Basic research at MIT is the spark that creates new knowledge and solves big problems.

Nergis Mavalvala aims to detect gravitational waves, which are so aloof they've dodged efforts to track them down for a century. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Era of Astronomical Discovery

Nergis Mavalvala aims to detect gravitational waves, which are so aloof they've dodged efforts to track them down for a century.

Sara Seager is searching for life beyond the solar system and says the world is ready. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Searching for Life

Sara Seager—who's searching for life beyond the solar system—says the whole world is ready. "I call it the awakening."

Yogesh Surendranath says there are big questions to answer on the way to a renewable energy economy. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Surprising Reactions

Yogesh Surendranath says there are big questions to answer on the way to a renewable energy economy.

Paola Cappellaro's work with nanoscale diamonds opens a route to computers that can search huge databases in a flash or crack virtually any secret code. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Quantum Engineering

Paola Cappellaro's work with nanoscale diamonds opens a route to computers that can search huge databases in a flash or crack virtually any secret code.

Fikile Brushett is applying fundamental electrochemistry to boost the performance and durability of future energy storage systems. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Future of Energy Storage

Fikile Brushett is applying fundamental electrochemistry to boost the performance and durability of future energy storage systems.

Ramesh Raskar, who as a child wished for eyes in the back of his head, invents a camera that can see around corners. Photo: Len Rubenstein

Superhuman Vision

Ramesh Raskar, who as a child wished for eyes in the back of his head, invents a camera that can see around corners.

Fotini Christia, an expert on conflict, asks in times of unrest,

From Conflict, Cooperation

Fotini Christia, a political scientist and expert on conflict, asks in times of unrest, "How do you get people to join your side?"

Julia Berk says that reliving a professor’s eureka moment opened up the world. Photo: Len Rubenstein

URIECA Moment

Senior Julia Berk says that reliving a professor’s eureka moment opened up the world.

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