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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.”

Science

MIT researchers have developed a computer chip that uses beams of light to mimic neurons, reports Matthew Hutson for Science. Hutson explains that, “such ‘optical neural networks’ could make any application of so-called deep learning—from virtual assistants to language translators—many times faster and more efficient.”

Economist

Researchers at MIT have developed an incandescent light bulb that vastly improves the device’s energy efficiency, The Economist reports. The modified bulb “maintains the technology’s advantages while vastly improving its energy credentials, giving it the potential to trounce CFLs and LEDs.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Mary Beth Griggs writes that MIT researchers are developing a more efficient incandescent light bulb. Griggs explains that the prototype “is already as energy efficient as some LEDs and fluorescent bulbs currently on the market.”

BBC News

MIT researchers have developed a technique to increase the efficiency of incandescent light bulbs, reports Matt McGrath for BBC News. "We have this huge challenge that the world is facing right now, global warming and energy efficiency and this gives you one more tool," says Prof. Marin Soljačić. 

Scientific American

Researchers at MIT and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a vision-correcting display that modifies the screens of smartphones or tablets to eliminate a user’s need to wear glasses, writes Rachel Nuwer for Scientific American. “The screen can correct for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and more complicated vision problems,” she explains.

BBC News

“Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have invented a glass screen that corrects bad vision, without the need for spectacles or contact lenses,” the BBC News reports. “The device is compatible with phones, tablets, TVs and even car dashboards.”

Financial Times

Clive Cookson of The Financial Times reports on the new vision-correcting display developed by researchers from MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. The technology, which automatically corrects for vision problems, “puts the glasses on the display, rather than on your head,” explains Dr. Gordon Wetzstein. 

The Guardian

Luke Holland writes for The Guardian about work by the MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms to try to form 3-D structures comprised of light. “By manipulating photons, they've discovered a way of making them react with and deflect each other, essentially forming a new type of matter,” writes Holland.

Wired

Wired reporter Katie Collins examines the new display technology developed by MIT researchers that automatically corrects for visual defects, allowing individuals to watch TV or use their iPhone without their glasses. 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Jay McGregor writes that researchers at MIT have developed a new vision-correcting display that automatically adjusts for people with visual impairments. “The idea is that the technology will predict how the users’ eyes will distort whatever is on screen and correct it beforehand,” McGregor explains.