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Physicists Close in on a Rare Particle-Decay Process

Marcus Woo

Physicists have made the most sensitive measurements yet in a decades-long hunt for a hypothetical and rare process involving the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei.


Caltech Astronomer Mike Brown Awarded Kavli Prize in Astrophysics

Marcus Woo

Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor and professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named a co-winner of the 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for his efforts to understand the outer solar system—work that led to the demotion of Pluto.


Solar Eclipse Dazzles at Caltech

Marcus Woo

Sunday evening's solar eclipse dazzled hundreds of sun gazers who gathered on Caltech's campus to watch the rare alignment, a partial annular "ring of fire" solar eclipse that wowed spectators around the world.


Notes from the Back Row: "An Explosion of Explosions"

Douglas Smith

In his Watson Lecture given on April 25, Shri Kulkarni, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science and the director of the Caltech Optical Observatories, described how Caltech's fully automated Palomar Transient Factory—Kulkarni calls it "Transients 'R' Us"—is revolutionizing how we explore the changing sky.


NASA Lends Ultraviolet Space Telescope to Caltech

Marcus Woo

Caltech has taken over operation from NASA of the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), a space telescope that for the last nine years has been surveying the cosmos in ultraviolet light.


Overactive Black Holes Shut Down Star Formation

Marcus Woo

A team of astronomers has found that the most active galactic nuclei—enormous black holes that are violently devouring gas and dust at the centers of galaxies—may prevent new stars from forming.


Notes from the Back Row: "Electrons In Flatland"

Douglas Smith

In James Eisenstein's Watson lecture on January 18, 2012, he uses vivid analogies and nifty animations to lead us through the basics of quantum electronics to his own work with some very bizarre particles—even for quantum mechanics.


Two Galaxies in One

Marcus Woo

Observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is actually two galaxies in one. With a halo of stars surrounded by the thin edge of a stellar disk, the galaxy resembles a big hat.


Fermi Space Telescope Helps Scientists Narrow Search for Dark Matter

Marcus Woo

Scientists have further narrowed the search for a hypothetical particle that could be dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up 80 percent of all the mass in the universe.


Modeling Markets

Marcus Woo

Chris Shannon, the Richard Merkin Professor of Economics and Mathematics, is one of Caltech's newest faculty members. Her research involves developing mathematical models to understand financial markets and other mechanisms that allocate goods, such as auctions.