Category Archives: Science & Technology

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

Study: Some catalysts contribute their own oxygen for reactions

Finding may help researchers fine-tune metal-oxide catalysts to enhance energy storage technology. by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chemical reactions that release oxygen in the presence of a catalyst, known as oxygen-evolution reactions, are a crucial part of chemical energy storage

Movable microplatform floats on a sea of droplets

New technique offers precise, durable control over tiny mirrors or stages by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office Cambridge, Mass. — Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are tiny machines fabricated using equipment and processes developed for the production of electronic chips and devices. They’ve found a

MIT Energy Initiative report provides guidance for evolving electric power sector

Experts call for regulatory, policy, and market transformation to realize potential of distributed energy technologies by Emily Dahl, MIT Energy Initiative CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Distributed energy resources — relatively small-scale power technologies such as solar, wind, energy storage, and power electronics and control devices — are

A radiation-free approach to imaging molecules in the brain

New probe induces blood flow changes that can be seen by MRI by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, MA — Scientists hoping to get a glimpse of molecules that control brain activity have devised a new probe that allows them to image these molecules

How the brain recognizes faces

Machine-learning system spontaneously reproduces aspects of human neurology by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — MIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain’s face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have