In 1975, Kip Thorne (BS '62, and the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus) and then-Caltech postdoctoral fellow Anna Żytkow sought the answer to an intriguing question: Would it be possible to have a star that had a neutron star as its core—that is, a hot, dense star composed entirely of neutrons within another more traditional star? Nearly 40 years later, astronomers believe they may have found such an object: a star labeled HV 2112 and located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy that is a near neighbor of the Milky Way and visible to the naked eye. We recently sat down with Thorne to ask how it feels to have astronomers discover something whose existence he postulated decades before.
Researchers at Caltech have applied a new imaging technique called four-dimensional (4D) electron microscopy to studying nanofluid dynamics. In a paper appearing in the June 27 issue of Science, Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics, and Ulrich Lorenz, a postdoctoral scholar in chemistry, describe how they visualized and monitored the flow of molten lead within a single zinc oxide nanotube in real time and space.
On June 10, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced that in 2015 it will award its highest honor, the Priestley Medal, to Jacqueline K. Barton. Barton is Caltech's Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry, and chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
The award, from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM), was presented "for pioneering contributions in experimental mechanics of deformation, damage and failure of materials under multiaxial dynamic loading."