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Caltech’s unwavering commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, the development of state-of-the-art instrumentation, and the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research allows it to address fundamental questions in science and engineering.

Recent Research News

Research Centers and Institutes

AIM panel members collaborating over laptops at a large table.

The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM)

The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) recently moved its home to the Caltech campus, where it hosts in-depth collaborations to solve long-standing math problems.

An AWS quantum hardware engineer works on a dilution refrigerator.

AWS Center for Quantum Computing

In partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Caltech pioneers quantum computing technologies in the AWS Center for Quantum Computing.

Viviana Gradinaru looking at a graduated tube with a research student.

Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech

Scientists in the Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech collaborate to deepen understanding of how the brain works.

Lihong Wang and another researcher working in the Quantum Lab.

Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI)

For two decades, Caltech's Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) has facilitated groundbreaking research in nanoscale photonics, materials science, and biotechnology.

A student conducting an experiment in Ruem Ismagilov's lab.

Merkin Institute for Translational Research

The Merkin Institute for Translational Research helps Caltech scientists transform laboratory breakthroughs into advances in human health.

Graduate student Andrey Vyatskikh holding a polymer.

Resnick Sustainability Institute (RSI)

Caltech's Resnick Sustainability Institute (RSI) addresses the challenges of climate change and explores new opportunities for sustainability.

Off-Site Observatories and Research Facilities

Twin Keck Telescopes with sunset in background.

W. M. Keck Observatory

From Hawai'i's Maunakea, astronomers around the world use W. M. Keck Observatory to observe the universe with unprecedented power and precision. The twin Keck Observatory telescopes are the world's most scientifically productive optical and infrared telescopes. Each telescope weighs 300 tons and operates with nanometer precision. The telescopes' primary mirrors are 10 meters in diameter and are each composed of 36 hexagonal segments that work in concert as a single piece of reflective glass.

Three Orphan lab students working on field research.

Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory

Founded in 1929 and located near the entrance of Newport Bay, the Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory is one of the oldest such labs on the U.S. West Coast. The lab, one of Caltech's off-site facilities, has long been the site of important marine science discoveries. A current pilot project funded by Caltech's Resnick Sustainability Institute, led by lab director Victoria J. Orphan, uses Kerckhoff's facilities and expertise to study how microbes in seagrasses affect carbon stored by the ocean.

Aerial view of LIGO Livingston location.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)

LIGO is a national facility for gravitational-wave research that provides opportunities for the broader scientific community to participate in detector development, observation, and data analysis. Consisting of two widely-separated interferometers operated in unison (one in Washington and one in Louisiana), LIGO was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astrophysics through the direct detection of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. LIGO measures minute ripples in space-time caused by cataclysmic cosmic events such as colliding neutron stars or black holes, or by supernovae.

Panoramic view of Owens Valley Radio Observatory with sunrise over mountains in background.

Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO)

OVRO is one of the largest university-operated radio observatories in the world. It is dedicated to research in radio astronomy and astrophysics, the training of the next generation of radio astronomers, and the development of cutting-edge radio instrumentation. Known by locals as the "Big Ears," OVRO is located near Bishop, California, approximately 250 miles north of Los Angeles on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.

Exterior view of Palomar Observatory with night sky full of stars in background.

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, California, is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech. The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope.

Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions. The Observatory operates every clear night and is an iconic facility for scientific advancement, instrument development, and student training.

A map of stations in the Southern California Seismic Network.

Southern California Seismic Network

SCSN, a partnership of Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey, has more than 400 seismic stations in Southern California, and imports over 150 stations from 14 other networks, creating one of the densest seismic networks in the world. It provides the public with information about recent earthquakes in the area. In addition, Caltech maintains the Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC), the data archive of the SCSN.