Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events


Professor Atwater Elected Fellow of the Materials Research Society


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; and Director of Resnick Institute, has been elected a 2011 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow.  The title of MRS Fellow honors those MRS members who are notable for their distinguished research accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, world-wide. The maximum number of new Fellow appointments each year is limited to 0.2% of the current MRS membership. The distinction is thus highly selective.

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Professor Daraio Named Sloan Research Fellow


Congratulations to Chiara Daraio, Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, for receiving a 2011 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.[Caltech Release]

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New Reactor Paves the Way for Efficiently Producing Fuel from Sunlight


Sossina Haile, Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, and colleagues have built a reactor at the heart of which is a cylindrical lining of ceria—a metal oxide. The reactor takes advantage of ceria's ability to "exhale" oxygen from its crystalline framework at very high temperatures and then "inhale" oxygen back in at lower temperatures - concentrating solar energy in order to convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels .  Ultimately, Haile says, the process could be adopted in large-scale energy plants, allowing solar-derived power to be reliably available during the day and night. [Caltech Press Release]

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Professor Greer Receives 2010 World Technology Award in Materials


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, is the winner of The 2010 World Technology Award in Materials.
Congratulations Professor Greer!

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Amnon Yariv Awarded National Medal of Science


Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Electrical Engineering, has received one of the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, and engineers. He is a recipient of the National Medal of Science. Professor Yariv's research group has pioneered the field of optoelectronics. Many innovations such as distributed Feedback (DFB) Semiconductor Lasers, Integrated Optoelectronic Circuits, Optical Phase Conjugation, External Cavity Tunable Semiconductor Lasers, Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIP's), and all-fiber add/drop filters have found their beginnings in his research group. Currently, his group’s research aims at developing the new technologies that will be mandated by the seemingly endless appetite for optical bandwidth. Specifically, they are working at extending, to the field of laser optics, some key ideas that form the foundation of the microwaves and the radio frequencies fields. [Caltech Press Release], [White House Press Release] [Watch the White House Cermony]

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Caltech's Approach to Graduate Education Validated


All of the 24 ranked graduate programs at Caltech have placed exceptionally high in the National Research Council (NRC) study of more than 5000 graduate research programs, validating the Caltech approach to graduate education. With respect to the EAS Division: Aeronautics, Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Materials Science were ranked in the top five nationally irrespective of size. [Caltech NAS Rankings]


Chiara Daraio Named One of Popular Science's Brilliant 10


Chiara Daraio, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, has been named one of Popular Science's Brilliant 10. The article states that Professor Daraio is "brilliant because: she manipulates simple laws of physics to make cancer-destroying 'sound bullets'." [Learn More on page 80-01]

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EAS Remembers Thad Vreeland Jr.


Thad Vreeland Jr., Professor of Materials Science, Emeritus, passed away on August 9th, 2010. "Thad was a great scientist and he interacted well with various researchers and engineers across campus," says Ares Rosakis, the Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, "particularly with the solid mechanics group associated both with aeronautics and mechanical engineering." [Caltech Press Release]

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2010 Breakthrough Award by Popular Mechanics


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, along with colleagues Nate Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor and Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Michael Kelzenberg are recipients of a 2010 Breakthrough Award by Popular Mechanics for their work on flexible solar cells. [Popular Mechanics Article]

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William Chueh Has Won the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship


Congratulations to William Chueh, graduate student in the Department of Applied Physics and Material Science, who has won the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering. Chueh is one of only two recipients this year. The winners are expected to have solved a major scientific or engineering problem in their thesis work or have provided a new approach or insight to a major problem, as evidenced by a recognized impact in their field. Chueh has won this fellowship for his work in advancing the fundamental understanding of elevated-temperature materials for solar-to-fuel and fuel-to-electricity conversion processes. [Caltech Press Release]

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