Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

News & Events


Nanoscale Materials and Big Solar Energy


As a high school student during the oil crisis of the 1970s, Professor Harry Atwater recognized firsthand the impact of energy supply issues. Inspired to contribute to renewable energies, his research at Caltech today works to develop better thin-film photovoltaics—cheaper, lighter, more efficient alternatives to the bulky cells now used in solar panels. [Interview with Professor Atwater]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Harry Atwater

Professor Dimotakis Receives AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fluid Dynamics Award for 2014. The award is for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the behavior of liquids and gases in motion as related to needs in aeronautics and astronautics. Professor Dimotakis is being recognized for "Fundamental contributions to turbulent mixing and combustion through careful and thorough experiments using novel techniques."

Tags: APhMS honors GALCIT Paul Dimotakis

Professor Vahala Elected Fellow of IEEE


Kerry J. Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics, has been elected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Elevation to IEEE Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors given by the IEEE, which is the world's largest professional association.

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Professor Dimotakis Receives NASA Group Achievement Award


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, and his team have received a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Group Achievement Award for exceptional achievement in the successful negotiation of the new NASA Prime Contract.

Tags: APhMS honors GALCIT Paul Dimotakis

How Super-Efficient Nanomaterials Could Herald a Design Revolution


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, was one of the presenters in Caltech’s IDEAS LAB at the 2014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Also presenting at the meeting were Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics, and Paul W. Sternberg, Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Biology.

Tags: APhMS research highlights Julia Greer

Former Caltech Postdoc Receives Israel Prize


Mordechai (Moti) Segev, a former postdoctoral fellow in Professor Amnon Yariv's group, will be receiving the Israel Prize for Physics and Chemistry. Dr. Segev is receiving the prize for ground-breaking research in the field of optics and lasers. "I am naturally proud of the achievements of former students and postdocs who started their scientific career in my group," says Professor Yariv. "Among this group Moti has become, in the relatively short time since leaving us, one the best known and influential scientists in the world in the field of quantum electronics and its amazing offspring of nonlinear optics. I am looking forward to a continuing stream of intellectual and experimental innovation flowing from him and his research group at the Technion."

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Tags: Amnon Yariv APhMS honors energy research highlights Moti Segev

New Home for Interdisciplinary Photonics Research


Professor Harry Atwater is the new Editor-in-Chief of ACS Photonics. View the video to learn more about his research as well as his vision "to create a global home for interdisciplinary photonics research that moves the field forward with intensity and excitement."

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Harry Atwater

Dr. Hofmann Receives Presidential Early Career Award


Douglas Hofmann, Visiting Associate in Applied Physics and Materials Science and the Johnson research group, and Principle Investigator of the Metallurgy Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. [White House Release]

Tags: APhMS honors PECASE William Johnson Douglas Hofmann JPL

Professor Phillips Celebrates Feynman Lectures' 50th Anniversary


In the 2013 Issue of Nature Rob Phillips celebrates Feynman's Lectures on Physics as they near their 50th anniversary. He describes, “Feynman’s physics is about simplicity, beauty, unity and analogy, presented with enthusiasm and insight that bursts from the page.” [Nature Article] [Feynman Lectures Online] [ENGenious article]

Tags: APhMS Rob Phillips

From Lab-on-a-Chip to Lab-in-the-Body


Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics, will be giving the next Caltech Earnest C. Watson Lecture on November 6, 2013 at 8pm. His lecture is entitled From Lab-on-a-Chip to Lab-in-the-Body and will focus on the role of nanotechnology in the miniaturization of medical diagnostic tools. [Caltech Release] [ENGenious Article]

Tags: APhMS EE MedE health Axel Scherer