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MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) articles

Displaying 1 - 20 of 30

Advancing undersea optical communications

Advancing undersea optical communications
Nearly five years ago, NASA and Lincoln Laboratory made history when the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) used a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from a satellite orbiting the moon to Earth — more than 239,000 miles — at a record-breaking download speed of 622MB/s. Now, researchers at Lincoln Laboratory are aiming to once again break new ground by applying the laser beam technology used in LLCD to underwater communications.
21st August 2018

Optics for ultrafast cameras create possibilities for imaging

Optics for ultrafast cameras create possibilities for imaging
MIT researchers have developed novel photography optics that capture images based on the timing of reflecting light inside the optics, instead of the traditional approach that relies on the arrangement of optical components. These new principles, the researchers say, open doors to new capabilities for time- or depth-sensitive cameras, which are not possible with conventional photography optics.
15th August 2018

On-chip optical filter processes wide range of wavelengths

On-chip optical filter processes wide range of wavelengths
MIT researchers have designed an optical filter on a chip that can process optical signals from across an extremely wide spectrum of light at once, something never before available to integrated optics systems that process data using light. The technology may offer greater precision and flexibility for designing optical communication and sensor systems, studying photons and other particles through ultrafast techniques, and in other applications.
7th August 2018


A new light at the end of the tunnel

A new light at the end of the tunnel
Try a quick experiment: Take two flashlights into a dark room and shine them so that their light beams cross. Notice anything peculiar? The rather anticlimactic answer is, probably not. That’s because the individual photons that make up light do not interact. Instead, they simply pass each other by, like indifferent spirits in the night. But what if light particles could be made to interact, attracting and repelling each other like atoms in ordinary matter?
16th February 2018

Glowing plants could be the electrical lighting of the future

Glowing plants could be the electrical lighting of the future
Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk. MIT engineers have taken a critical first step toward making that vision a reality. By embedding specialised nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to give off dim light for nearly four hours. They believe that, with further optimisation, such plants will one day be bright enough to illuminate a workspace.
14th December 2017

Devices could be used as flexible connectors for electronics

Devices could be used as flexible connectors for electronics
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 the body, flexing easily with the natural tissue.
8th November 2017

Terahertz laser could be used for chemical detection

Terahertz laser could be used for chemical detection
For more than 20 years, Qing Hu, a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and his group have been working on sources of terahertz radiation that can be etched onto microchips. In the latest issue of Nature Photonics, members of Hu’s group and colleagues at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Toronto describe a novel design that boosts the power output of chip-mounted terahertz lasers by 80%.
11th August 2017

Controlling fluids on a surface using only visible light

Controlling fluids on a surface using only visible light
A system developed by engineers at MIT could make it possible to control the way water moves over a surface, using only light. This advance may open the door to technologies such as microfluidic diagnostic devices whose channels and valves could be reprogrammed on the fly, or field systems that could separate water from oil at a drilling rig, the researchers say.
27th April 2017

Reducing the number of exposures in 'lensless imaging'

Reducing the number of exposures in 'lensless imaging'
Reporting their results in the journal IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging, researchers from the MIT Media Lab now describe a technique that makes image acquisition using compressed sensing 50 times as efficient. In the case of the single-pixel camera, it could get the number of exposures down from thousands to dozens. One intriguing aspect of compressed-sensing imaging systems is that, unlike conventional cameras, they don’t require lenses.
31st March 2017

The latest resource for optical chips

The latest resource for optical chips
The Semiconductor Industry Association has estimated that at current rates of increase, computers’ energy requirements will exceed the world’s total power output by 2040. Using light rather than electricity to move data would dramatically reduce computer chips’ energy consumption, and the past 20 years have seen remarkable progress in the development of silicon photonics, or optical devices that are made from silicon so they can easily be integrated with electronics on silicon chips.
21st February 2017

