Caltech Question of the Month: What causes the auroral lights?

Submitted by Catherine E. Wendt, Pasadena, California.

Answered by Paul Wennberg, associate professor of atmospheric chemistry and environmental engineering science, Caltech.

Caltech observes brightest gamma-ray burst so far

An extraordinarily bright cosmic gamma-ray flash turns out to be the most energetic one measured so far, according to a team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology.

Earth's water probably didn't come from comets, Caltech researchers say

A new Caltech study of comet Hale-Bopp suggests that comets did not give Earth its water, buttressing other recent studies but contrary to the longstanding belief of many planetary scientists.

Caltech discovers genetic process for controlling plant characteristics

Caltech biologists have harnessed a gene communication network that controls the size and shape of a flowering land plant. The discovery is a fundamental advancement in understanding the processes that make plants what they are. The knowledge could also lead to greater control over certain characteristics of plants such as fruit size and stem durability.

Caltech Question of the Month: What do the laws of physics, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in particular, say about whether free will exists?

Submitted by Robert R. Belliveau.

Answered by John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics, Caltech.

This is a deep question and there is no simple answer. I am not a philosopher; nor can I speak for all physicists. I can only state my personal views.

New electron states observed by Caltech physicists

Caltech physicists have succeeded in forcing electrons to flow in an unusual way never previously observed in nature or in the lab.

SCE Joins Caltech in Seismic Program to Improve Quake Response

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 15, 1999—On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the devastating Northridge earthquake, Southern California Edison and the California Institute of Technology today announced the utility's participation in a state-of-the-art seismic measuring network that will expedite power restoration and emergency response after a major temblor in the southland.

Caltech Question of the Month: Is January 1, 2000, the first day of the last year of the 20th century, or the first day of the 21st century?

Submitted by Eileen Wise, Pasadena California, and answered by Dr. Kevin C. Knox, Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in History at Caltech.

Domesticated wolves may have given humans the leg up in conquering the early world

When early humans first encountered wolves after leaving Africa 140,000 years ago, the two species may have established a partnership that allowed Homo sapiens to eventually dominate the entire world, a Caltech biologist says in a new book.


Subscribe to RSS - research_news