Submitted by dsmith on Thu, 2013-05-09 10:39
John Preskill, the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, is hooked on quanta. He was applying quantum theory to black holes back in 1994 when mathematician Peter Shor (BS '81), then at Bell Labs, showed that a quantum computer could factor a very large number in a very short time.
Submitted by mwoo on Fri, 2013-05-03 09:35
A new kind of cosmic flash may reveal something never seen before: the birth of a black hole.
When a massive star exhausts its fuel, it collapses under its own gravity and produces a black hole, an object so dense that not even light can escape its gravitational grip. According to a new analysis by an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), just before the black hole forms, the dying star may generate a distinct burst of light that will allow astronomers to witness the birth of a new black hole for the first time.
Submitted by mwoo on Wed, 2013-04-17 10:00
PASADENA, Calif.—Smaller begets bigger.
Such is often the case for galaxies, at least: the first galaxies were small, then eventually merged together to form the behemoths we see in the present universe.
Submitted by mwoo on Fri, 2013-04-05 16:51
The mission: travel to one of Mars's two moons, explore its surface, collect some rocks, and return to Earth in one piece. Now plan it—in five days.
Dozens of students from Caltech and around the world converged on campus during the last week of March to do just that, compete in the Caltech Space Challenge, which pits two teams against each other to design the best manned space mission.
Submitted by dsmith on Tue, 2013-04-02 09:35
John Preskill, the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, is himself deeply entangled in the quantum world. Different rules apply there, and objects that obey them are now being made in our world, as he explains at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Caltech's Beckman Auditorium. Admission is free.
Brennan Conference Room, third floor, Center for Student Services
Head TA Network Kick-off Meeting & Happy Hour
Submitted by dsmith on Fri, 2013-03-15 15:59
In a paper published on March 16, 1963, Caltech astronomer Maarten Schmidt announced the discovery of the first quasar (he didn't call it that) and opened a new window through which we can see the very distant universe.
Submitted by mwoo on Thu, 2013-03-14 18:21
Although Keith Matthews was about to make history, he went about his tasks like any others. It was the night of March 16, 1993, nearly 14,000 feet above sea level on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and he had just installed the first instrument on the brand-new 10-meter telescope at W. M. Keck Observatory. Matthews, who built the instrument—a near-infrared camera, abbreviated NIRC—was set to make the first scientific observations using the newly crowned Biggest Telescope in the World.
Submitted by mwoo on Wed, 2013-03-13 11:00
PASADENA, Calif.—Galaxies have been experiencing vigorous bursts of star formation from much earlier in cosmic history than previously thought, according to new observations by a Caltech-led team.
These so-called starburst galaxies produce stars at a prodigious rate—creating the equivalent of a thousand new suns per year. Now the astronomers have found starbursts that were churning out stars when the universe was just a billion years old. Previously, astronomers didn't know whether galaxies could form stars at such high rates so early in time.