Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events

Highlights

In a First, Caltech's Space Solar Power Demonstrator Wirelessly Transmits Power in Space

06-01-23

A space solar power prototype that was launched into orbit in January is operational and has demonstrated its ability to wirelessly transmit power in space and to beam detectable power to Earth for the first time. Wireless power transfer was demonstrated by MAPLE, one of three key technologies being tested by the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD-1), the first space-borne prototype from Caltech's Space Solar Power Project (SSPP). SSPP aims to harvest solar power in space and transmit it to the Earth's surface. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Watson Lecture on May 10: Chiara Daraio on Developing Wearables That Can Help Us Monitor Our Health

05-03-23

On Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. PDT in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, Chiara Daraio, the G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, will continue the 100th anniversary season of the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series with "Making Wearable Materials Smarter."

Advances in materials science, manufacturing, and computer science have enabled transformative innovations in wearable materials, with designs that can monitor metabolic activity, change stiffness on command, and even interpret our mood. These new materials will allow garments and fashion to bring together the physical and digital worlds. In this lecture, Daraio will show examples of how these materials will help us stay healthy, how they will revolutionize the way we communicate, and how they will adaptively support our everyday needs. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS Chiara Daraio MCE watson lecture

Newly Observed Effect Makes Atoms Transparent to Certain Frequencies of Light

04-27-23

A newly discovered phenomenon dubbed "collectively induced transparency" (CIT) causes groups of atoms to abruptly stop reflecting light at specific frequencies. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE Andrei Faraon Riku Fukumori Mi Lei Manuel Endres

Laboratory Solar Flares Reveal Clues to Mechanism Behind Bursts of High-Energy Particles

04-06-23

Simulating solar flares on a scale the size of a banana, researchers at Caltech have parsed out the process by which these massive explosions blast potentially harmful energetic particles and X-rays into the cosmos. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Paul Bellan Yang Zhang

The New Blauvelt Fellowship Supports Graduate Students in Charting Their Own Paths

03-21-23

The New Blauvelt Fellowship gives graduate students in applied physics and materials science freedom to experiment and explore. As the digital revolution took root in the 1980s, television was still operating in an analog world, where signal interference caused static, snow, and ghosting. We owe the high-quality images we enjoy today in part to Henry “Hank” Blauvelt (PhD  ľ83), whose work in fiber optic communications helped usher in the digital television era. Blauvelt, in turn, credits Caltech for giving him the skills and the network to make these contributions. [Caltech story]

Tags: Amnon Yariv Austin Minnich Blauvelt Fellowship Henry Blauvelt Melissa Li Miles Johnson Ivy Chen

Knots Smaller Than Human Hair Make Materials Unusually Tough

03-09-23

In the latest advance in nano- and micro-architected materials, engineers at Caltech have developed a new material made from numerous interconnected microscale knots. The knots make the material far tougher than identically structured but unknotted materials: they absorb more energy and are able to deform more while still being able to return to their original shape undamaged. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE Julia Greer Sammy Shaker Weiting Deng Widianto Moestopo

Boosting superconductivity in graphene bilayers

02-22-23

Nearly a decade ago, researchers heralded the discovery of a new wonder class of ultrathin materials with special optical and electrical properties that made it a potential rival for graphene, a form of carbon discovered in 2004 whose own special properties interest both scientists and engineers. Now, Caltech engineers have shown that one of these wonder materials, tungsten diselenide, is not just a rival to graphene but also a complement to it. [Caltech Story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Stevan Nadj-Perge Cyprian Lewandowski Alex Thomson Yiran Zhang Robert Polski Jason Alicea √Čtienne Lantagne Hurtubise

Alireza Marandi Named a Sloan Fellow

02-15-23

Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, has been awarded a 2023 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships "honor extraordinary U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders," according to the foundation's announcement. A total of 156 Caltech researchers have received the awards to date. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE honors Alireza Marandi

Michael Stramenga and Kevin Yu Selected as 2023 KISS Affiliates

02-02-23

Michael Stramenga, Aerospace graduate student, and Kevin Yu, Materials Science graduate student, have been selected as affiliates for the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS). KISS Affiliates are an ongoing cohort of campus graduate students and postdocs who are seen as the next generation of space exploration leaders. KISS Affiliates are provided with unique experiences with industry CEOs, astronauts, space mission leaders, NASA leadership, and world-renowned space exploration researchers.

Tags: APhMS GALCIT KISS Michael Stramenga Kevin Yu