• Oct. 14, 2015
    Nature has had billions of years to perfect photosynthesis, which directly or indirectly supports virtually all life on Earth. In that time, the process has achieved almost 100 percent efficiency in...
  • Oct. 5, 2015
    The surface of a single cell contains hundreds of tiny pores, or ion channels, each of which is a portal for specific ions. Ion channels are typically about 1 nanometer wide; by maintaining the right...
  • Jul. 14, 2015
    Materials known as conjugated polymers have been seen as very promising candidates for electronics applications, including capacitors, photodiodes, sensors, organic light-emitting diodes, and...
  • Apr. 6, 2015
    Conduction and thermal radiation are two ways in which heat is transferred from one object to another: Conduction is the process by which heat flows between objects in physical contact, such as a pot...
  • Jan. 14, 2015
    Ever notice an earthy smell in the air after a light rain? Now scientists at MIT believe they may have identified the mechanism that releases this aroma, as well as other aerosols, into the...
  • Jan. 13, 2015
    One day in the 1990s, as he was riding home from high school in São Paulo, Tonio Buonassisi looked out the bus window at the Brazilian city’s long lines of traffic, and its smoggy haze. In that...
  • Dec. 13, 2014
    You’ve probably heard of MechE alum and Associate Professor Hugh Herr (SM ’93), head of the Biomechatronics group at MIT Media Lab. The TED Talk he gave earlier this year sparked a flurry of media...
  • Nov. 3, 2014
    When an aspiring mechanical engineer on a budget wants a top-of-the-line guitar, what does he do? He makes it himself, of course. At age 13, Nathan Spielberg — now an MIT senior — began building his...
  • Aug. 6, 2014
    MIT engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hairlike structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field. Depending on the field’s orientation, the microhairs can...
  • Jul. 8, 2014
    The fields of data communication, fabrication, and ultrasound imaging share a common challenge when it comes to improving speed and efficiency: light’s diffraction limit. Nicholas Fang thinks his...
  • Jun. 19, 2014
    What’s the difference between the Eiffel Tower and the Washington Monument? Both structures soar to impressive heights, and each was the world’s tallest building when completed. But the Washington...
  • Nov. 20, 2013
    Those who study hydrophobic materials — water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory — are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water...
  • Nov. 13, 2013
    Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a...
  • Nov. 11, 2013
    When an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, knocking out emergency power supplies, crews sprayed seawater on the reactors to cool them — to no avail. One...
  • Oct. 16, 2013
    There are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria — and sometimes both coexist within the same species. Take, for instance, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a microbe common in soil and water. This...
  • Sep. 17, 2013
    MIT researchers have found a new family of materials that provides the best-ever performance in a reaction called oxygen evolution, a key requirement for energy storage and delivery systems such as...
  • Dec. 10, 2012
    In a New Microchip, Cells Separate by Rolling Away   Associate Professor Rohit Karnik in his lab. Karnik’s new microfluidic device isolates target cells (in pink) from the rest of the flow by...
  • Aug. 3, 2012
    Professor Nick Fang Explores Etching at the Nanoscale     Using electrochemical and optical processes, programmable metamaterials, composed of functional micro- and nanostructures, are prototyped...
  • Dec. 5, 2011
      Yang Shao-Horn is tackling the world’s energy problem by exploring — and manipulating — the surfaces of particles only billionths of a meter in diameter. Hundreds of thousands of these particles...

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