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Program Highlights for year 2010

Education Outreach Programs at The Boston Museum of Science

A group of MRSEC researchers, staff, and graduate students visited the Boston Museum of Science on July 15, 2009 for a day of public demonstrations and presentations to encourage thought and discussion about polymers.

Exotic Phases of Banana-Shaped Molecules

Banana shaped molecules, like the one shown in the figure, like to pack into layers but when they do, they have a hard time making flat ones.  Their layers have a strong tendency to buckle up into saddles, and when the saddles try to fill space interesting things happen.  If the layers are crystal-like they can only form the twisted nanofilaments

Quantifying 3D Traction Forces of Epithelial Cell Clusters

When cells assemble together in a cluster, they apply force to each other. The way in which cells signal each other with and respond to forces is not

“Stretchy” Near-Infrared Metamaterials

Metamaterials are engineered structures with novel electromagnetic properties such as artificial magnetism, negative refraction, and cloaking. Thus far, most metamaterial designs have

Soft Matter Science revealed through Cooking

Acclaimed chef Jose Andres visited the Harvard MRSEC to collaborate with Center researchers and speak to students in the ES139. Innovations in Science and Engineering class; the laboratory and classroom

Entropy Favors Asymmetry in Colloidal Self-Assembly

Two self-assembled colloidal clusters, as seen under the optical microscope. The cluster on the left, a tri-tetrahedron, and the cluster on the right, an octahedron, have the same energy.

CMU MRSEC Hosts over 60 scientists at the 1st Summer School on 3D Microstructure Studies

On June 1st -4th, 2010, CMU hosted 67 scientists from around the world at the 1st Summer School on 3D Microstructure Studies. MRSEC Faculty, graduate students and researchers introduced the techniques that were developed and continue to be developed here at CMU to characterize of the internal structure of polycrystalline materials. The school

Virus-grown battery materials

Widely used in small electronic devices and in the nascent market for HEVS (Hybrid Electric Vehicles), lithium ion batteries store more energy for theirweight, operate at a higher voltage, and hold a charge much longer thanother rechargeable batteries. As a new approach, Belcher and Ceder of the MIT MRSEC IRG-I have explored a biological way to create