ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Table of Contents - Issue No.5, Fall 2004

Note From The Chair

Letter from the E&AS Chair: Richard Murray

Snap Shots

'Round About the Institute: Recent Events and Openings on Campus

Idea Flow

Teaching at the Intersection of Science, Engineering, and Business
by Kenneth A. Pickar

Progress Reports

Immobilization of Arsenic in the L.A. Aqueduct:
How and How Long?

by Janet G. Hering

By Pure Thought Alone: The Development of the First Cognitive Neural Prosthesis
by Joel W. Burdick and Richard A. Andersen


Don Cohen: Marvelous Mathematics, Myriad Manifestations
by Thomas Hou

Research Note

Retinal Implant Research: The Possibility of Artificial Vision
by Yu-Chong Tai and Wolfgang Fink

Cover Image Cover image caption: Visualization of two distinct plasmonic modes in an array of twelve 10-nm silver particles. A plasmon can be pictured as a fluid compression wave in the “sea” of free electrons in a metal. The field of plasmonics studies hybrid excitations which share the characteristics of light and of electron oscillations. This unique quality allows the concentration of intense optical fields in regions much smaller than a wavelength, and therefore enables the miniaturization of optical devices to the nanoscale. Key potential applications include any area of photonics in which intense electric fields are crucial, such as nonlinear optics or sensing of very small volumes. The simulated structures (left) interact strongly with light in two frequency bands. At infrared frequencies the whole array acts like a single antenna (top array), while visible light induces an electron oscillation in each individual particle (bottom array). This is an example of how plasmonic systems allow a great deal of flexibility for engineering a specific spectral response. These simulations come from the lab of Harry A. Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science. Atwater and his group are among the pioneers in photonics and in particular, were the first to experimentally show propagation in a plasmon nanoparticle antenna waveguide.
Actual smart skin sample demonstrating its flexibility at wrapping around a curved surface. Above: Actual smart skin sample demonstrating its flexibility at wrapping around a curved surface.

Option Profile

The EE Enterprise: Sweeping into Uncharted
by P. P. Vaidyanathan

New Faculty

Who’s New: Two New Faculty and Moore Scholar
Welcome to Mathieu Desbrun, Houman Owhadi, and Sandra M. Troian

Ken Pickar

Kenneth A. Pickar, Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering