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Holographic Imaging Could Be Used to Detect Signs of Life in Space

07-21-17

Jay Nadeau, Research Professor of Medical Engineering and Aerospace, and colleagues are exploring ways to sample and identify living microbes in the outer solar system. Her proposal is to use new microscopes on spacecraft that could visit the icy moons of Enceladus (Saturn) and Europa (Jupiter) and to collect and search water samples for life. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT Jay Nadeau

Reflective Nanostructures

07-13-17

Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have discovered how to use computer-chip manufacturing technologies to create the kind of reflective materials that make safety vests, running shoes, and road signs appear shiny in the dark. The new technology uses surfaces covered by a metamaterial consisting of millions of silicon pillars, each only a few hundred nanometers tall. By adjusting the size of the pillars and the spacing between them, Faraon can manipulate how the surface reflects, refracts, or transmits light. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Andrei Faraon

Grad Student Makes Ultra-Sensitive Measurement of Deformation

07-13-17

Xiaoyue Ni, a materials science graduate student working with Professor Julia Greer, has shown that metals undergo permanent deformation even prior to yielding—the threshold at which a material under strain becomes permanently deformed. "What Xiaoyue's data are showing is that from the first moment you start deforming it, the dislocations start being active," Greer says. Now that we know how to do this, we can probe a variety of different classes of materials. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Julia Greer Xiaoyue Ni

Capturing Clouds

07-12-17

Professor Tapio Schneider has helped bring artist Karen LaMonte's cloudy vision to life. "I thought it was a great idea," says Schneider, whose work focuses on reducing uncertainties in climate change projections—in part through modeling cloud formation to better understand clouds' impact on the environment. Collaborating with LaMonte, he reasoned, could help raise awareness of these issues. "Clouds are hugely important for the climate," says Schneider. "How much warmer it will get depends on what happens to cumulus clouds like those Karen was interested in. " [SoCaltech story]

Tags: research highlights ESE Tapio Schneider Karen LaMonte

Professor Ames Receives 2017 Okawa Foundation Research Grant

07-06-17

Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems, is a recipient of a 2017 Okawa Foundation Research Grant for his research project entitled "Safety-Critical Autonomy in Robotic Locomotion". This prize honors top young researchers working in the fields of information and telecommunications.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Aaron Ames

Nanostructures Detect Colors

06-28-17

Harry Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, and colleagues have combined nanophotonics and thermoelectrics to generate materials capable of distinguishing between tiny differences in wavelengths of light. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Harry Atwater

Professor Emami to Speak at NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

06-23-17

Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; and EAS Division Deputy Chair, has been selected as a speaker for the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium. The symposium will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Mega-Tall Buildings and Other Future Places of Work, Unraveling the Complexity of the Brain, Energy Strategies to Power Our Future, and Machines That Teach Themselves. The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. [NAE Press Release]

Tags: EE honors MedE Azita Emami

2017 ASCIT Teaching Award

06-23-17

Adam Wierman, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Executive Officer for Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Director, Information Science and Technology, has been chosen by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to receive a 2017 ASCIT Teaching Awards. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and motivate students, are approachable, and present course material effectively and efficiently. [Caltech story]

Tags: honors CMS Adam Wierman

2017 ASCIT Teaching Award

06-23-17

Rob Phillips, Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology , has been chosen by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to receive a 2017 ASCIT Teaching Awards. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and motivate students, are approachable, and present course material effectively and efficiently. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS honors Rob Phillips

Ultra-Thin Camera Creates Images Without Lenses

06-22-17

Professor Ali Hajimiri and colleagues have developed a new camera design that replaces the lenses with an ultra-thin optical phased array (OPA). The OPA does computationally what lenses do using large pieces of glass: it manipulates incoming light to capture an image. "Here, like most other things in life, timing is everything. With our new system, you can selectively look in a desired direction and at a very small part of the picture in front of you at any given time, by controlling the timing with femto-second—quadrillionth of a second—precision," says Professor Hajimiri. [Caltech story] [ENGenious silicon photonics feature]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Ali Hajimiri