “You need these extreme conditions to be able to see it – high densities and ultra-low temperatures – and it is difficult to get both of these at once.”

Optics.org

Optics & Photonics News reporter Patricia Daukantas spotlights how a team of researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) has uncovered a way to generate long wavelength light using intrinsic defects in semi-conducting materials. “The new method raises the possibility of future CMOS-compatible LEDs that give off the full spectrum of visible light, writes Daukantas, “without the need for phosphors that generate excess heat and shorten the diodes’ lifespan.”

The Boston Globe

Tim Brothers of the MIT Wallace Astrophysical Observatory speaks with Boston Globe reporter Thomas Farragher about the importance of reducing artificial light pollution. “There are a lot of other reasons you should care about light pollution. Maybe it’s health,” says Brother. “The reason the bugs aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing — feeding or living or pollinating — is the same reason we’re not doing the right thing.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that MIT researchers have developed a new light-sensitive paint, dubbed ChromoUpdate, that makes it easy for people to change the color and pattern on a variety of objects. Wilson notes there are a number of applications for ChromoUpdate, from testing out different colors on a product to “quickly projecting what is essentially data onto everyday objects could make smart homes even smarter, without the use of more screens in your house.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed a new atomic clock that can keep time more precisely thanks to the use of entangled atoms, reports Leila Stein for Popular Mechanics. “If all atomic clocks worked the way this one does then their timing, over the entire age of the universe, would be less than 100 milliseconds off,” Stein writes.

Popular Mechanics

Writing for Popular Mechanics, Leila Stein highlights how MIT researchers have created a perfect fluid and captured its sound. “To record the sound, the team of physicists sent a glissando of sound waves through a controlled gas of elementary particles called fermions,” Stein writes.

GBH

Prof. Martin Zwierlein speaks with Edgar Herwick III of GBH Radio about his work capturing the sound of a “perfect” fluid. "It was a beautiful sound," says Zwierlein. "It was a quantum sound. In a way it was the most long-lasting sound that you can imagine given the laws of quantum mechanics.”

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Abigail Beall spotlights how MIT researchers have listened to sound waves traveling through a "perfect" fluid, which could shed light on the resonant frequencies within a neutron star. “The quality of the resonances tells me about the fluid’s viscosity, or sound diffusivity,” says Prof. Martin Zwierlein. “If a fluid has low viscosity, it can build up a very strong sound wave and be very loud, if hit at just the right frequency. If it’s a very viscous fluid, then it doesn’t have any good resonances.”

Popular Mechanics

Graduate student David Berardo has demonstrated how science enthusiasts can measure the speed of light at home using a bar of chocolate and the microwave, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. After microwaving the chocolate for about 20 seconds, “what you’ll see is a specific pattern of melting that shows the wavelength of the microwaves that power your oven.”

Gizmodo

Researchers at MIT and UMass Lowell have developed a completely flat fisheye camera lens. These lenses “could be used as depth sensors in smartphones, laptops, and wearables,” writes Victoria Song for Gizmodo. “The team also believes there could be medical applications—think imaging devices like endoscopes.”

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have designed a completely flat wide-angle lens that can produce clear, 180-degree images, reports Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch. “The engineers were able to make it work by patterning a thin wafer of glass on one side with microscopic, three-dimensional structures that are positioned very precisely in order to scatter any inbound light in precisely the same way that a curved piece of glass would,” writes Etherington.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have simulated a tiny motor that can be powered by light. Hays explains that the researchers designed, “a particle that could be powered and manipulated by simple light sources,” adding that the technique could be applied in medicine, in addition to a number of other fields. 

Scientific American

MIT researchers have developed a light-based computing system that could enhance deep learning, reports Jesse Dunietz for Scientific American. Future versions fabricated for deep learning, “could provide the same accuracy as the best conventional chips while slashing the energy consumption by orders of magnitude and offering 100 times the speed.”