News & Events


Sander Weinreb Receives Microwave Pioneer Award


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]

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Creating New Quantum Building Blocks


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]

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Jorgensen Laboratory Receives LEED Platinum Certification


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]

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Professor Hornung Receives Honorary Doctorate


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]

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


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]

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Point of Light


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]

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Student Cold Storage Project Wins $25,000 Sustainability Prize


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]

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Diving Into the Unknown: An Interview with Andrei Faraon


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]

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Reconsidering the Global Thermostat


Doug MacMartin, Senior Research Associate in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and colleagues have shown that the outcome of geoengineering can be tunable. Geoengineering is the concept of how the planet's climate could be manipulated to counteract the effects of global warming. Using computer modeling, they have shown that varying the amount of sunlight deflected away from the earth by season and by region can significantly improve the parity of the situation. [Caltech Release]

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Clean-Energy Research Accelerates


Caltech clean-energy research is accelerating thanks to the renovation of the Earle M. Jorgensen Laboratory. Transformed into a cutting-edge facility for energy science, the lab unites two powerhouse programs: the Resnick Sustainability Institute and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). "Our researchers are working with Caltech's chemists and chemical engineers to challenge the status quo and translate scientific discovery into clean-energy innovations that will directly benefit society for generations to come," says Chair Ares Rosakis. [Caltech Release]

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