News & Events


Programmed to Fold: RNA Origami


Paul Rothemund, Senior Research Associate in Bioengineering, Computer Science, and Computation and Neural Systems, and colleagues have fabricated complicated shapes from DNA's close chemical cousin, RNA. "RNA origami is still in its infancy," says Rothemund. "Nevertheless, I believe that RNA origami, because of their potential to be manufactured by cells, and because of the extra functionality possible with RNA, will have at least as big an impact as DNA origami." [Caltech Release]

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Professor Atwater Receives Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science as well as Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, has received the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics for pioneering achievements in plasmonics and novel nanophotonic routes to ultrahigh-efficiency solar energy conversion. Professor Atwater’s scientific interests have two themes: plasmonics and optical metamaterials as well as photovoltaics and solar energy conversion. He is an early pioneer in nanophotonics and plasmonics, giving the name to the field of plasmonics in 2001. The Julius Springer Prize is awarded annually to scientists who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the field of applied physics. [Caltech Release] [Springer release]

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Fill Up Your Tank With Sunlight


The research of Sossina M. Haile, Carl F Braun Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, on water and carbon dioxide dissociation for solar-fuel generation (which is creating new avenues for harnessing sunlight to meet energy demands), was featured on PBS Newshour.

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Professor Frank Marble Passes Away


Frank E. Marble, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus, passed away on August 11, 2014 at age 96. He has made pioneering contributions to combustion in jet propulsion systems, flame stabilization, and propagation of acoustic waves. [Caltech Obituary] [Frank E. Marble Lecture in Aerospace]

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Professor Iwan Honored by Earthquake Engineering Research Institute


Wilfred Iwan, Professor of Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, has been selected as an honorary member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Honorary memberships are awarded in recognition of sustained and outstanding contributions to the field of earthquake engineering. Professor Iwan’s research focuses on fundamental areas of mechanics, understanding and characterization of strong earthquake ground motion, analysis and monitoring of the response of structural systems subjected to extreme events, and public policy regarding disasters.

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Sink or Swim: Students Prticipate in RoboSub Competition


For the past year, a team of Caltech students, advised by Professor Joel Burdick, met at the campus pool on Sunday afternoons to prepare for the 17th Annual International RoboSub Competition. These members of the Caltech Robotics Team carefully crafted and optimized their robotic submarine named Bruce. Bruce was programmed to perform tasks such as pulling a lever, parking between two poles, and shooting little torpedoes at a target without the help of a human operator. At the competition the Caltech team received the judges' award for Best New Entry. [Caltech release]

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'Comb on a Chip' Powers New Atomic Clock Design


Scott Diddams who was a 2012 Caltech Moore Distinguished Scholar and is a Project Lead at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and colleagues including Professor Kerry Vahala have demonstrated a new design for an atomic clock that is based on a chip-scale frequency comb, or a microcomb. The microcomb clock is the first demonstration of all-optical control of the microcomb, and its accurate conversion of optical frequencies to lower microwave frequencies. Caltech researchers made the 2-millimeter-wide silica disk that generates the frequency comb for the new clock. [NIST Press Release] [Learn More]

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Future Electronics May Depend on Lasers, Not Quartz


Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics as well as the Executive Officer for APhMS, and colleagues have developed a method to stabilize microwave signals in the range of gigahertz, or billions of cycles per second—using a pair of laser beams as the reference, in lieu of a quartz crystal. "There are always tradeoffs between the highest performance, the smallest size, and the best ease of integration. But even in this first demonstration, these optical oscillators have many advantages; they are on par with, and in some cases even better than, what is available with widespread electronic technology," Vahala says. [Caltech Release]

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Graduate Student Wins Young Stress Analyst Competition


Mechanical and civil engineering graduate student Ryan Hurley who works with Professor José Andrade has won the BSSM (British Society for Strain Measurement) Young Stress Analyst Competition at the 16th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM.16). The competition is an annual competition that is intended to encourage and reward young practitioners in the field of experimental mechanics. Ryan was among six finalists representing universities in Belgium, Poland, France, and the USA, who were selected from 34 applications by a panel of experts. The finalists presented their work during the ICEM.16 conference and were judged by a panel of leading researchers. [YSA Competition Information]

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Professor Ravichandran and Team Receive Best Paper in Strain Award


Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as well as Director of GALCIT and former members of his group have received a Journal Strain Best Paper Prize.  The paper is titled Three-dimensional Displacement and Shape Measurement with a Diffraction-assisted Grid Method. The award winning team consisted of a high school student intern, a visiting undergraduate student researcher, a graduate student, a postdoctoral scholar, and a faculty member.

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