Maria I. Lopez Wins Schmitt Staff Prize

Thomas W. Schmitt, former associate vice president for human resources, remarks, "I think Caltech does a better job of including staff as part of the community than any other place I know of."

40-Year Service Awardees

The 59th Annual Staff Service Awards will be presented in Beckman Auditorium on Monday, June 2, at 10 a.m. During the ceremony, more than 250 staff members whose service ranges from 10 to 50 years will be honored. A full list of awardees can be found here. This week we are featuring Caltech staff members who will be recognized for 40 and 45 years of service to the Institute.

Chemical Engineer Mark Davis Wins Prince of Asturias Award

Mark E. Davis, the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech, has been named one of three recipients of the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Davis was recognized, along with Avelino Corma Canós and Galen D. Stucky, for contributions to the development of microporous and mesoporous materials and various applications of these materials from the petrochemical industry to healthcare.

JCAP Stabilizes Common Semiconductors For Solar Fuels Generation

Caltech researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) have devised a method for protecting technologically important semiconductors from corrosion even as the materials continue to absorb light efficiently. The finding paves the way for the use of these materials in solar-fuel generators.

Miniature Truss Work

This image shows the latest example of what Julia Greer, professor of materials science and mechanics, calls a fractal nanotruss—nano because the structures are made up of members that are as thin as five nanometers (five billionths of a meter); truss because they are carefully architected structures that might one day be used in structural engineering materials. Greer's group has developed a three-step process for building such complex structures very precisely. Taking advantage of some of the size effects that many materials display at the nanoscale, these nanotrusses can have unusual, desirable qualities.

Supernova Caught in the Act by Palomar Transient Factory

Supernovae—stellar explosions—are incredibly energetic, dynamic events. It is easy to imagine that they are uncommon, but the universe is a big place and supernovae are actually fairly routine. The problem with observing supernovae is knowing just when and where one is occurring and being able to point a world-class telescope at it in the hours immediately afterward, when precious data about the supernova's progenitor star is available. Fortunately the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) operated by Caltech scans the sky constantly in search of dramatic astrophysical events. In 2013, it caught a star in the act of exploding.

Rewarding Inventions and Inventors

"Would Thomas Edison Receive Tenure?" This was the provocative title for a panel at the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), an organization founded in 2010 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Tricking the Uncertainty Principle

Researchers at Caltech find a way to sidestep the quantum "noise" that limits the precision of ultrasensitive position measurements.

Ditch Day? It’s Today, Frosh!

During this annual spring rite seniors ditch their classes and vanish from campus, leaving behind complex, carefully planned out puzzles and challenges—known as “stacks”—designed to occupy the underclass students and prevent them from wreaking havoc on the seniors’ rooms.

Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics Established at Caltech

Building on Caltech's leading position in fields such as general relativity, astrophysics, quantum computation, superstring theory, elementary particle theory, and condensed matter theory, the new institute will train generations of theoretical physicists.

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