Researchers develop flexible, stretchable photonic devices

Researchers develop flexible, stretchable photonic devices

“Researchers at MIT and several other institutions have developed a method for making photonic devices — similar to electronic devices but based on light rather than electricity — that can bend and stretch without damage. The devices could find uses in cables to connect computing devices, or in diagnostic and monitoring systems that could be attached to the skin or implanted in …

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Artificial intelligence aids materials fabrication

Artificial intelligence aids materials fabrication

“In recent years, research efforts such as the Materials Genome Initiative and the Materials Project have produced a wealth of computational tools for designing new materials useful for a range of applications, from energy and electronics to aeronautics and civil engineering. But developing processes for producing those materials has continued to depend on a combination of experience, intuition, and manual …

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Faster big-data analysis

Faster big-data analysis

“We live in the age of big data, but most of that data is “sparse.” Imagine, for instance, a massive table that mapped all of Amazon’s customers against all of its products, with a “1” for each product a given customer bought and a “0” otherwise. The table would be mostly zeroes. With sparse data, analytic algorithms end up …

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3-D-printed device builds better nanofibers

3-D-printed device builds better nanofibers

“Meshes made from fibers with nanometer-scale diameters have a wide range of potential applications, including tissue engineering, water filtration, solar cells, and even body armor. But their commercialization has been hampered by inefficient manufacturing techniques. In the latest issue of the journal Nanotechnology, MIT researchers describe a new device for producing nanofiber meshes, which matches the production rate and power …

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Crowdsourcing big-data analysis

Crowdsourcing big-data analysis

“In the analysis of big data sets, the first step is usually the identification of “features” — data points with particular predictive power or analytic utility. Choosing features usually requires some human intuition. For instance, a sales database might contain revenues and date ranges, but it might take a human to recognize that average revenues — revenues divided by the sizes of …

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Ocean sound waves may reveal location of incoming objects

Ocean sound waves may reveal location of incoming objects

“The ocean can seem like an acoustically disorienting place, with muffled sounds from near and far blending together in a murky sea of noise. Now an MIT mathematician has found a way to cut through this aquatic cacaphony, to identify underwater sound waves generated by objects impacting the ocean’s surface, such as debris from meteorites or aircraft. The results …

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Let your car tell you what it needs

Let your car tell you what it needs

“MIT team develops software that can tell if tires need air, spark plugs are bad, or air filter needs replacing. Imagine hopping into a ride-share car, glancing at your smartphone, and telling the driver that the car’s left front tire needs air, its air filter should be replaced next week, and its engine needs two new spark plugs. Within …

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MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic

MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic

“Adding bits of irradiated plastic water bottles could cut cement industry’s carbon emissions. Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study. MIT undergraduate students have found that, by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation …

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Material could bring optical communication onto silicon chips

Material could bring optical communication onto silicon chips

“Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers. The huge increase in computing performance in recent decades has been achieved by squeezing ever more transistors into a tighter space on microchips. However, this downsizing has also meant packing the wiring within microprocessors ever more tightly together, leading to effects such …

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