Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events


Dr. Hofmann Receives Presidential Early Career Award


Douglas Hofmann, Visiting Associate in Applied Physics and Materials Science and the Johnson research group, and Principle Investigator of the Metallurgy Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. [White House Release]

Tags: APhMS honors PECASE William Johnson Douglas Hofmann JPL

Professor Phillips Celebrates Feynman Lectures' 50th Anniversary


In the 2013 Issue of Nature Rob Phillips celebrates Feynman's Lectures on Physics as they near their 50th anniversary. He describes, “Feynman’s physics is about simplicity, beauty, unity and analogy, presented with enthusiasm and insight that bursts from the page.” [Nature Article] [Feynman Lectures Online] [ENGenious article]

Tags: APhMS Rob Phillips

Jorgensen Laboratory Wins SCDF Science & Technology Award


The Earle M. Jorgensen Laboratory has won the Science and Technology Award from the Southern California Development Forum (SCDF). The building was rededicated in October of 2012 and stands as a symbol of Caltech's lasting commitment to sustainability research. From the early renderings of Fall 2010, Jorgensen was depicted as an innovative space -with communal areas to support collaboration, ample meeting spaces, and state of the art laboratories.

Tags: honors energy Caltech infrastructure Jorgensen Renovation

From Lab-on-a-Chip to Lab-in-the-Body


Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics, will be giving the next Caltech Earnest C. Watson Lecture on November 6, 2013 at 8pm. His lecture is entitled From Lab-on-a-Chip to Lab-in-the-Body and will focus on the role of nanotechnology in the miniaturization of medical diagnostic tools. [Caltech Release] [ENGenious Article]

Tags: APhMS EE MedE health Axel Scherer

Caltech Names Ninth President


Thomas F. Rosenbaum has been named the ninth president of Caltech. Dr. Rosenbaum, is currently the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, where he has served as the university's provost for the past seven years. Also joining Caltech and the EAS Division will be Dr. Rosenbaum's spouse, Katherine T. Faber, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. Professor Faber's research focuses on understanding stress fractures in ceramics, as well as on the fabrication of ceramic materials with controlled porosity, which are important as thermal and environmental barrier coatings for engine components. She is also the codirector of the Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), which employs advanced materials science techniques for art history and restoration. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS Thomas Rosenbaum Katherine Faber

Spirals of Light May Lead to Better Electronics


Kerry J. Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics as well as Executive Officer for Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have created the optical equivalent of a tuning fork—a device that can help steady the electrical currents needed to power high-end electronics and stabilize the signals of high-quality lasers. They were able to stabilize the light's frequency by developing a silica glass chip resonator with a specially designed path for the photons in the shape of what is called an Archimedean spiral. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy Kerry Vahala

Made-to-Order Materials


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and colleagues have created nanostructured, hollow ceramic scaffolds, and have found that the small building blocks, or unit cells, display remarkable strength and resistance to failure despite being more than 85 percent air. The general fabrication technique the researchers have developed could be used to produce lightweight, mechanically robust small-scale components such as batteries, interfaces, catalysts, and implantable biomedical devices. [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights MedE health MCE Julia Greer

Dr. Davenport Receives Award in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Timothy C. Davenport, Postdoctoral Scholar in Applied Physics and Materials Science, working with Professor Sossina Haile has been selected by the Solar Program of the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) to receive an EERE postdoctoral research award.

Tags: APhMS honors energy Sossina Haile Timothy Davenport

Producing Squeezed Light Using a Silicon Micromechanical System


Oskar J. Painter, Professor of Applied Physics, and colleagues have produced squeezed light using a silicon micromechanical system. "This system should enable a new set of precision microsensors capable of beating standard limits set by quantum mechanics," says Professor Painter. "Our experiment brings together, in a tiny microchip package, many aspects of work that has been done in quantum optics and precision measurement over the last 40 years." [Caltech Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Oskar Painter

Developing Self-replicating Nanoscale Origami


William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics, and colleagues including Postdoctoral Scholar Si-ping Han have been awarded a $2 million grant as part of the National Science Foundation’s Origami Design for Integration of Self-assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation program. The funds will be used to develop biomimetic materials which contain assembled complexes of molecules that self-replicate, evolve and adopt intricate three dimensional structures at the nanometer scale by combining DNA guided self-assembly with origami folding.

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Tags: APhMS research highlights health William Goddard Paul Rothemund Si-ping Han