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Moore Foundation Gives $25.4 million to Caltech for Nanoscale Systems Initiative
11/10/2004

Moore Foundation Gives $25.4 million to Caltech for Nanoscale Systems Initiative

Robert Tindol
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded a $25.4 million grant to the California Institute of Technology to establish the Nanoscale Systems Initiative (NSI). The grant will support one of the scientific and technological community's promising research avenues--the creation of extremely tiny devices to augment and in some cases displace the state-of-the-art electronic systems of today.
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Laser Points to the Future at Palomar
11/04/2004

Laser Points to the Future at Palomar

Jill Perry

The Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain has been gathering light from the depths of the universe for 55 years. It finally sent some back early last week as a team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Chicago created an artificial star by propagating a 4-watt laser beam out from the Hale Telescope and up into the night sky.

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Observing the Roiling Earth
10/27/2004

Observing the Roiling Earth

Marcus Woo

Thanks to a $13,254,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Caltech has established the Tectonic Observatory, under the direction of Avouac, with the ultimate goal, he says, of "providing a new view of how and why the earth's crust is deforming over timescales ranging from a few tens of seconds, the typical duration of an earthquake, to several tens of million of years."

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CBI Reveals Motion in the Remotest Seeds of Galaxy Clusters in the Very Early Universe
10/07/2004

CBI Reveals Motion in the Remotest Seeds of Galaxy Clusters in the Very Early Universe

Robert Tindol
Cosmologists from the California Institute of Technology have used observations probing back to the remote epoch of the universe when atoms were first forming to detect movements among the seeds that gave rise to clusters of galaxies. The new results show the motion of primordial matter on its way to forming galaxy clusters and superclusters. The observations were obtained with an instrument high in the Chilean Andes known as the Cosmic Background Imager (CBI), and they provide new confidence in the accuracy of the standard model of the early universe in which rapid inflation occurred a brief instant after the Big Bang.
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David Politzer Wins Nobel Prize in Physics
10/05/2004

David Politzer Wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Hugh David Politzer has won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics for work he began as a graduate student on how the elementary particles known as quarks are bound together to form the protons and neutrons of atomic nuclei. The announcement was made today by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
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International Team of Scientists Establishes New Internet Land-Speed Benchmark
09/01/2004

International Team of Scientists Establishes New Internet Land-Speed Benchmark

Robert Tindol
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), along with colleagues at AMD, Cisco, Microsoft Research, Newisys, and S2io have set a new Internet2 land-speed record. The team transferred 859 gigabytes of data in less than 17 minutes at a rate of 6.63 gigabits per second between the CERN facility in Geneva, Switzerland, and Caltech in Pasadena, California, a distance of more than 15,766 kilometers. The speed is equivalent to transferring a full-length DVD movie in just four seconds.
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Caltech Physicists Achieve Measurement on a Single Magnetic Domain Wall
09/01/2004

Caltech Physicists Achieve Measurement on a Single Magnetic Domain Wall

Physicists for several years have been predicting a new age of semiconductor devices that operate by subtle changes in the orientation of electron spins. Known as "spintronics," the field relies on an intricate knowledge of the magnetic properties of materials and of how magnetic moments can be manipulated.
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Hints on Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower the Night of Wednesday, August 11
08/10/2004

Hints on Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower the Night of Wednesday, August 11

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Gamma-ray burst of December 3 was a new type of cosmic explosion
08/04/2004

Gamma-ray burst of December 3 was a new type of cosmic explosion

Astronomers have identified a new class of cosmic explosions that are more powerful than supernovae but considerably weaker than most gamma-ray bursts. The discovery strongly suggests a continuum between the two previously-known classes of explosions.
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Unexpected Changes in Earth's Climate Observed on the Dark Side of the Moon
05/27/2004

Unexpected Changes in Earth's Climate Observed on the Dark Side of the Moon

Robert Tindol
Scientists who monitor Earth's reflectance by measuring the moon's "earthshine" have observed unexpectedly large climate fluctuations during the past two decades. By combining eight years of earthshine data with nearly twenty years of partially overlapping satellite cloud data, they have found a gradual decline in Earth's reflectance that became sharper in the last part of the 1990s, perhaps associated with the accelerated global warming in recent years. Surprisingly, the declining reflectance reversed completely in the past three years. Such changes, which are not understood, seem to be a natural variability of Earth's clouds.
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