Wet News: Explore Oceans at MIT

by Nancy DuVergne Smith on January 10, 2014

in Engineering

Guest blogger: Genevieve Wanucha SM ′09

As the New Year begins, Oceans at MIT is gearing up for a whole new batch of stories that explore the ocean-related research and engineering at MIT. It’s the perfect time to take a look back at Oceans at MIT’s past twelve months. The stories are a varied bunch, ranging from new insights into the surprisingly warm climate of the “Cretaceous Hothouse” 50 million years ago to a review of the “Ocean Stories” exhibit produced by Synergy, a newly formed MIT/WHOI experimental art/science organization; and from a highlight of new faculty positions in top climate-ocean science programs earned by recent PAOC members to an update on the Fukushima Disaster clean-up. Here are three highlights:

oceans_Shark-01-10-13Lights, Camera, Action: Revealing the Ocean’s Invisible Beauty A feature on MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams’ collaboration with underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen to make the subtle, rapid movements of sea creatures visible to the human eye. They recently used a Phantom V12 high-speed camera and lighting to film New England Aquarium (NEAq) finned denizens, including sharks and lionfish, at 1,200 frames per second in high-def. The videos, when played back in extreme slow motion, expose an awe-inspiring world.

oceans_Sailing-01-10-13Inside the Fastest Boats in America’s Cup History with MIT MechE Oceans at MIT invited professors Doug Hart, Paul Sclavounos PhD ’81, and Jerome Milgram ’61, SM ’62, PhD ’65 to answer a few questions about the fastest yachts in America’s Cup history. Knowing what they know will put the 2013 race between the US and New Zealand in San Francisco into a whole new light.

oceans_waste-01-10-13Before the Wreckage Comes Ashore Oceanographers around the world, with MIT’s mechanical engineer Thomas Peacock at the helm, have found the invisible organizing structures that govern how pollutants move along the ocean’s chaotically swirling surface. Their new application of dynamical systems theory paves the way towards next generation disaster response.

Read the more top stories online from 2013 and visit the Oceans at MIT on Facebook for regular updates.

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