Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events

Highlights

New Reactor Paves the Way for Efficiently Producing Fuel from Sunlight

01-20-11

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]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Sossina Haile fuel metal oxide reactor

Professor Greer Receives 2010 World Technology Award in Materials

12-08-10

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

Tags: APhMS honors MCE Julia Greer

EAS Staff, Students, and Faculty Participate in ShakeOut Drill

10-21-10

On October 21, 2010, the EAS division participated in the Caltech ShakeOut drill. A key element of the success was the Building Assessment Teams (BATs). These teams consist of graduate students trained to assess the outside of buildings for structural damage in the event of an emergency, and label buildings with: safe, caution, or closed. They perform an important building triage function for the Institute in the case of a major earthquake.  Thank you to all who participate in the ShakeOut. Photo shows one of the BATs.

Amnon Yariv Awarded National Medal of Science

10-15-10

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]

Tags: Amnon Yariv APhMS EE honors energy research highlights

Caltech's Approach to Graduate Education Validated

10-15-10

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]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT MCE ESE

Chiara Daraio Named One of Popular Science's Brilliant 10

10-14-10

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]

Tags: APhMS honors research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT

 
EAS Remembers Thad Vreeland Jr.

10-08-10

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]

Tags: APhMS Thad Vreeland Jr. EAS history

2010 Breakthrough Award by Popular Mechanics

10-04-10

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]

Tags: APhMS honors energy research highlights Popular Mechanics Harry Atwater Nate Lewis Michael Kelzenberg

William Chueh Has Won the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship

08-18-10

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]

Tags: APhMS honors William Chueh

Julia Greer's Paper is Highest Cited in Acta Materialia in the Past Five Years

08-18-10

Congratulations to Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, whose paper entitled Size dependence of mechanical properties of gold at the micron scale in the absence of strain gradients is the highest cited original research paper, in the past five years, in Acta Materialia.
[Find and read the paper by clicking the "Top 10 Cited" link]

Tags: APhMS honors MCE Julia Greer