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Researchers Help Generate First Image of Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy

05-12-22

A multi-institution collaboration that includes a Caltech-led imaging team has generated the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This result provides conclusive evidence that the body, known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced "sadge-ay-star"), is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such massive objects, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies. "We not only recovered an image of Sgr A*, but also characterized the uncertainty of features in the image," says He Sun. "This analysis helped the team deliver scientific results with some guarantees." [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights CMS Katie Bouman He Sun Junhan Kim Aviad Levis

Nanofabrication Courses Let Caltech Undergraduates Get Hands-on at the Smallest Scales

05-10-22

Engineers at companies like Intel who design and build chipsets and microprocessors must manipulate components at impossibly small scales. Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics; Merkin Institute Professor, says the current state of the art involves working at the scale of 7 to 10 nanometers (or billionths of a meter). In five years, he says, that figure will likely be down to 3 nanometers or smaller—and students who take his new course, Nanofabrication Techniques, will be ready for this challenge. "The students are going to design the next generation of devices," Scherer says. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE Axel Scherer Changsoon Choi Paromita Mitchell

Pioneering New Frontiers in Topological Physics

04-28-22

A team of engineers led by Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, recently opened a new frontier in topological physics, which is the field that seeks to understand the topological properties that arise in coupled systems based on how they are organized and coupled. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights Alireza Marandi James Williams Midya Parto

The Grid Gets Smart

04-25-22

Adaptive electric vehicle chargers and advanced battery designs are some of the ways Caltech researchers are building a more sustainable electric grid. Steven Low, Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Electrical Engineering, invented the Adaptive Charging Network (ACN). But Low and others warn that this grid is unprepared for the challenges of the 21st century. “The current grid will very soon hit a wall where, when we add renewable energy, it sits unused because the demand isn’t there at a time when the solar is running,” says Adam Wierman, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Director, Information Science and Technology. That is why Caltech researchers are working on ways to break down that barrier to help empower an energy transformation. Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, is pushing the limits of the batteries themselves.  [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights CMS Julia Greer Adam Wierman Steven Low Kimberly See

Saehui Hwang Receives Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

04-12-22

Saehui Hwang, a senior in electrical engineering, has been selected to receive a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a grant that offers graduating seniors the opportunity to pursue academic scholarship abroad. Hwang is one of just 42 students to receive the fellowship this year. The Thomas J. Wat­son Fel­low­ship is a one-year grant for pur­pose­ful, inde­pen­dent explo­ration out­side the Unit­ed States, award­ed to grad­u­at­ing seniors nom­i­nat­ed by one of 41 part­ner insti­tu­tions. Hwang will spend a year abroad working on a series of projects related to the design of wearable devices. "Ultimately, my career goal is to be an engineer who designs solutions with global impact," says Hwang. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE honors Saehui Hwang

A New Soliton Offers a Path Toward Compact Molecular Sensing

04-11-22

Scientists know that molecules in our exhaled breath can reveal a vast amount of medical information; for example, sensors to precisely measure minute changes in the concentrations of different vapors in breath may one day replace the standard blood test.” However, no technology is yet available to access this data from exhaled breath in a timely, affordable way. A new process for generating self-reinforcing wave pulses, also known as solitons, may pave the way toward bringing optical molecular sensing out of the lab and into medical devices with a compact footprint. 

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Tags: EE Alireza Marandi Rajveer Nehra Saman Jahani Luis Ledezma Arkadev Roy

Tyler Colenbrander Wins Goldwater Scholarship

04-06-22

Undergraduate student Tyler Colenbrander has been awarded a 2022 Goldwater Scholarship. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent under-graduate award of its type in these fields. [2022 Goldwater Scholars]

Tags: APhMS honors Tyler Colenbrander

EAS Remembers Roy W. Gould

03-01-22

Roy W. Gould, Simon Ramo Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on February 19, 2022. He was 94 years old. Gould earned his bachelor's degree from Caltech in 1949, a master's from Stanford University in 1950, and a doctorate from Caltech in 1956. After leaving Stanford, he worked as an engineer on missile guidance and control at JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA, and then at Hughes Aircraft. He joined Caltech's faculty in 1955. Gould started as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, became Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1958, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics in 1960, and Professor in 1962. He was named Professor of Applied Physics in 1974 and became Ramo Professor of Engineering in 1980. He served as Executive Officer of Applied Physics from 1973–79 and Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science from 1979–85. Gould's research focused on plasma physics and thermonuclear fusion. During his long career, Gould earned numerous awards and recognitions. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE EAS history alumni Roy Gould

Chaining Atoms Together Yields Quantum Storage

02-17-22

Engineers at Caltech have developed an approach for quantum storage that could help pave the way for the development of large-scale optical quantum networks. "The ability to build a technology reproducibly and reliably is key to its success," says graduate student Andrei Ruskuc. "In the scientific context, this let us gain unprecedented insight into microscopic interactions between ytterbium qubits and the vanadium atoms in their environment." The new system relies on nuclear spins—the angular momentum of an atom's nucleus—oscillating collectively as a spin wave. This collective oscillation effectively chains up several atoms to store information. "Based on our previous work, single ytterbium ions were known to be excellent candidates for optical quantum networks, but we needed to link them with additional atoms. We demonstrate that in this work," says Andrei Faraon, Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering. [Read the paper] [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE KNI Andrei Faraon Andrei Ruskuc

Professor Mirhosseini Receives Okawa Foundation Research Grant

02-09-22

Mohammad Mirhosseini, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, has been selected as a recipient of 2021 Okawa Foundation Research Grant for developing optical interconnects for microwave quantum processors. [Research Grant Recipients]

Tags: APhMS EE honors KNI Mohammad Mirhosseini