Impact events have awesome power - they have shaped planets and wiped out dinosaurs. This talk will examine how we can use this power for engineering, and how we can engineer structures to mitigate against impact. At the heart of impact events is the propagation of stress/shock waves.
Granular materials are ubiquitous in nature and, after water, are the second most manipulated materials on earth. Deceivingly simple at the grain scale, these materials are composed of individual partiles that collectively display complex behavior controlling the onset of macroscopic phenomena, such as earthquakes, landslides and planetary morphology. This lecture will present new methods to characterize and model granular materials for terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications.
This is an exciting time for engineering neuronal circuits to reverse pathological behaviors like depression, addiction and Parkinson's disease, and enhance mental performance. With the convergence of accumulating knowledge about brain circuits and technological advances in imaging and electrophysiology instrumentation, previously unimagined experiments are possible. Until recently, no available technology could cope with the tremendous variety of cell types in brain tissue.
We have embarked on a journey at the frontier of high energies with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Using the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and the LHC, two of the most complex instruments ever devised, and new methods developed at Caltech, we are homing in on the Higgs particles thought to be responsible for mass in the universe; searching for supersymmetry, which brings together particle physics and spacetime; and searching for evidence of extra dimensions of space and other exotic new particles.
Before industrialization, people married young and lived in extended families with several generations under the same roof - or so the story goes. In parts of Europe, however, our "modern" pattern - late age at first marriage combined with nuclear family households - goes back many centuries, leading some researchers to wonder if this very pattern actually brought about the Industrial Revolution and early economic growth in the west.
The San Andreas and similar faults separate two tectonic plates slowly moving in opposite directions. The faults can remain locked for many years, then catch up in sudden dramatic rupture events perceived as earthquakes. These occasional fast motions co-exist with much slower fault slips. This talk will describe how laboratory-derived friction laws and sophisticated numerical models can reproduce, in remarkable detail, all stages of past fault behavior - locked, slowly moving and earthquake-producing - bringing us closer to understanding earthquake physics.
The quantum laws governing atoms and other tiny objects seem to defy common sense, and information encoded in quantum systems has weird properties that baffle our feeble human minds. Preskill will explain why he loves quantum entanglement, the elusive feature making quantum information fundamentally different from information in the macroscopic world. By exploiting quantum entanglement, quantum computers should be able to solve otherwise intractable problems, with far-reaching applications to cryptology, materials science and medicine.
The Mars Science Laboratory Mission was designed to explore the habitability of Mars. This includes both modern environments, as well as ancient environments represented by the Gale crater landing site. The Curiosity rover has a designed lifetime of approximately two Earth years and drive capability of at least 20 km. Gale Crater's regional context and strong evidence for a progression through multiple potentially habitable environments, represented by a stratigraphic record of extraordinary extent, insure preservation of a rich record of the environmental history of early Mars.
Proteins are the workhorses that carry out the vast majority of our cellular functions, and their proper production and balance is essential for the survival of all cells. Just as the first three years of a child's development have a profound impact on the rest of his/her life, the first new moments of a protein's life has a profound impact on its future.