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Caltech-designed Instruments Provide New View of Primordial Galaxies
11/04/2010

Caltech-designed Instruments Provide New View of Primordial Galaxies

Ann Motrunich

Astronomers estimate that half of the star formation in the universe is obscured by dust—making many distant galaxies in the peak of their star-forming years essentially invisible. But now the invisible has been revealed, thanks to new instruments that can observe in the millimeter, submillimeter, and far-infrared wavelengths in which these galaxies shine.

Discovering New Worlds
10/20/2010

Discovering New Worlds

Marcus Woo

As a kid, Assistant Professor of Astronomy John Johnson wasn't interested in astronomy—or even science for that matter. But now, as an assistant professor of astronomy, he's discovering entirely new worlds. In an interview, he talks about the search for planets and the rapidly evolving field of exoplanet astronomy.

John Johnson
Caltech Applied Physicist Amnon Yariv Awarded National Medal of Science
10/18/2010

Caltech Applied Physicist Amnon Yariv Awarded National Medal of Science

Lori Oliwenstein

Amnon Yariv, the Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and professor of electrical engineering—a pioneer in the field of optoelectronics—has been named one of 10 recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists.

Caltech Engineer Named MacArthur Fellow
09/27/2010

Caltech Engineer Named MacArthur Fellow

Kathy Svitil

John O. Dabiri, a fluid-dynamics expert at Caltech whose studies of schooling fish have inspired new ideas for wind farming, was named a MacArthur Fellow, and awarded a five-year, $500,000 "no strings attached" grant. Each year, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards the unrestricted fellowships to individuals who show "exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future," according to the Foundation's website.

Caltech Mineral Physicists Find New Scenery at Earth's Core-Mantle Boundary
08/31/2010

Caltech Mineral Physicists Find New Scenery at Earth's Core-Mantle Boundary

Kathy Svitil

Using a diamond-anvil cell to recreate the high pressures deep within the earth, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found unusual properties in an iron-rich magnesium- and iron-oxide mineral that may explain the existence of several ultra-low velocity zones (ULVZs) at the core-mantle boundary. A paper about their findings was published in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).

New View of Tectonic Plates
08/25/2010

New View of Tectonic Plates

Kathy Svitil

Computational scientists and geophysicists at the University of Texas at Austin and Caltech have developed new computer algorithms that for the first time allow for the simultaneous modeling of the earth's mantle flow, large-scale tectonic plate motions, and the behavior of individual fault zones, to produce an unprecedented view of plate tectonics and the forces that drive it.

Ralph W. Kavanagh, 86
08/23/2010

Ralph W. Kavanagh, 86

Ralph W. Kavanagh, professor of physics, emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) passed away August 16 in Pasadena, California. He was 86.

Two Caltech Scientists Receive 2010 NIH Director's Pioneer Awards
08/18/2010

Two Caltech Scientists Receive 2010 NIH Director's Pioneer Awards

Lori Oliwenstein

Two scientists from Caltech have been recognized by the National Institutes of Health for their innovative and high-impact biomedical research programs. Michael Roukes, professor of physics, applied physics, and bioengineering, and co-director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, and Pamela Bjorkman, Caltech's Max Delbrück Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, now join the 81 Pioneers who have been selected since the program's inception in 2004.

 

LISA Gravitational-Wave Mission Strongly Endorsed by National Research Council
08/17/2010

LISA Gravitational-Wave Mission Strongly Endorsed by National Research Council

Kathy Svitil

The National Research Council (NRC) has strongly recommended the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) as one of NASA's next two major space missions, to start in 2016 in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). LISA will study the universe in a manner different from any other space observatory, by observing gravitational waves. The recommendation was announced August 13 in a press conference at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C.

NRC Recommends Three Astronomy/Astrophysics Projects with Potential Major Caltech Roles
08/15/2010

NRC Recommends Three Astronomy/Astrophysics Projects with Potential Major Caltech Roles

Kathy Svitil

In an announcement August 13, the National Research Council recommended three space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics projects with potential major roles for researchers at Caltech: CCAT, a giant submillimeter telescope that will help unravel the origins of stars, planets, and galaxies; LISA, designed to detect gravitational waves; and the development of a Giant Segmented Mirrored Telescope—the Thirty Meter Telescope being one of two such telescopes under development.