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Photonics

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WCVB

WCVB-TV’s Mike Wankum visits MIT to learn more about Prof. Nicholas Fang’s work developing a new film that can be coated on windows and can block up to 70 percent of incoming solar heat. Wankum explains that the film “could lead to a future with less need for air conditioning.”

WGBH

WGBH reporter Kirk Carapezza spotlights how MIT is providing free training for community college students in the advanced manufacturing field of integrated photonics. "There is a demand for photonics jobs, and it is moving quickly," explains Principal Research Scientist Anuradha Agarwal.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Tauren Dyson writes that MIT researchers have developed a coating that can reject up to 70 percent of incoming solar heat. “The film resembles transparent plastic wrap, implanted with tiny microparticles that contain water that releases when met with temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit,” Dyson explains.

Xinhuanet

MIT researchers have developed a new see-through film that reflects 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat and could be used to coat a building’s windows, reports the Xinhua news agency. The material, “can cool a building while still letting in a good amount of light, offering an affordable and energy-efficient alternative to existing smart window technologies,” Xinhua explains.

Smithsonian Magazine

Research published in Science demonstrates the ability of photons to bind together in a way previously thought impossible – creating a new form of light. “The photon dance happens in a lab at MIT where the physicists run table-top experiments with lasers,” writes Marissa Fessenden for Smithsonian. “Photons bound together in this way can carry information – a quality that is useful for quantum computing.”

Newsweek

Writing for Newsweek, Katherine Hignett reports that for the first time, scientists have observed groups of three photons interacting and effectively producing a new form of light. “Light,” Prof. Vladan Vuletic, who led the research, tells Hignett, “is already used to transmit data very quickly over long distances via fiber optic cables. Being able to manipulate these photons could enable the distribution of data in much more powerful ways.”

New Scientist

Research by Physics PhD candidate Sergio Cantu has led to the discovery of a new form of light, which happens when photos stick together, as opposed to passing through one another. “’We send the light into the medium, it gets effectively dressed up as if it were atoms, and then when it turns back into photons they remember interactions that happened in the medium,” Cantu explains to Leah Crane at New Scientist

Motherboard

MIT physicists have created a new form of light that allows up to three photons to bind together, writes Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard. While the research is experimental, Oberhaus writes that the trio of photons “are much more strongly bound together and are, as a result, better carriers of information” than other photonic qubits.

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.”

Fox News

MIT researchers have developed a stretchy, biocompatible material that could be implanted in a patient’s body and used to stimulate cells or detect disease, according to FOX News. The hydrogel “could bend and twist in a patient’s body without breaking down.”

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.