Low-power tabletop could replace car-size lab devices

Low-power tabletop could replace car-size lab devices
Ultrashort bursts of electrons have several important applications in scientific imaging, but producing them has typically required a costly, power-hungry apparatus about the size of a car. In the journal Optica, researchers at MIT, the German Synchrotron, and the University of Hamburg in Germany describe a technique for generating electron bursts, which could be the basis of a shoebox-sized device that consumes only a fraction as much power as its predecessors.
22nd November 2016

Laser particles could provide sharper images of tissues

Laser particles could provide sharper images of tissues
A new imaging technique developed by scientists at MIT, Harvard University, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) aims to illuminate cellular structures in deep tissue and other dense and opaque materials. Their method uses tiny particles embedded in the material, that give off laser light. The team synthesised these “laser particles” in the shape of tiny chopsticks, each measuring a small fraction of a human hair’s width.
4th November 2016

Stretchy optical fibres for implanting in the body

Stretchy optical fibres for implanting in the body
Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have developed a biocompatible and highly stretchable optical fibre made from hydrogel — an elastic, rubbery material composed mostly of water. The fibre, which is as bendable as a rope of licorice, may one day be implanted in the body to deliver therapeutic pulses of light or light up at the first sign of disease. The researchers say the fiber may serve as a long-lasting implant that would bend and twist with the body without breaking down.
17th October 2016

Judging a book through its cover

Judging a book through its cover
  In the latest issue of Nature Communications, the researchers describe a prototype of the system, which they tested on a stack of papers, each with one letter printed on it. The system was able to correctly identify the letters on the top nine sheets.
19th September 2016

Light adds extra layer of control over genome editing

Light adds extra layer of control over genome editing
The genome-editing system known as CRISPR allows scientists to delete or replace any target gene in a living cell. MIT researchers have now added an extra layer of control over when and where this gene editing occurs, by making the system responsive to light. With the system, gene editing takes place only when researchers shine ultraviolet light on the target cells.
25th August 2016

Shortwave IR instrument can improve ear infection diagnosis

Shortwave IR instrument can improve ear infection diagnosis
A new device developed by researchers at MIT and a physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center could greatly improve doctors’ ability to accurately diagnose ear infections. That could drastically reduce the estimated 2 million cases per year in the United States where such infections are incorrectly diagnosed and unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed. Such overprescriptions are considered a major cause of antibiotic resistance.
23rd August 2016

Helping the 2020 Mars rover to find signs of life

Helping the 2020 Mars rover to find signs of life
In 2020, NASA plans to launch a new Mars rover that will be tasked with probing a region of the planet scientists believe could hold remnants of ancient microbial life. The rover will collect samples of rocks and soil, and store them on the Martian surface; the samples would be returned to Earth sometime in the distant future so that scientists can meticulously analyse the samples for signs of present or former extraterrestrial life.
16th August 2016

Laser pulses could enable long-distance monitoring

Laser pulses could enable long-distance monitoring
Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a way of using mid-infrared lasers to turn regions of molecules in the open air into glowing filaments of electrically charged gas, or plasma. The method could make it possible to carry out remote environmental monitoring to detect a wide range of chemicals with high sensitivity. The system makes use of a mid-infrared ultra-fast pulsed laser system to generate the filaments, whose colors can reveal the chemical fingerprints of different molecules.
28th June 2016

Eye-tracking system uses ordinary smartphone camera

Eye-tracking system uses ordinary smartphone camera
  For the past 40 years, eye-tracking technology - which can determine where in a visual scene people are directing their gaze - has been widely used in psychological experiments and marketing research, but it’s required pricey hardware that has kept it from finding consumer applications.
16th June 2016

'Phase locking' lasers could enable terahertz scanners

'Phase locking' lasers could enable terahertz scanners
  Terahertz radiation - the band of electromagnetic radiation between microwaves and visible light - has promising applications in security and medical diagnostics, but such devices will require the development of compact, low-power, high-quality terahertz lasers.
13th June 2016


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