Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Applied Physics

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Highlights

Kerry Vahala Receives MPQ Distinguished Scholar Award

11-16-22

Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics; Executive Officer for Applied Physics and Materials Science, receives the MPQ Distinguished Scholar award in recognition of his "pioneering scientific work in the field of nonlinear optics and photonics with microresonators." The award is presented to particularly outstanding scientists on the recommendation of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) Board of Directors. 

Tags: APhMS honors Kerry Vahala

New Theory of Electron Spin to Aid Quantum Devices

11-10-22

Marco Bernardi, Professor of Applied Physics, Physics and Materials Science; Jinsoo Park, Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Applied Physics and Materials Science, and graduate student Yao Luo, have developed a new theory and numerical calculations to predict spin decoherence in materials with high accuracy. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights alumni Marco Bernardi Jinsoo Park Yao Luo Jin-Jian Zhou

Beaming Clean Energy From Space

10-26-22

Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

New Photonic Chip "Squeezes" More out of Light

09-15-22

Electronic computing and communications have come a very long way since the days of radio telegraphy and vacuum tubes, with consumer devices now containing levels of processing power and memory that would be unimaginable just a few decades ago. "The quality of the quantum states we have achieved surpasses the requirements for quantum information processing, which used to be the territory of bulky experimental setups," says Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights Alireza Marandi

Minqiang Wang Receives Baxter Young Investigator Award

09-02-22

Minqiang Wang, Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Medical Engineering, working with Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar, has received a first-tier Baxter Young Investigator Award for his work on wearable biosensors for precision nutrition. Baxter's Young Investigator Awards seek to stimulate and reward research applicable to the development of therapies and medical products that save and sustain patients' lives. [Past Winners]

Tags: honors MedE Wei Gao postdocs Minqiang Wang

Mimicking Termites to Generate New Materials

08-26-22

Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. "We thought that by understanding how a termite contributes to the nest's fabrication, we could define simple rules for designing architected materials with unique mechanical properties," says Chiara Daraio, G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Chiara Daraio MCE

Caltech Charts the Course to a Green Electrical Grid

08-25-22

Caltech is working to transform energy systems by developing a "smart grid": a flexible, responsive, efficient, system that incorporates renewable energy sources while meeting growing power demands. "Engineering grand challenges are inspiring much of the research at Caltech, especially in the broad area of sustainability," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. [Caltech story]

Tags: Harry Atwater Adam Wierman Zachary Lee Kimberly See George Lee

New Wearable Sensor Detects Even More Compounds in Human Sweat

08-15-22

A team of researchers from Caltech has unveiled a new wearable sensor that can detect in human sweat even minute levels of many common nutrients and biological compounds that can serve as indicators of human health. The sensor technology was developed in the lab of Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar. [Caltech story]

Tags: Wei Gao Medical Engineering Daniel Mukasa Jihong Min Changhao Xu Minqiang Wang Yiran Yang Cui Ye Nicole Heflin

A Quantitative Snapshot of the Human Impact on the Planet

08-04-22

Caltech researchers have developed a database containing global data on how humans have impacted the planet. The Human Impacts Database is designed to be accessible to scientists, policymakers, and everyday citizens. "In my view, the root to understanding is numeracy: once you have the numbers, it becomes clear what the problems are, which things are significant, and which things are less so," says Rob Phillips, Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics, Biology, and Physics. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights alumni Rob Phillips Griffin Chure Rachel Banks

Nano-Architected Materials Offer New Frontier in Technology

07-27-22

For the past two decades, Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, has been at the forefront of creating new materials whose structures are designed and controlled at the smallest level, giving them unusual and useful properties. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS MedE MCE Julia Greer alumni Carlos M. Portela