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Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Andrew Zaleski spotlights Prof. Antoine Allanore and his work developing new methods to extract materials from rock without burning fossil fuels. “The electrification of metal production is groundbreaking,” says Allanore. “It not only allows us to avoid certain fuels and carbon emissions, it opens the door to higher productivity.”

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Tony Ho Tran writes that MIT researchers have developed a tiny fuel cell that can transform glucose into electricity. “The team behind the new fuel believes it could potentially be used as a coating on medical implants like artificial hearts or pacemakers,” writes Tran. “Those implants could be powered passively while in use without the need for expensive and cumbersome batteries that take up valuable real estate in the body.”

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have developed a new fuel cell that takes glucose absorbed from food in the human body and turns it into electricity, reports Gwen Egan for Boston.com. “That electricity could power small implants while also being able to withstand up to 600 degrees Celsius — or 1112 degrees Fahrenheit — and measuring just 400 nanometers thick,” writes Egan.

The Atlantic

Boston Metal, an MIT spinout, has created a new manufacturing method that could help engineers reshape the way in which alloy is made, reports Marcello Rossi for The Atlantic. The process is “called ‘molten oxide electrolysis,’ in which a current moves through a cell containing iron ore,” explains Rossi.

Gizmodo

Researchers at MIT have built a highly efficient thermophotovoltaic cell that converts incoming photons to electricity, reports Kevin Hurler for Gizmodo. “We developed this technology—thermal batteries—because storing energy as heat rather than storing it electrochemically is 10 to 100 times cheaper," explains Prof. Asegun Henry. 

Reuters

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang ’85, Prof. Craig Carter and Throop Wilder co-founded MIT spinout 24M, which “will manufacture next-generation lithium-ion batteries using its cell technology,” reports Reuters.  

Popular Mechanics

Researchers at MIT have created a 3D-printable Oreometer that uses twisting force to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie, reports Juandre for Popular Mechanics. “While studying the twisting motion, the engineers also discovered the torque required to successfully open an Oreo is about the same as what’s needed to turn a doorknob—a tenth of the torque required to open a bottle cap,” writes Juandre.

USA Today

A group of MIT scientists led by PhD candidate Crystal Owens has developed an Oreometer, a device used to determine if it is possible to evenly split an Oreo cookie every time, reports Maria Jimenez Moya for USA Today. “One day, just doing experiments, and, all of a sudden we realized that this machine would be perfect for opening Oreos because it already has … the fluid in the center, and then these two discs are like the same geometry as an Oreo,” says Owens.

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have developed an “Oreometer” to test the optimal way to split an Oreo cookie, an exercise in rheology, or the study of how matter flows, reports Isaac Shultz for Gizmodo. "Our favorite twist was rotating while pulling Oreos apart from one side, as a kind of peel-and-twist, which was the most reliable for getting a very clean break,” explains graduate student Crystal Owens.

CNN

CNN reporter Madeline Holcombe spotlights a new study by MIT researchers exploring why the cream on Oreo cookies always sticks to one side when twisted open. Graduate student Crystal Owens explains that she hopes the research will inspire people "to investigate other puzzles in the kitchen in scientific ways. The best scientific research, even at MIT, is driven by curiosity to understand the world around us, when someone sees something weird or unknown and takes the time to think 'I wonder why that happens like that?'"

Popular Science

Graduate student Crystal Owens speaks with Popular Science reporter Philip Kiefer about her work exploring why the cream filling of an Oreo cookie always sticks to one side. “It turns out there’s not really a trick to it,” Owens says. “Everything you try to do will get mostly a clean break.”

VICE

Graduate student Crystal Owens and her colleagues tested the possibility of separating the two wafers of an Oreo in a way that evenly splits the cream filling using a rheometer, an instrument that measures torque and viscosity of various substances, reports Becky Ferreira for Vice. “After twisting Oreos apart with the instruments, the team visually inspected the ratio of creme on each wafer and logged the findings. A number of variations on the experiment were also introduced, such as dipping the cookies in milk, changing the rotation rate of the rheometer, and testing different Oreo flavors and filling quantities,” writes Ferreira.

Science

A team of researchers from MIT and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory successfully reached a 30% jump in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) efficiency, reports Robert F. Service for Science. “[TPV] is a semiconductor structure that concerts photons emitted from a heat source to electricity, just as a solar cell transforms sunlight into power,” explains Service.

Science

Using cellulose nanocrystals found in trees, MIT researchers have developed a new material that is both tough and strong, reports Kathryn Hulick for Science News for Students. Abhinav Rao PhD ’18 explains that he was inspired to create the material “by looking at what nature has to teach us.”

Inverse

Researchers from MIT have developed a new fabric that can hear and interpret what’s happening on and inside our bodies, reports Elana Spivack for Inverse. Beyond applications for physical health the researchers envision that the fabric could eventually be integrated with “spacecraft skin to listen to [accumulating] space dust, or embedded into buildings to detect cracks or strains,” explains Wei Yan, who helped develop the fabric as an MIT postdoc. “It can even be woven into a smart net to monitor fish in the ocean. It can also facilitate the communications between people who are hard of [hearing].”