Microbial cooperation at the micron scale impacts biodegradation

MIT researchers demonstrate how often-ignored microbial interactions have a significant impact on the biodegradation of complex materials. Maria Iacobo | Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNovember 15, 2019 The carbon cycle, in which CO2 is incorporated into living organisms and later released back into the atmosphere through respiration, relies on the ability of bacteria and fungi […]

Study investigates a critical transition in water that remains liquid far below the freezing point

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 by José Tadeu Arantes, FAPESP Water can remain liquid at temperatures far below 0 degrees Celsius. This supercooled phase is a current focus for scientific research. A theoretical model developed at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil shows that in supercooled water, there is a critical point at which properties such as […]

Obtaining order in the “frustrated” landscape of disordered magnetism

NOVEMBER 7, 2019 by Jeremy Rumsey, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Identifying a material’s magnetic structure is a key to unlocking new features and higher performance in electronic devices. However, solving increasingly complex magnetic structures requires increasingly sophisticated approaches. Researchers from the Center for Materials Crystallography at Aarhus University, Denmark, are pioneering a novel technique to solve highly elaborate magnetic structures […]

A new type of fire, the fuel of the future?

The results from the burning will be analysed to create models of discrete burning to extrapolate the ideal conditions. NOVEMBER 8, 2019 by European Space Agency Later this month a Texus rocket will launch from Esrange, Sweden, that will travel about 260 km upwards and fall back to Earth offering researchers six minutes of zero gravity. […]

Mathematics at the speed of light

This new optical computing and imaging technique operates at the speed of light and the mathematical operation itself consumes no energy as it involves only passive optical components.  NOVEMBER 7, 2019 by AMOLF AMOLF researchers and their collaborators from the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC/CUNY) in New York have created a nanostructured surface capable of performing […]

New synthesis method yields degradable polymers

Materials could be useful for delivering drugs or imaging agents in the body; may offer alternative to some industrial plastics. Anne Trafton | MIT News OfficeOctober 28, 2019 MIT chemists have devised a way to synthesize polymers that can break down more readily in the body and in the environment. A chemical reaction called ring-opening […]

Unique properties of quantum material explained for first time

This new understanding of the topological material will make it easier for engineers to use it in new applications. OCTOBER 23, 2019 by Steve Tally, Purdue University The characteristics of a new, iron-containing type of material that is thought to have future applications in nanotechnology and spintronics have been determined at Purdue University. The native material, […]

Gravity crystals: A new method for exploring the physics of white dwarf stars

OCTOBER 21, 2019 by American Physical Society Grab a mixing bowl from your kitchen, throw in a handful of aluminum balls, apply some high voltage, and watch an elegant dance unfold where particles re-arrange themselves into a distinct “crystal” pattern. This curious behavior belongs to the phenomenon known as Wigner crystallization, where particles with the same […]

MADMEC teams address plastic waste problem with materials science

Finalists presented an alternative to nondegradable plastics, and an additive to help plastics decompose. Zach Winn | MIT News OfficeOctober 17, 2019 A team with a sustainable alternative to nondegradable plastic earned first place in this year’s MADMEC competition on Oct. 15. The ecoTrio team, made up of three MIT PhD students, took home the […]

Engineers put Leonardo da Vinci’s bridge design to the test

Proposed bridge would have been the world’s longest at the time; new analysis shows it would have worked. David L. Chandler | MIT News OfficeOctober 9, 2019 In 1502 A.D., Sultan Bayezid II sent out the Renaissance equivalent of a government RFP (request for proposals), seeking a design for a bridge to connect Istanbul with […]