Sixth Annual Caltech Science Writing Symposium

California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Usha Lee McFarling will be the featured speakers at the sixth annual Caltech Science Writing Symposium. The topic of their conversation will be the importance and challenges of communicating science to the general public.

Physicist Hirosi Ooguri Awarded for Novel Research on Black Holes

Hirosi Ooguri, the Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, is a corecipient of the first ever Leonard Eisenbud Prize for Mathematics and Physics, awarded by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). The prize, created in 2006, has gone to Ooguri and coauthors Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University for their paper "Black hole attractors and the topological string," published in 2004.

LIGO Sheds Light on Cosmic Event

An analysis by the international LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration has excluded one previously leading explanation for the origin of an intense gamma-ray burst that occurred last winter. Gamma-ray bursts are among the most violent and energetic events in the universe, and scientists have only recently begun to understand their origins.

High Energy Physicists Set New Record for Network Data Transfer

80+ Gbps Sustained Rates for Hours Set a New Standard and Demonstrate that Current and Next Generation Long-Range Networks Can Be Used Efficiently by Small Computing Clusters

A Giant Step toward Infinitesimal Machinery

What are the ultimate limits to miniaturization? How small can machinery--with internal workings that move, turn, and vibrate--be produced? What is the smallest scale on which computers can be built? With uncanny and characteristic insight, these are questions that the legendary Caltech physicist Richard Feynman asked himself in the period leading up to a famous 1959 lecture, the first on a topic now called nanotechnology.

Small Explorer Mission to Detect Black Holes Scheduled for 2011 Launch

NASA has given the go-ahead to restart an astrophysics mission that will provide a greater capability for using high-energy Xrays to detect black holes than any existing instrument has.

Smallest Galaxies Solve a Big Problem

An unusual population of the darkest, most lightweight galaxies known has shed new light on a cosmic conundrum. Astronomers used the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to show that the recently uncovered dwarf galaxies each contain 99 percent of a mysterious type of matter known as dark matter. Dark matter has gravitational effects on ordinary atoms but does not produce any light. It accounts for the majority of the mass in the universe.

Astronomers Find Largest Exoplanet to Date

An international team of astronomers has discovered the largest-radius and lowest-density exoplanet of all those whose mass and radius are known. It is a gas-giant planet about twice the size of Jupiter, and is likely to have a curved cometlike tail. It has been named TrES-4, to indicate that it is the fourth planet detected by the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) network of telescopes.

International Consortium Is Created to Build World's Largest Submillimeter Telescope

Five institutions from North America and Europe have created a consortium to oversee the building of a 25-meter submillimeter telescope on a high elevation in Chile. When completed in 2013, the $100 million instrument will be the premier telescope of its kind in the world.

Dwarf Star Gulps Giant to Form Supernova

A team of European and American astronomers has announced the discovery of the best evidence yet for the nature of the star systems that explode as type Ia supernovae. The team obtained a unique set of observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and the Keck I 10-meter telescope in Hawaii.

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