A 150-ton magnet, developed in part by MIT engineers, is pulling the world closer to nuclear fusion as a potential source of energy. In nuclear fusion, light elements are fused together at enormous pressures to make heavier elements, a process that releases large amounts of energy. Powerful magnets provide the magnetic fields needed to initiate, sustain, and control the plasma, or electrically charged gas, in which fusion occurs. Over the last three years, "We've shown that we can design a magnet of this size and complexity and make it work," said Joseph V. Minervini, a senior research engineer at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and Department of Nuclear Engineering. He notes, however, that a better understanding of certain results is necessary to reduce costs for the researchers' ultimate goal: a magnet weighing 925 tons that will be key to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. That magnet, in turn, will be part of a total magnet system weighing some 10,000 tons. For more information, contact: Joseph Minervini, at (617) 253-5503 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
When you think of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, you may imagine complex humanoid contraptions made of metal and wires that move like a Terminator Series T-90. But what actually happened at the much-vaunted event was something just a bit different.
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