For Danna Freedman, an impasse is an invitation

Asked once about the most difficult part of her research, Danna Freedman could not stop referring to obstacles as opportunities, and to challenges as excitement. “Every time we hit a barrier it enables us to discover new science,” she told an interviewer at Northwestern University in 2017, describing difficulties encountered in her research as among her most “rewarding” moments.

For Freedman, MIT’s F.G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry, focusing on a difficult problem seems to be her idea of nirvana. Currently, her research group is using inorganic chemistry to create molecules for quantum information science, generating a new class of quantum units that can be readily tuned for quantum communication. But at any given time, her idea of a favorite breakthrough is generally the challenge at hand.

“I love the most recent result, the thing I am struggling to understand and improve at a particular moment in time,” Freedman…
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