Caltech Research News

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    • Caltech Mourns the Passing of Manuel "Manny" Soriaga
      Manuel "Manny" Soriaga, a research professor of applied physics and materials science, died on July 17, 2019. He was 69.As a principal investigator in Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Soriaga studied electrochemical reactions that make artificial photosynthesis possible. His research focused in particular on the discovery and development of the catalysts required to […]
    • What is it Like to be a Caltech Seismologist During a Big Quake?
      When an earthquake strikes, seismologists at Caltech's Seismological Laboratory spring into action.An arm of Caltech's Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS), the Seismo Lab is home to dozens of seismologists who collaborate with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to operate one of the largest seismic networks in the nation.Together, they analyze data to […]
    • Caltech’s Apollo Connection
      Caltech geologists and geophysicists were among the first U.S. scientists to analyze material brought back from the moon.When the Apollo 11 astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, 1969, they brought with them samples of lunar rocks and soil. Among the more than 100 scientists selected by NASA to study the lunar material were six […]
    • Performing Chemistry in Floating Droplets
      Could chemists be ready to ditch the venerable test tube, the very symbol of chemistry in the minds of many people? Maybe not quite yet, but Caltech's Jack Beauchamp is working on it.Beauchamp is doing work in what he calls "lab-in-a-drop" chemistry, in which chemical reactions are performed within a drop of liquid suspended in […]
    • Bronner Named Director of Beckman Institute
      Marianne Bronner, Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, has been named the director of Caltech's Beckman Institute. Bronner replaces Dennis Dougherty, who has been named the new chair of Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.The Beckman Institute was founded in 1989 as a collaborative space for biologists and chemists. The Institute's […]
    • Hima Vatti Tapped to Lead Caltech’s Equity and Title IX Office
      Effective today, July 15, Hima Vatti begins a new role as the assistant vice president for equity and equity investigations, and Title IX coordinator.She takes on this role following the departure of April Castañeda, who has left the Institute to become the director of human resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Castañeda was charged with […]
    • Six Researchers Receive Presidential Early Career Awards
      Heather Knutson, Austin Minnich, and Thomas Vidick, along with JPL's Laurie Barge, John Reager, and Jonathan Sauder, have been named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.The award, announced on July 2, is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their […]
    • ZTF Spots Asteroid with Shortest Year
      Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest "year" known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometer in size and circles the sun roughly every 151 days. In its orbit, the asteroid swings out beyond Venus and, at times, comes closer in than Mercury, which circles the sun […]
    • On the Edge of Philosophy and Physics
      Most physics textbooks will tell you that electrons do not really spin, but behave as if they do. What is actually going on? Charles T. (Chip) Sebens, a new assistant professor of philosophy at Caltech, ponders questions like this—he does in fact think electrons do spin—in addition to other mysteries lying at the roots of […]
    • A Bioengineer's Guide to Design
      A team of researchers at Caltech has developed a set of guidelines for designing biological circuits using tools from mechanical and electrical engineering. Like electric circuits—but made out of cells and living matter—biological circuits show promise in producing pharmaceuticals and biofuels.For example, the antimalarial compound artemisinin is produced by an expensive tropical plant, so scientists […]