News & Events


Caltech Researchers Create "Sound Bullets"


Alessandro Spadoni, Postdoctoral Scholar, and Chiara Daraio, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, have built a nonlinear acoustic lens that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic signals dubbed "sound bullets." The combination of the acoustic lens and sound bullets have "the potential to revolutionize applications from medical imaging and therapy to the nondestructive evaluation of materials and engineering systems," says Professor Daraio. [Caltech Press Release]

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Professor Effros and Colleagues Appear in Scientific American


Michelle Effros, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have written an interesting piece in Scientific American on how wireless networks that do not depend on a fixed infrastructure will allow for ubiquitous connectivity. [Scientific American Article]

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Christof Koch and Pietro Perona Found that Human Decisions are Influenced by Both Value and Saliency


Christof Koch, Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology and Professor of Computation and Neural Systems, Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues' research on decision making and visual saliency has found that human decisions are influenced by both value and saliency in a way that is consistent with the ideal Bayesian observer. [Abstract]

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Beverely McKeon Shares Her Perspectives on Controlling Turbulence in Science Magazine


Beverley McKeon, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, shares her perspectives on controlling turbulence in the March 2010 issue of Science. Professor McKeon states, "more than 100 years after Osborne Reynolds's seminal experiments on the transition of flow through a pipe from a laminar to a turbulent state, the exact physical mechanism that drives this phenomenon still vexes the fluid mechanics community." [Science Magazine Article]

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Joel Tropp is a Recipient of the 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship


Congratulations to Joel Tropp, Assistant Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, for being a recipient of the 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship. The Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded yearly to 118 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

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Anthony Leonard and Richard Flagan Elected Members of the 2010 Class of the NAE


Anthony Leonard, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, and Richard C. Flagan, Irma and Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering; Executive Officer of Chemical Engineering, have been elected members of the 2010 class of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice, and those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. Election to the NAE is one the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive. Professor Flagan was elected to the NAE "for leadership in invention, measurement, production, and technology of aerosols" and Professor Leonard was elected "for contributions to simulation of turbulence, new vortex methods of flow simulation, and understanding of flow-induced vibration." [Caltech Today Article]

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First Brain Recordings from Behaving Fruit Flies


Michael Dickinson, the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, with postdoctoral scholars Gaby Maimon and Andrew Straw have obtained the first recordings of brain-cell activity in an actively flying fruit fly. The work suggests that at least part of the brain of the fruit fly "is in a different and more sensitive state during flight than when the fly is quiescent," Dickinson says. [Caltech Press Release]

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Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties


Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

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Oskar Painter and Colleagues Propose Quantum Entanglement for Motion of Microscopic Objects


Oskar Painter, Associate Professor of Applied Physics, along with colleagues Darrick Change, Postdoctoral Scholar at Institute for Quantum Information, and H. Jeff Kimble, William L. Valentine Professor and Professor of Physics have proposed a new paradigm that should allow scientists to observe quantum behavior in small mechanical systems. Their idea offers a new means of studying the nature of quantum superposition and entanglement in progressively larger and more complex systems. [Caltech Press Release]

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