Caltech-Led Team Designs Novel Negative-Index Metamaterial that Responds to Visible Light

A group of scientists led by researchers from Caltech has engineered a type of artificial optical material—a metamaterial—with a particular three-dimensional structure such that light exhibits a negative index of refraction upon entering the material. In other words, this material bends light in the "wrong" direction from what normally would be expected, irrespective of the angle of the approaching light.

R. David Middlebrook, 80

R. David Middlebrook, emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), passed away on April 16. He was 80 years old.

Caltech Researchers Create "Sound Bullets"

Taking inspiration from a popular executive toy ("Newton's cradle"), researchers at Caltech have built a device—called a nonlinear acoustic lens—that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic signals dubbed "sound bullets." The acoustic lens and its sound bullets (which can exist in fluids—like air and water—as well as in solids) have the potential to revolutionize applications from medical imaging and therapy to the nondestructive evaluation of materials and engineering systems.

The Light and Sound Fantastic

Producing coherent light on a microchip is old hat—LED lasers underpin our high-tech world, appearing in gadgets ranging from DVD players and supermarket checkout scanners to digital data lines. A new chip-compatible component developed at Caltech can produce coherent sound as well, and even interconvert the two. Who knows where this marriage of sound and light might lead?

Caltech Receives More than $33 Million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Research in genomic sciences, astronomy, seismology, and neuroeconomics are some of the many projects being funded at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Caltech Researchers Create Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells with Silicon Wire Arrays

Using arrays of long, thin silicon wires embedded in a polymer substrate, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has created a new type of flexible solar cell that enhances the absorption of sunlight and efficiently converts its photons into electrons. The solar cell does all this using only a fraction of the expensive semiconductor materials required by conventional solar cells. 

Watson Lecture: Creating Laboratory Earthquakes

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated that high-speed intersonic ruptures exist and could occur during the next major earthquake. The researchers now have the ability to create laboratory earthquakes of varying force and magnitudes that mimic actual quakes.  By triggering laboratory earthquakes, researchers can study the behavior of quakes and their potential force and destructiveness—without a real quake actually occurring.

Caltech Researchers Develop Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties

Caltech researchers have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. The work could eventually lead to innovative, superstrong, yet light and damage-tolerant materials. These materials could be used as components in structural applications, such as in lightweight aerospace vehicles that last longer under extreme environmental conditions and in naval vessels that are resistant to corrosion and wear.

Caltech Physicists Propose Quantum Entanglement for Motion of Microscopic Objects

Researchers at the Caltech have proposed a new paradigm that should allow scientists to observe quantum behavior in small mechanical systems. Their ideas, described in the early online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer a new means of addressing one of the most fascinating issues in quantum mechanics: the nature of quantum superposition and entanglement in progressively larger and more complex systems.

The Book of Bruck

How would Jehoshua “Shuki” Bruck sum up his success as a teacher in just three words? “I love ignorance,” declares the exuberant winner of Caltech’s 2008 Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.


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