Twenty years ago, we knew only of planets in our solar system, and gravitational waves were just a prediction of Einstein’s theories. Now—thanks in great part to Caltech’s unmatched access to observatories and leadership in inventing new instruments, approaches, and theories—we have identified thousands of planets orbiting other suns, and Caltech and MIT shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for making Einstein’s prediction a reality. With your support, Caltech scholars can uncover even more secrets about the structure and evolution of the universe.
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The ballerina is an avatar of certain qualities—among them the ambition, skill, and courage to take bold leaps. Offstage, ballet lover Rachel Theios has infused those same characteristics into her budding research career in astronomy. Pursuing her first publication as a Caltech graduate student, she has shown the vision and bravery to question some of the fundamentals of her field.
HD 187123 b is Cam Buzard’s favorite planet. About 160 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, it circles a star about as massive as our sun—only so close that a year flies by in three days. It weighs more than 150 Earths and sizzles at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
“You ought to leave the world better than you found it,” engineer Allen Davis was known to say. And he did: Davis, who passed away at age 91 in 2015, left more than $60 million from his estate to Caltech.
In this issue of The Caltech Effect, we explore the notion of familial ties across many dimensions—generations, labs, even the Milky Way.