Even our most reliable ideas about how the universe works break down in certain domains. They can’t account for the weirdness of quantum mechanics or the recursive chaos of fractals. Hungry for answers, many researchers—including one Caltech undergraduate and her faculty mentor—aim to come up with a better explanation.
“Growing up in the small town of Marianna, Arkansas, I reached the same conclusion that much of America did when the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957: We have some catching up to do in the space race,” recalls James “Jim” Yee (BS ’65). “I also decided that rocket science was something I’d like to do someday.”
Break Through, publicly launched just over a year ago, is already the most successful campaign in Caltech’s history. In the first year of the public phase alone, gifts exceeded $400 million. And total contributions—over $1.4 billion—have surpassed the goal of Caltech’s last campaign.
First. That is before all others; earliest in time or serial order, foremost in position, rank, or importance.
Freq. as a numeral adjective, the ordinal of ONE.
adj., n., and pron. (written 1st).
—Oxford English Dictionary