Strange things happen when a crystal is split in two

The remarkable strength of ionic crystals is easily explained at the atomic scale: Positively and negatively charged atoms sit side by side in a repeating periodic arrangement. The strong electrostatic force in between keeps ...

New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides

Sometimes things that are technically defects, such as imperfections in a material's crystal lattice, can actually produce changes in properties that open up new kinds of useful applications. New research from a team at MIT ...

Creating antimatter via lasers?

Dramatic advances in laser technologies are enabling novel studies to explore laser-matter interactions at ultrahigh intensity. By focusing high-power laser pulses, electric fields (of orders of magnitude greater than found ...

NASA-funded balloon launches to study Sun

On Jan. 18, 2016, the GRIPS balloon team sent their instrument soaring towards the stratosphere above Antarctica, suspended underneath a helium-filled, football-field sized scientific balloon. GRIPS, short for Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter ...