Caltech Astronomers Obtain the Most Detailed Infared Image of the Environment of an Active Black Hole

TORONTO — Sophisticated imaging techniques applied on the Keck Telescope have uncovered a new structure in a nearby active galaxy.

The image and associated research are being presented today at the semiannual meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Alycia Weinberger, a doctoral student in physics at the California Institute of Technology, and her collaborators have used the computer-intensive technique of speckle imaging and the 10-meter W. M. Keck Telescope atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to image the nucleus of NGC 1068.

Fairchild Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to Caltech Physics and Astronomy

PASADENA—The Sherman Fairchild Foundation has awarded $2.5 million to the California Institute of Technology to support postdoctoral researchers in physics and astronomy.

The gift, which extends over eight years, will support six scientists in theoretical physics or astrophysics, five in observational optical-infrared astronomy, and two in experimental physics, astrophysics, or radio astronomy. The first contingent of Sherman Fairchild Scholars will begin their term at Caltech in the fall of 1996.

Astronomers Find Elusive Primeval Galaxies

PASADENA—A group of astronomers has identified the most distant population of normal galaxies yet found. Using a new technique designed to isolate large numbers of extremely distant, young galaxies, the scientists have discovered what are very likely the progenitors of the bright galaxies—spirals and ellipticals—seen today. They observed the galaxies at a time very soon after they first formed, roughly 10 billion years ago, at redshifts between 3.0 and 3.5.

Scientists Report Interactions Between Individual Photons: First Step Toward a Quantum Computer

PASADENA—Caltech physicists have demonstrated that individual photons, which normally do not interact, can strongly influence each other when brought together with an atom inside an optical cavity.

This result—interactions between single photons—could be used to make information processing devices that employ quantum-mechanical effects to improve their performance. Further, these devices could form the building blocks needed to construct a "quantum computer," a theoretical machine that, researchers believe, could outperform any computer based on conventional technology.

Physicists Observe Alteration in Fundamental Interaction of Light and Matter

PASADENA—Scientists recently reported the first experimental observation of the modification of the fundamental interaction between light and matter, a change brought about by illuminating trapped cesium atoms with manifestly quantum, or nonclassical, light.

Scientists refer to the interplay of light and matter as fundamental atomic radiative processes. These processes span the range from the linear absorption and scattering familiar from everyday optics to nonlinear interactions on which for example the laser is based.

International Astrophysics Symposium to Honor Willy Fowler

PASADENA—An international symposium on nuclear astrophysics will be held in honor of the late Nobel laureate Willy Fowler, December 14 to 16 at Caltech.

Astronomers Announce Discovery of Extremely Distant Quasars

PASADENA—Astronomers have discovered 16 new extremely distant quasars, the result of a search made nearly 40 times more efficient than previously possible by applying artificial intelligence to the new Palomar digital sky survey. This novel technique allows researchers to study more easily the formation of quasars and large-scale structures in the early universe.

"This is one of the first successful major applications of artificial intelligence techniques in astronomy and space science," said Usama Fayyad, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Astronomers Announce Discovery of an Old Brown Dwarf

PASADENA—Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology and the Johns Hopkins University today announce the discovery of what they believe is a brown dwarf, and release the first image and spectrum ever taken of this elusive type of object.

The brown dwarf, called GL 229B, lies in the southern-hemisphere constellation Lepus, near Orion, where it orbits a small, dim star called GL 229. This is the first detection of such a cool object outside the solar system.

Caltech Physicist Shares Prize from European Physical Society for Role in Finding Gluons

PASADENA—Caltech Professor of Physics Harvey Newman and his collaborators on the MARKJ physics project shared a special prize in July from the European Physical Society with three other research groups "for establishing the existence of the gluon."

Gluons are the fundamental packets of energy that bind together quarks—the fundamental building blocks of matter—to form more complex particles such as pions and kaons, and the protons and neutrons that make up the core of every atom.

Caltech Planetary Scientist Receives National Medal of Science

PASADENA—Peter M. Goldreich, the Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Physics at Caltech, will receive the 1995 National Medal of Science from President Clinton at a White House ceremony on October 18.

In a statement released today, the White House announced the eight names of this year's winners of the National Medal of Science, which is awarded periodically in special recognition of outstanding scientific contributions. Goldreich is the nineteenth member of the Caltech faculty to be honored with this award.


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