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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
Happy Fourth of July!Today’s Spotlight features an animation by Christine Daniloff/MIT.

MIT is closed today in observance of Independence Day. Enjoy the holiday!

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

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Let there be light

Let there be light

Today’s Spotlight uses an animated illustration by Christine Daniloff/MIT.

Each summer, power grids are pushed to their limits, as homes and offices crank up the air conditioning in response to rising temperatures. A single failure in the system — such as a downed power line or a tripped relay — can cause power outages throughout a neighborhood or across entire towns.

For the most part, though, a failure in one part of the grid won’t bring down the entire network. But in some cases, two or more seemingly small failures that occur simultaneously can ripple through a power system, causing major blackouts over a vast region.

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