Mechanical Engineering at Caltech Celebrates Centennial

Typical universities have mechanical engineering faculty who teach and conduct occasional consulting projects on the side, but the California Institute of Technology is not like most universities and its ME department is anything but typical.

Negative Refraction of Visible Light Demonstrated; Could Lead to Cloaking Devices

For the first time, physicists have devised a way to make visible light travel in the opposite direction that it normally bends when passing from one material to another, like from air through water or glass. The phenomenon is known as negative refraction and could in principle be used to construct optical microscopes for imaging things as small as molecules, and even to create cloaking devices for rendering objects invisible.

Researchers Create DNA Logic Circuit That Work in Test Tubes

Computers and liquids are not very compatible, as many a careless coffee-drinking laptop owner has discovered. But a new breakthrough by researchers at the California Institute of Technology could result in future logic circuits that literally work in a test tube—or even in the human body.

Microfuidic Device Used for Multigene Analysis of Individual Environmental Bacteria

When it comes to digestive ability, termites have few rivals due to the gut activities that allow them to literally digest a two-by-four. But they do not digest wood by themselves—they are dependent on the 200 or so diverse microbial species that call termite guts home and are found nowhere else in nature.

Watson Lecture: Amazing Bubbles

There is more to bubbles than just froth. The same phenomenon that puts foam in your latte can also reduce kidney stones or chew holes in propellers. Understanding how bubbles form and collapse has led to a variety of applications, from faster torpedoes to cleaner teeth.

New All-Optical Modulator Paves the Way to Ultrafast Communications and Computing

In the 1950s, a revolution began when glass and metal vacuum tubes were replaced with tiny and cheap transistors. Today, for the cost of a single vacuum tube, you can buy a computer chip with literally millions of transistors.

Caltech Researchers Reveal Three Distinct Modes of Dynamic Friction Rupture with Implications for Earthquake Behavior

A new study by researchers at the California Institute of Technology has revealed important findings about the nature of ruptures and sliding behavior, which could impact how we respond to earthquakes and other disasters.

Caltech Researchers Announce Invention of the Optofluidic Microscope

The old optical microscopes that everyone used in high-school biology class may be a step closer to the glass heap. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have announced their invention of an optofluidic microscope that uses no lens elements and could revolutionize the diagnosis of certain diseases such as malaria.

Researchers Announce New Way to Assess How Buildings Would Stand Up in Big Quakes

How much damage will certain steel-frame, earthquake-resistant buildings located in Southern California sustain when a large temblor strikes? It's a complicated, multifaceted question, and researchers from the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Pau, France, have answered it with unprecedented specificity using a new modeling protocol.

Physicists Devise New Technique for Detecting Heavy Water

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have created a new method of detecting heavy water that is 30 times more sensitive than any other existing method. The detection method could be helpful in the fight against international nuclear proliferation.

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