Altering Course: Why the United States may be on the cusp of an energy revolution

May 8, 2015
water pumping windmill in Iowa

An active water pumping windmill in Iowa; photograph by Ben Franske. [Published under the Creative Commons Attribution.]

Of the nearly 100 quadrillion British thermal units of energy (BTUs) used each year in the United States, 61 quads are wasted. That is not a moral judgment, or a commentary on insufficient conservation (poor insulation, idling cars, people failing to turn off lights when they leave a room). It is, as Mara Prentiss notes, predominantly fundamental physics: the fuel is burned, but less than 50 percent performs useful work...


Anatomy of the Photochemical Reaction: Excited-State Dynamics Reveals the C–H Acidity Mechanism of Methoxy Photo-oxidation on Titania

April 27, 2015
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Fig. 1: Methoxy to formaldehyde excited-state reaction trajectory: evolution of lengths of the C–H bond being cleaved and the O–H bond being formed. [Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society]


New Method Allows Precise Measurement of Transcriptome in Single Cells

April 16, 2015
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Fig 1: MERFISH: a highly multiplexed smFISH approach enabled by combinatorial labeling and error-robust encoding. [Reprinted by permission from AAAS*]

Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang and members of her group have devised a method of visualizing RNA molecules inside cells so that the identity, location, and abundance of more than 1,000 different RNA species can be determined at the same time. The developers of the new technology say it should be possible to scale up the approach so that tens of thousands of RNA species can be imaged and identified in a single cell.


Harvard Physics Graduate Students Win National Awards

April 6, 2015

Clockwise from top left: Sabrina Pasterski (photo by P. Mitra), Alexandra Thomson, Elana Urbach, Julia Steinberg, Emma Rosenfeld, Ellen Klein.

Physics graduate students Ellen Klein, Sabrina Pasterski, Emma Rosenfeld, Julia Steinberg, and Elana Urbach are year's Harvard recipients of National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowships Program. The Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.