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PhD Comics Features Professor Painter's Research

06-17-13

The research of Oskar J. Painter, Professor of Applied Physics, and his student Amir Safavi-Naeini is featured in an animated videos by Jorge Cham of PhD Comics.  The video is called A Quantum Experiment and is about cooling an oscillator to its ground state. Read Jorge's comments about the project in his post on the IQIM blog. [watch the video] [Caltech release about the research]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Oskar Painter Amir Safavi-Naeini

Creating Indestructible Self-Healing Circuits

03-11-13

Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have built electronic chips that repair themselves. The team has demonstrated this self-healing capability in tiny power amplifiers. The amplifiers are so small, in fact, that 76 of the chips—including everything they need to self-heal—could fit on a single penny. In perhaps the most dramatic of their experiments, the team destroyed various parts of their chips by zapping them multiple times with a high-power laser, and then observed as the chips automatically developed a work-around in less than a second. [Caltech Release]

Tags: EE energy MedE Ali Hajimiri

Sander Weinreb Receives Microwave Pioneer Award

02-28-13

Dr. Sander Weinreb, Faculty Associate in Electrical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2013 Microwave Pioneer Award from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S). The Microwave Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding pioneering technical contributions that advance microwave theory and techniques, which are described in an archival paper published at least 20 years prior to the year of the award. [Past Awardees]

Tags: EE honors energy Sander Weinreb

Creating New Quantum Building Blocks

02-07-13

Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have laid the groundwork for an on-chip optical quantum network by showing that defects in diamond can be used as quantum building blocks that interact with one another via photons. "Right now we only have one nitrogen-vacancy center that's emitting photons, but in the future we envision creating multiple nitrogen-vacancy centers that emit photons on the same chip," Faraon says. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Andrei Faraon

Jorgensen Laboratory Receives LEED Platinum Certification

01-31-13

Earle M. Jorgensen Laboratory has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest honor of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building earned the honor for its conservation features, which include a "green" roof, natural ventilation systems, use of on-campus solar photovoltaic power, and low-flow water fixtures, among other environmentally conscious details. [Caltech Feature] [Learn More]

Tags: honors energy Caltech infrastructure Jorgensen Renovation

Professor Hornung Receives Honorary Doctorate

12-13-12

Hans G. Hornung, C. L. Kelly Johnson Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, has received an Honorary Doctorate from the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich). He was conferred this honor by the Rector of ETH Zurich, Lino Guzzella at a special ceremony in the Hauptgebaeude of the ETH. Professor Hornung was recognized for his outstanding research contributions to gas dynamics of high-speed currents, especially to reflection and stability of shock waves, to the influence of real gas effects and to the laminar-turbulent transition; in addition the prize is meant as an award of his extraordinary ability to be inspiring when passing his knowledge on to his students. The other recipient of this honor was the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University. [Learn More] [Caltech Release]

Tags: honors energy research highlights GALCIT Hans Hornung

A New Tool for Secret Agents—And the Rest of Us

12-10-12

Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Postdoctoral Scholar in Electrical Engineering, Kaushik Sengupta, have developed tiny inexpensive silicon microchips that generate terahertz (THz) waves that fall into a largely untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum and that can penetrate a host of materials without the ionizing damage of X-rays. When incorporated into handheld devices, the new microchips could enable a broad range of applications in fields ranging from homeland security to wireless communications to health care, and even touchless gaming. "This extraordinary level of creativity, which has enabled imaging in the terahertz frequency range, is very much in line with Caltech's long tradition of innovation in the area of CMOS technology," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "Caltech engineers, like Ali Hajimiri, truly work in an interdisciplinary way to push the boundaries of what is possible." [Caltech Release]

Tags: EE energy research highlights MedE health Ali Hajimiri Kaushik Sengupta postdocs

Point of Light

12-07-12

Hyuck Choo, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Postdoctoral Scholar Myung-Ki Kim have invented a light-focusing device that may lead to applications in computing, communications, and imaging. This new kind of waveguide is made of amorphous silicon dioxide and is covered in a thin layer of gold. Just under two microns long, the device is a rectangular box that tapers to a point at one end. With the new device, light can ultimately be focused in three dimensions, producing a point a few nanometers across, and using half of the light that's sent through, Choo says. (Focusing the light into a slightly bigger spot, 14 by 80 nanometers in size, boosts the efficiency to 70 percent). The key feature behind the device's focusing ability and efficiency, he says, is its unique design and shape. [Caltech Release and Video]

Tags: EE energy research highlights Hyuck Choo Myung-Ki Kim postdocs

Student Cold Storage Project Wins $25,000 Sustainability Prize

11-27-12

Aeronautics graduate student, Prakhar Mehrotra, has won the $25,000 Dow Resnick Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) at Caltech. His team won the prize for an elegantly simple project called Micro Cold Storage. The idea is to manufacture a portable cold storage unit, scaled to fit in a farmer’s truck, that is powered by solar panels. The project’s implications are far reaching for rural farmers in India, to clinics in Africa, to farmer’s markets in Pasadena. [Learn More]

Tags: honors energy research highlights GALCIT health Prakhar Mehrotra

Diving Into the Unknown: An Interview with Andrei Faraon

11-13-12

Assistant Professor and alumnus Andrei Faraon builds devices that are based on the fundamentals of light–matter interaction. He is trying to manipulate single quantum systems in solids—systems like single atoms or single quantum dots—using light. Light is great for this purpose because it allows him to address these systems without destroying their fragile quantum states, and because it can easily interconnect quantum systems over large distances. [Caltech Interview]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Andrei Faraon