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At the nanoscale, concrete proves effective for nuclear containment

Research shows concrete is a strong choice for the long-term confinement of nuclear waste


One of the main challenges faced by the nuclear industry is the long-term confinement of nuclear waste. Concrete is one of the barrier materials commonly used to contain radionuclides, both in nuclear reactors and nuclear waste-storing facilities. For this reason, it is extremely important that ...


Working toward a fusion future

An MIT graduate student is practicing cutting-edge research in nuclear fusion


Alex Tinguely wonders where he might be today if he had not taken an online physics class in high school. The second-year Department of Physics graduate student from Fort Madison, Iowa, attended a high school with a population of no more than 100 students, and with no available physics ...


Chemists create adaptable metallic-cage gels

New materials could be tuned for applications including drug delivery and water filtration


MIT chemists have created a new material that combines the flexibility of polymer gels with the rigid structure provided by metal-based clusters. The new gels could be well-suited for a range of possible functions, including drug release, gas storage, or water filtration, the researchers ...


Graphene could take night-vision technology beyond 'Predator'


Movies such as 1987's "Predator," in which an alien who sees in the infrared hunts down Arnold Schwarzenegger and his team, introduced a generation of sci-fi fans to thermal imaging. Since then, heat-sensing devices have found many real-word applications but have remained relatively expensive and ...


Desalination gets a graphene boost

New material research making desalination cheaper and more efficient.


When Jeffrey Grossman, a professor at MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), began looking into whether new materials might reduce the cost of desalination, he was surprised to find how little research and development money was being applied to the problem. “A billion ...


Cyclic loading eliminates metal defects

Crystal defects vanish by repeated stretching


It's a well-known characteristic of metals that repeated bending in the same place can cause the material to weaken and eventually break; this phenomenon, known as metal fatigue, can cause serious damage to metal components subjected to repeated stress. But now, researchers from MIT, Carnegie ...


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Big range of behaviors for tiny graphene pores

Ion channels in inorganic layers


The surface of a single cell contains hundreds of tiny pores, or ion channels, each of which is a portal for specific ions. Ion channels are typically about 1 nanometer wide; by maintaining the right balance of ions, they keep cells healthy and stable. Now researchers at MIT have created tiny ...


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How to spawn an 'exceptional ring'


The Dirac cone started as a concept in particle and high-energy physics and has recently became important in research in condensed matter physics and material science. It has since been found to describe aspects of graphene, a two dimensional form of carbon, suggesting the possibility of ...


Researchers pioneer use of capsules to save materials, streamline chemical reactions


Chemists working in a variety of industries and fields typically go through a laborious process to measure and mix reagents for each reaction they perform. And many of the common reagents they use sit for months or years on shelves in laboratories, where they can react with oxygen and water in ...


A small, modular, efficient fusion plant

New design could finally help to bring the long-sought power source closer to reality


It's an old joke that many fusion scientists have grown tired of hearing: Practical nuclear fusion power plants are just 30 years away - and always will be. But now, finally, the joke may no longer be true: Advances in magnet technology have enabled researchers at MIT to propose a new design for ...


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