A new device developed in the lab of Harry Atwater, the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, breaks that normally tight relationship between the absorbed and emitted efficiencies of an object. The invention may also have important implications for sustainable energy harvesting systems and the development of certain kinds of camouflage. "Kirchhoff's law has been upheld for more than 150 years, and while theoretical proposals for its violation have been advanced before, this is the first experimental proof that this law can be broken," says Atwater. [Caltech story]
A new technology being pioneered at Caltech is allowing researchers to "evolve" optical devices and then print them out using a specialized type of 3D printer. These devices are made of so-called optical metamaterials that derive their properties from structures so small they are measured in nanometers, and they may allow cameras and sensors to detect and manipulate properties of light in ways not previously possible at small scales.
The work was conducted in the lab of Andrei Faraon, the William L. Valentine Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering and appears in the journal Nature Communications. [Caltech story]
Andrei Faraon (BS '04), the William L. Valentine Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering, has been named a 2023 Experimental Physics Investigator by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The awards, given to 21 researchers this year, including Faraon, come with a five-year $1.25 million research grant intended to advance the field of experimental physics. [Caltech story]
Arkadev Roy, advised by Alireza Marandi, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, receives the 2023 Wilts Prize. The Wilts Prize is awarded each June to a PhD candidate/alum for “independent research in Electrical Engineering leading to a PhD degree”. Arkadev receives the prize for his work, "Parametrically-driven nonlinear optical resonators and their networks for sensing and computing."
In a paper published in the journal Nature Physics, Mohammad Mirhosseini, assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics, shows a new method his lab developed for efficiently translating electrical quantum states into sound and vice versa. This type of translation may allow for storing quantum information prepared by future quantum computers, which are likely to made from electrical circuits. [Caltech story]
While the world grapples with generative AI as a mainstream phenomenon, that phenomenon is already changing the way researchers do science and develop technology. In recognition of that reality, Caltech has begun offering a unique course on the leading edge of generative AI technology, EE/CS 148: Large Language and Vision Models. This spring, the course let students peer behind the curtain of generative AI to see how it really works and learn how to make it work for their needs.
“We wanted to bring that technology to Caltech students,” says Georgia Gkioxari, Caltech assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences and electrical engineering and a William Hurt Scholar, “to teach our students how to think about all these new advances beyond what they're being used for right now to think about how we can extend them for all the scientific applications that people work on here at Caltech.”
Gkioxari taught the course this spring and says she will continue teaching it each spring alongside Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, who had long taught an introductory computer vision course. Perona decided to revamp the computer vision offering when Gkioxari joined the Caltech faculty in January, bringing with her industry experience accumulated during a six-year tenure with Facebook/Meta AI. [Caltech story]