News articles tagged with "physics"

07/22/2014 16:58:59
Douglas Smith
Caltech's Murray Gell-Mann simplified the world of particle physics in 1964 by standing it on its head. He theorized that protons—subatomic particles as solid as billiard balls and as stable as the universe—were actually cobbled together from bizarre entities, dubbed "quarks," whose properties are unlike anything seen in our world. Unlike protons, quarks cannot be separated from their fellows and studied in isolation; despite this, our understanding of the universe is built on their amply documented existence.
Yuval Ne'eman and Murray Gell-Mann in 1964.
12/05/2012 16:10:01
Marcus Woo
When you lift a paper clip off a table with a small magnet, you're accomplishing a remarkable feat: the tiny magnet is overcoming the gravitational pull from the entire Earth. Why does gravity seem so weak compared to electromagnetism and the other fundamental forces of nature? This vast discrepancy in scale—how a small magnet can beat out a whole planet—is related to what physicists call the hierarchy problem. Cliff Cheung—who joined Caltech this fall as an assistant professor of theoretical physics—is fascinated by this "very deep puzzle" (which may be solved through supersymmetry, a class of theories in which every fundamental particle has a partner particle, as well as by dark matter, the mysterious stuff that accounts for nearly a quarter of the universe). Recently, Cheung—who also plays guitar and piano, sings, and writes music—answered a few questions about coming to Caltech and his passion for physics.
11/21/2012 18:51:05
Marcus Woo
Physicists led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have smashed yet another series of records for data-transfer speed. The international team of high-energy physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers reached a transfer rate of 339 gigabits per second (Gbps)—equivalent to moving four billion gigabytes per day, nearly doubling last year's record. The team also reached a new record for a two-way transfer on a single link by sending data at 187 Gbps between Victoria, Canada, and Salt Lake City.
11/13/2012 07:28:49
Kimm Fesenmaier
This fall, Andrei Faraon (BS '04) returned to his alma mater to take a position as an assistant professor of applied physics and materials science. In his work, he builds devices that attempt to use light to manipulate single quantum systems in solids. Faraon recently answered some questions about his research and returning to Caltech.
10/17/2012 09:26:18
Kimm Fesenmaier
Setting the stage for a new class of motional sensors, Caltech researchers have developed a new ultrasensitive, microchip-scale accelerometer that uses laser light to measure displacement.
08/26/2012 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

A team led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has made the first-ever mechanical device that can measure the mass of individual molecules one at a time.

08/20/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

In orbit around Earth is a wide range of satellites that we rely on for everything from television feeds to GPS navigation. Although these spacecraft soar high above storms on Earth, they are still vulnerable to weather—only it's weather from the sun. Large solar flares—or plasma that erupts from the sun's surface—can cause widespread damage, both in space and on Earth, which is why researchers at Caltech are working to learn more about the possible precursors to solar flares called plasma loops. 

08/01/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

Alexei Kitaev, professor of theoretical physics, computer science, and mathematics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named an inaugural winner of the Fundamental Physics Prize—a $3 million award that represents the largest academic prize given to an individual in the history of science.

07/22/2012 07:00:00
Katie Neith

When one observes a colorful jellyfish pulsating through the ocean, Greek mythology probably doesn't immediately come to mind. But the animal once was known as the medusa, after the snake-haired mythological creature its tentacles resemble. The mythological Medusa's gaze turned people into stone, and now, thanks to recent advances in bio-inspired engineering, a team led by researchers at Caltech and Harvard University have flipped that fable on its head: turning a solid element and muscle cells into a freely swimming "jellyfish."

07/19/2012 18:00:00
Kimm Fesenmaier

The powerful magnitude-8.6 earthquake that shook Sumatra on April 11, 2012, was a seismic standout for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was larger than scientists thought an earthquake of its type could ever be. Now, as Caltech researchers report on their findings from the first high-resolution observations of the underwater temblor, they point out that the earthquake was also unusually complex-rupturing along multiple faults that lie at nearly right angles to one another, as though racing through a maze.

07/13/2012 07:00:00
Marcus Woo

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have developed a new type of amplifier for boosting electrical signals. The device can be used for everything from studying stars, galaxies, and black holes to exploring the quantum world and developing quantum computers.

Subscribe to Caltech News tagged with "physics"