MTL News

MIT is betting big on small

August 5, 2014

Professor Vladimir Bulović spoke with WBUR reporter Bruce Gellerman this week about the $350 million MIT.nano facility that will transform the heart of MIT's campus--and everything else along with it.

"The world is built on the nanoscale and the 21st century will be defined by it," Bulović, MIT's Fariborz Maseeh Chair of Emerging Technology and Associate Dean for Innovation, tells Gellerman in the eight-minute radio segment.

0804_nano-air-620x413-300x199.jpgAn aerial image shows MIT.nano's planned integration into the campus. (Courtesy of Wilson Architects)
Gellerman goes on to explain just how game-changing nanotechnology can be: "When scientists manipulate matter at the nanolevel, the laws of quantum mechanics kick in and strange things happen. Particles can be in two places at the same time, or spin in opposite directions simultaneously. Nanocarbon conducts electricity. Iron ignites. Aluminum explodes."

Previously on Continuum: Slideshow: Welcome to the Nano Age

Bulović welcomed Gellerman to his office, where he demonstrated one example of nanotechnology at work--an exquisitely detailed video screen utilizing quantum dots--and described other applications, such as transforming windows into see-through solar cells, that would, as the professor put it, "be a humongous win for the world."

Bulović is the faculty lead on the construction of the MIT.nano building that will, when it opens in 2018, accommodate some 2,000 researchers. It will become the busiest--and yet, thanks to its state-of-the-art design, the quietest--research space on campus.

Listen to the full interview, plus Gellerman's report on the history and future of MIT's nano research.

Learn more about MIT.nano from MIT News.

--MIT Spectrum, 8/5/2014


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