Research in Applied Physics is built on the foundations of quantum mechanics, statistical physics, electromagnetic theory, mechanics, and advanced mathematics. The style of Applied Physics research at Caltech is both theoretical and richly experimental. State-of-the-art facilities are housed in the Watson Laboratories and in associated laboratories across campus.
Applied Physics option* is designed to connect what are conventionally considered
"engineering" and "pure physics" disciplines. Research in Applied Physics
is an effort to answer questions related to problems of technological concern.
Since the interests of both engineering and pure physics cover fields that
overlap, a definite dividing line cannot be drawn between them. Realizing
this, the Applied Physics option draws its faculty from the divisions of
and Astronomy; Engineering
and Applied Science; Chemistry
and Chemical Engineering; and Geological
and Planetary Sciences. This interdivisional aspect of our program
allows a flexibility and range in curriculum that results in an extraordinary
mixture of courses and research in different divisions. In fact, one of
the unique aspects of Caltech is that research and collegiality extend across
departmental and divisional borders; and the subsequent collaborations are
nothing short of spectacular.
Graduates of Caltech's Applied Physics option can now be found among the faculties of leading universities and among the technical management and engineering staffs of the foremost technology companies, ranging from established industry leaders to early stage start-up companies, some of which have been founded by Caltech faculty members.
While our efforts are motivated primarily by the research interests of individual faculty, interdisciplinary center programs also provide a strong research and educational infrastructure. The NSF Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials (CSEM) addresses both research and educational aspects of polymeric, structural, photonic, and ferroelectric materials that will be necessary to solve critical societal needs of the 21st century. The Center pioneers a number of exotic and futuristic materials and applications such as microphotonic materials and devices, integrated ferroelectrics, macromolecular engineering, as well as research at the interfaces between these fields. The CSEM effort in Mesophotonic Materials is motivated by advances in the synthesis and theoretical understanding of materials designed to manipulate light on scales at and below the wavelength of light. These efforts will produce near-term advances in microphotonics and move into the revolutionary domain of devices on scales of tens of nanometers.
The NSF Institute for Quantum Information (IQI) further supports our work with its aim of understanding how fundamental physical laws can be harnessed to dramatically improve the acquisition, transmission, and processing of information.
We also undertake projects in collaboration with the Lee Center for Advanced Networking, whose goal is the creation of a world wide distributed computing system that connects people and appliances through wireless and high-bandwidth wired channels and a backbone of computers that serve as databases and object servers.
|*Caltech's Applied Physics option was rated No. 1 in the United States in a recent issue of the Gourman Report guide to graduate programs.||
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1 February, 2013