Caltech Question of the Month: When a plane flies from New York to San Francisco, why can't it just idle in midair and wait for the earth to spin San Francisco around underneath it?

Submitted by Norman Arce, San Marino.

Answered by Dr. Andrew Ingersoll, Professor of Planetary Science, Caltech.

We don't feel it, but the planet is rotating eastward at a rate of about 1,000 miles per hour. Thus, it might make sense that you could rise in the air, stay in one spot, and wait for the West Coast to rotate underneath you in about three hours.

New study explains motions of the Emerson fault in the years following the Landers earthquake

For geophysicists, the 7.3–magnitude Landers earthquake of June 28, 1992 has yielded much in terms of understanding the basic mechanisms of seismic events. A new study appearing in this week's Science provides a new model to explain why the ground near the fault gradually shifted the first few years after the main shock. The work could be used in the future for the analysis of earthquake hazard.

Caltech physicists achieve first bona fide quantum teleportation

Physicists at the California Institute of Technology, joined by an international collaboration, have succeeded in the first true teleportation of a quantum state. Caltech physicists achieve first bona fide quantum teleportation October 1998 98

Multilayered silicon could bea breakthrough for electronic technology

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found a way to stack silicon layers on chips in a way that could lead to significant new advances in silicon-based electronic devices.

Galileo data shows Jupiter's lightning associated with low-pressure regions

Images of Jupiter's night side taken by the Galileo spacecraft reveal that the planet's lightning is controlled by the large-scale atmospheric circulation and is associated with low-pressure regions.

Caltech Question of the Month: Is there any such thing as "earthquake weather"?

There is a popular notion that earthquakes happen more often in certain kinds of weather. Unfortunately, the description of the preferred weather varies geographically and with the person providing the description.

Crust of Tibetan Plateau is being squeezed by India and Asia, new study shows

Geophysicists have discovered why there are high plains and mountains in the Himalayas for trekkers to trek on. According to new data, the soft crust of the Tibetan Plateau is being squeezed like an accordion between the harder crusts of India and Asia.

Mechanism of cell suicide determined by Caltech, MIT researchers

Biologists at MIT and Caltech have uncovered the chemical details of a mechanism that cells use to commit suicide. The work appears in the August 28 issue of the journal Science. Mechanism of cell suicide determined by Caltech, MIT researchers

New Study Shows How Axons Find Their Way Home

Like a commuter trying to get to work during rush hour, a growing axon must thread its way through a throng of other axons that are headed in many different directions in the developing brain. Axons are the wire-like extensions of nerve cells that carry electrical signals from one place to another in the brain, and during development they must navigate across long distances (many centimeters) to reach their correct address within the brain. If the axon gets lost, brain circuits cannot form normally and, like the commuter showing up at the wrong office, the axon may not be able to do its job. So how do axons find their way? A report published in the July 24th issue of the journal Science by Drs. Susan Catalano and Carla Shatz of the University of California at Berkeley sheds light on how axons home in on their correct targets. New Study Shows How Axons Find Their Way Home July 1998 98

Brain cells attuned to visual nearness and farness interact to allow judgments of size, research shows

In the July 24 issue of Science, Caltech biology professor John Allman and his colleagues write that brain cells involved in vision tend to be apportioned to picking up farness or nearness. In working with rhesus monkeys trained to follow dots of varying size on a moving TV monitor, the researchers have found that the monkeys use their nearness and farness cells in tandem. Brain cells attuned to visual nearness and farnessinteract to allow judgments of size, research shows July 1998 98

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