Stories About Our People

04/02/2014 18:35:26
Cynthia Eller

To a large extent, the brain remains a black box. Taking it out of its case inside the skull and examining it—as in an autopsy—reveals some things, but not how the brain works in a living, functioning being.

03/07/2013 13:42:29
Douglas Smith
Francis H. Clauser (BS '34, MS '35, PhD '37), the Clark Blanchard Millikan Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on March 3, 2013, at age 99. Born in the decade following the Wright Brothers' first powered flight, he was a founder of modern aeronautics and helped usher in the Space Age.
02/05/2013 10:54:30
Marcus Woo

Almost immediately after the Big Bang—roughly after ten trillionths of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second—the universe suddenly grew. Very fast.

02/04/2013 08:40:44
Kimm Fesenmaier
Caltech senior Andrew Meng has been selected to receive a Churchill Scholarship, which will fund his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge for the next academic year. Meng, a chemistry and physics major, was one of only 14 students nationwide who were chosen to receive the fellowship this year.
01/13/2013 16:09:32
Kimm Fesenmaier
The brain needs its surroundings to be just right. That is, unlike some internal organs, such as the liver, which can process just about anything that comes its way, the brain needs to be protected and to have a chemical environment with the right balance of proteins, sugars, salts, and other metabolites.
12/19/2012 06:24:16
Marcus Woo
Quantum computers—computers that harness the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics to become vastly more powerful than conventional computers—have been touted as the next leap in technology. Although useful quantum-computing technology is probably years—and possibly decades—away, physicists like Jason Alicea, who joined Caltech's faculty this fall as an associate professor of theoretical physics, are working hard to make it a reality. Alicea's research involves translating purely theoretical ideas into real-life experiments and applications. He recently answered a few questions about himself and his research.
12/13/2012 19:57:09
Douglas Smith
A new era in planetary science began in 1962, when Mariner 2 and the 200-inch Hale telescope simultaneously took a close look at Venus.
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.
11/16/2012 08:31:02
Ann Motrunich
David L. Lee (PhD '74) has been named the new chair of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). A Caltech trustee since 2000, Lee began his term as chair October 27, 2012. As chair, Lee will foster communication with Caltech faculty, administration, and students and represent the Board with the Caltech community and the public. He will preside at board meetings and offer advice and support to the president of Caltech. Lee succeeds Kent Kresa, who has served as chair since 2005.
11/15/2012 09:11:13
Andrew Allan

If you happen to see groups of people perched in the trees along Caltech's famed Olive Walk and Beckman Mall tomorrow, whacking at the branches with rakes and PVC pipes—rest assured there's nothing

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.
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