A new laser for a faster Internet

The study was published the week of February 10–14 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work is the result of a five-year effort by researchers in the laboratory of Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and professor of electrical engineering; the project was led by postdoctoral scholar Christos Santis (PhD '13) and graduate student Scott Steger.

The rise of the bionic leaf (for fuel)

We’ve gotten pretty good at turning solar power into electricity, but electricity can be hard to store, making it a challenge for use right when you need it and in the transportation sector.

Billion Pixel Imager

Engineers at Caltech have hacked an inexpensive microscope, turning it into a billion-pixel imager that makes even the best standard microscopes pale in comparison.One of the most fundamental truths in microscopy is that you can have either high resolution images of a small area or low resolution views ...

The mysteries of photosynthesis

Chemists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say they can now explain one of the remaining mysteries of photosynthesis, the chemical process by which plants convert sunlight into usable energy and generate the oxygen that we breathe.

Europa's deep ocean may seep to the surface

Astronomers have found the strongest evidence yet that the ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may consist of salty water, like our own. And, they say, that salty water appears to be making its way to the surface.

Ion thruster improvements show promise for deep space missions

A big problem with the use of electric rocket engines known as Hall thrusters has been erosion of their discharge channel walls, limiting their use to the inner solar system.

Team creates building block for quantum networks

Scientists say they've built a proof-of-concept device that could become the memory or processing element for an on-chip optical quantum network.

San Andreas fault could pose wider risk than thought

The 'stable' zones thought to inhibit nearby earthquakes may actually make them worse, a new study shows, implying that California's San Andreas fault may be much more dangerous than believed.

Our galaxy contains 100 billion planets

There are at least 100 billion planets in the Milky Way alone, say Caltech scientists, based on extrapolations from the Kepler-32 system.

Handheld device can see through walls

Smartphones could be equipped to see through solid objects, say Caltech electrical engineers, who have developed tiny, inexpensive terahertz imagers.

Weird exoplanets could harbor weird life

New research indicates that life might be able to survive on some of the odder exoplanets discovered so far - from scorching hot worlds with molten surfaces to freezing balls of ice.

Artificial jellyfish engineered from rat heart cells

Scientists have created a free-swimming 'jellyfish' out of silicone seeded with living heart muscle cells.

Ecosystems shift as climate changes

By 2100, nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems - forest, grassland or tundra, for example - will have moved from one type to another.

Caltech 'soup' shows brainlike behavior

Caltech researchers have created the first artificial neural network from DNA - a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can.

Big leap forward for DNA computing

Caltech researchers have built the most complex biochemical circuit ever, creating a DNA computer that can calculate square roots.

Caltech develops 'sound bullets'

Caltech researchers have built a device that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic signals dubbed 'sound bullets'.