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Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Rahul Rao writes that researchers from MIT and Harvard have whipped up quantum tornadoes, “the latest demonstration of quantum mechanics—the strange code of laws that governs the universe at its finest, subatomic scales.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have directly observed a quantum tornado, reports Elizabeth Gamillo for Smithsonian. “Scientists observed the tornado-like behavior after trapping and spinning a cloud of one million sodium atoms using lasers and electromagnets at 100 rotations per second,” writes Gamillo.

Forbes

MIT was named one of the top ten institutions for economics research in the Higher Education Research and Development Survey released by the National Science Foundation, reports Michael Nietzel for Forbes.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Stephanie MacConnell spotlights the work of research affiliate Shriya Srinivasan PhD '20 in a roundup of women under the age of 30 who are transforming U.S. healthcare. Srinivasan is “working on technology that will enable patients to control and even ‘feel’ sensation through their prosthetic limb,” notes MacConnell.

Physics World

A number of MIT researchers were named as top ten finalists for the Physics World 2021 Breakthrough of the Year. Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle and his colleagues were honored for their work in “independently observing Pauli blocking in ultracold gases of fermionic atoms” and astronomers with the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration were honored for “creating the first image showing the polarization of light in the region surrounding a supermassive black hole.” 

Newsweek

Researchers from MIT and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology have found a vaccine ingredient that may strengthen immune response, reports Natalie Colarossi for Newsweek. This combination-style vaccine ingredient “may boost the effectiveness of inoculations ranging from HIV to Covid-19,” writes Colarossi.

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.”

HuffPost

HuffPost reporter Mary Papenfuss writes that a team of archeologists and scientists, including Research Scientist Jahandar Ramezani, have uncovered evidence of social behaviors in dinosaurs. “The bones were segregated by age, with eggs in a common nesting ground,” writes Papenfuss. “Juveniles likely were left in ‘schools’ while adults foraged.”

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Dana G. Smith spotlights how Prof. Rebecca Saxe and her colleagues have found evidence that regions of the visual infant cortex show preferences for faces, bodies and scenes. “The big surprise of these results is that specialized area for seeing faces that some people speculated took years to develop: we see it in these babies who are, on average, five or six months old,” Saxe tells Smith. 

Scientific American

Research scientist Jahandar Ramezani speaks with Scientific American reporter Christopher Intagliata about his new study that provides evidence early dinosaurs exhibited herding behavior. “This is a critical time in the evolution of dinosaurs. This is pretty early on,” says Ramezani. “So the idea is: this type of behavior, this social behavior, may have actually contributed to the evolutionary success of dinosaurs.”

Axios

Axios reporter Alison Snyder writes that a new study by MIT researchers demonstrates how AI algorithms could provide insight into the human brain’s processing abilities. The researchers found “Predicting the next word someone might say — like AI algorithms now do when you search the internet or text a friend — may be a key part of the human brain's ability to process language,” writes Snyder.

Scientific American

Using an integrative modeling technique, MIT researchers compared dozens of machine learning algorithms to brain scans as part of an effort to better understand how the brain processes language. The researchers found that “neural networks and computational science might, in fact, be critical tools in providing insight into the great mystery of how the brain processes information of all kinds,” writes Anna Blaustein for Scientific American.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have uncovered evidence that early dinosaurs may have lived in social herds, reports Kate Baggaley for Popular Science. “People have known for a long time that the more advanced dinosaurs, the ones that lived in the late Jurassic and Cretaceous, especially the large sauropods…moved and lived in herds,” explains research scientist Jahandar Ramezani. “But the question has always been, when did this behavior start?”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights RFusion, a fully-integrated robotic arm developed by MIT researchers that “uses an RF antenna and camera mounted to an arm to find lost objects.”