Category Archives: Science & Technology

Self-made stars

Astronomers observe black hole producing cold, star-making fuel from hot plasma jets and bubbles by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Phoenix cluster is an enormous accumulation of about 1,000 galaxies, located 5.7 billion light years from Earth. At its center lies a

The heart of a far-off star beats for its planet

Scientists observe first planet-induced stellar pulsations by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For the first time, astronomers from MIT and elsewhere have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star, which goes by the name HAT-P-2, is about 400

Voice control everywhere

Low-power special-purpose chip could make speech recognition ubiquitous in electronics by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The butt of jokes as little as 10 years ago, automatic speech recognition is now on the verge of becoming people’s chief means of interacting with their

Scientists estimate solar nebula’s lifetime

Study finds the swirling gas disk disappeared within the solar system’s first 4 million years by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — About 4.6 billion years ago, an enormous cloud of hydrogen gas and dust collapsed under its own weight, eventually flattening into

Researchers add human intuition to planning algorithms

  Incorporating strategies from skilled human planners improves automatic planners’ performance. by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office Every other year, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling hosts a competition in which computer systems designed by conference participants try to find the best solution

Stars align in test supporting “spooky action at a distance”

Physicists address loophole in tests of Bell’s inequality, using 600-year-old starlight. by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office) CAMBRIDGE, MA — Quantum entanglement may appear to be closer to science fiction than anything in our physical reality. But according to the laws of quantum mechanics —

Toward all-solid lithium batteries

Researchers investigate mechanics of lithium sulfides, which show promise as solid electrolytes David L. Chandler, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass — Most batteries are composed of two solid, electrochemically active layers called electrodes, separated by a polymer membrane infused with a liquid or gel electrolyte.

Study: Technological progress alone won’t stem resource use

Researchers find no evidence of an overall reduction in the world’s consumption of materials by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Are humans taking more resources from the Earth than the planet can safely produce? The answer lies partly in whether we can “dematerialize,”

Model sheds light on purpose of inhibitory neurons

Study suggests computational role for neurons that prevent other neurons from firing. by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new computational model of a neural circuit in the brain, which could shed