Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events


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]

Tags: APhMS Thad Vreeland Jr. EAS history

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]

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

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


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

Professor Roukes Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award


Michael L. Roukes, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering; and Co-Director, Kavli Nanoscience Institute, is a 2010 NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient. This award of the National Institutes of Health supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering—and possibly transforming approaches—to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued in the investigator's laboratory or elsewhere.

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Energy Innovation Hub


A $122 million Energy Innovation Hub, aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from sunlight, is to be directed by Nate Lewis, George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry. The leadership team also includes Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and Director of the Resnick Institute; and Bruce S. Brunschwig, Director of the Beckman Institute Molecular Materials Resource Center. The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) will be located in two California-based sites, operated under a unified management structure. The Southern California site is on the Caltech campus, and the Northern California site is at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: energy Harry Atwater Nate Lewis Bruce Brunschwig

Professor Yariv Receives IEEE Photonics Award


Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Electrical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Photonics Award "for fundamental contributions to photonics science, engineering and education that have broadly impacted quantum electronics and lightwave communications."

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Paul Dimotakis is the 2010 Commencement Speaker for UC Santa Cruz


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics; and Chief Technologist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was the 2010 commencement speaker for UC Santa Cruz. In the speech Professor Dimotakis advised the graduates that "the best engineering almost always pushes the limits of science and our understanding of nature." [Full text of speech]

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Winners of the 2010 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2010 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Xiquan Cui received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on biophotonics with Professor Changhuei Yang; Matt Eichenfield received the prize in Nanotechnology for his work in nanomechanics with Professor Oskar Painter; Morgan Putnam received the prize in Entrepreneurship for work on silicon solar cells with Professor Harry Atwater; and Andrew May received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for his work on thermoelectric materials with Professor Sossina Haile and Dr. Jeff Snyder.

Tags: APhMS EE honors Changhuei Yang Harry Atwater Xiquan Cui Matt Eichenfield Oskar Painter Morgan Putnam Andrew May Sossina Haile Jeff Snyder Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes

Recipient of the 2010 Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize


Nils Asplund, Senior Research Engineer in Applied Physics and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, was one of three recipients of the 2010 Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize. The award is presented to staff members whose contributions embody the values and spirit that enables Caltech to achieve excellence in research and education. Nils nominators' state: "Nils really understands what Caltech is all about. He is often called upon to figure out unique and clever solutions to very complex situations. I can always count on Nils to provide a solution that exceeds my expectations, and his ability to improvise has gotten me to think of him as the "MacGyver" of Caltech. He can find a solution to any problem, and always does so with confidence and professionalism." [Caltech Press Release]

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