Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

News & Events


Undergraduate Wins Hertz Fellowships


Applied Physics senior Paul Dieterle has been selected by the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation to receive a 2016 Hertz Fellowships.  The fellows are chosen for their intellect, their ingenuity, and their potential to bring meaningful improvement to society.  At Caltech, Paul has worked and studied under the guidance of Engineering and Applied Science Professors Painter and Schwab. His research focuses on the physics of superconducting quantum circuits, photon-phonon interactions, and many-body interactions. In the long term, he says, he aims to "construct integrated quantum systems to explore both fundamental and application-oriented physics." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS honors Oskar Painter Keith Schwab Paul Dieterle

Seeing Quantum Motion


Keith Schwab, Professor of Applied Physics, has found a way to observe and control the quantum motion of an object that is large enough to see. Schwab's group has learned how to cool the motion of small micrometer-scale objects to produce the quantum ground state. This quantum motion is theoretically an intrinsic part of the motion of all objects. Schwab and his colleagues designed a device that would allow them to observe this quantum motion and then manipulate it. The ability to control quantum noise could one day be used to improve the precision of very sensitive measurements, such as those designed to search for signs of gravitational waves. [Caltech Story]

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Tricking the Uncertainty Principle


Keith Schwab, Professor of Applied Physics and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Co-Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, and colleagues have found a way to make measurements that go beyond the limits imposed by quantum physics. "Our mechanical device is a tiny square of aluminum—only 40 microns long, or about the diameter of a hair. We think of quantum mechanics as a good description for the behaviors of atoms and electrons and protons and all of that, but normally you don't think of these sorts of quantum effects manifesting themselves on somewhat macroscopic objects," Schwab says. "This is a physical manifestation of the uncertainty principle, seen in single photons impacting a somewhat macroscopic thing." [Caltech Release]

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KNI Welcomes New Co-Directors


Founding Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) Board member Professor Nai-Chang Yeh, and KNI Board member Professor Keith Schwab have been appointed to serve as the newly endowed Fletcher Jones Foundation co-directors of the KNI for a 3 year term. "The KNI is a thriving organization serving many researchers on (and off) campus, and I look forward to the energy and creativity that Nai-Chang and Keith will bring to the continued evolution of the KNI as a preeminent organization propelling nanoscience forward in diverse application areas ranging from medical engineering to nanophotonics," says Chair Ares Rosakis. Professors Yeh and Schwab follow in the footsteps of Professors Michael Roukes and Oskar Painter, who have finished a productive tenure in the position as co-directors and are thanked for their tenacity, vision, and leadership. [Caltech Announcement

Tags: APhMS Michael Roukes Oskar Painter Keith Schwab Nai-Chang Yeh

Demonstrating the Quantum World at Macroscopic Scales


Keith Schwab, Professor of Applied Physics, and colleagues describe how, aided by optical cavities and superconducting circuits, researchers are coaxing ever-larger objects to wiggle, shake, and flex in ways that are distinctly quantum mechanical. [Physics Today Article] [Institute for Quantum Information and Matter]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Keith Schwab