The Caltech Space Challenge: Mission to a Martian Moon

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 recently to do just that.

Quantum Entanglement and Quantum Computing

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.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Center for Student Services, 3rd Floor, Brennan Conference Room

Head TA Network Kick-off Meeting & Happy Hour

Fifty Years of Quasars

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.

Two Decades of Discoveries

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.

Bursts of Star Formation in the Early Universe

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.

Astronomers Observe Planets Around Another Star Like Never Before

PASADENA, Calif.—Thanks to a new high-tech gadget, astronomers have observed four planets orbiting a star relatively close to the sun in unprecedented detail, revealing the roughly ten-Jupiter-mass planets to be among the most exotic ones known.

The team, which includes several researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), describes its findings in a paper accepted for publication by the Astrophysical Journal.

Ryan Patterson Awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

Ryan Patterson, assistant professor of physics at Caltech, is one of 126 young scholars to receive a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2013.

According to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the purpose of the Sloan Research Fellowships is to "stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise." Candidates are nominated by their fellow scientists and chosen by an independent panel of senior scholars. Fellows receive $50,000 to be used to further their research.

Viewing the Cosmos from the South Pole: An Interview with Jamie Bock

Almost immediately after the Big Bang—roughly after ten trillionths of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second—the universe suddenly grew. Very fast. The entire cosmos, which at the time was smaller than an atom, expanded to the size of a beach ball in less than a millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second—before settling down to a more leisurely rate of growth that continues to this day.

Caltech Senior Wins Churchill Scholarship

Caltech senior Andrew Meng has been selected to receive a Churchill Scholarship, which will fund his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge for the next academic year. Meng, a chemistry and physics major, was one of only 14 students nationwide who were chosen to receive the fellowship this year.

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