Associate Professor of Theoretical Physics
Xie Chen is a theorist working at the edge of science and engineering, where ideas straight out of science fiction abut the future of computing—and, thus, the future of our plugged-in society. Nominally, she’s a condensed matter physicist exploring quantum systems. But Chen isn’t concerned with neatly drawn lines between disciplines.
Professor of Geobiology; Associate Director, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies
Mars is Earth’s next-door neighbor, yet the Red Planet is utterly alien—frozen, arid, and roiled by massive dust storms. However, this was not always so. Data sent back from Mars, by JPL’s robotic explorers, paint the picture of two planets that once may have been much more similar. Woody Fischer, Caltech professor of geobiology, is helping to decode the history hidden in Mars’ rocky terrain.
Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology and Geochemistry
Caltech geochemist John Eiler aims to reveal “the genetics of everything”—the history of each molecule in the natural world as written in its isotopic structure. What he finds out could have implications for ventures ranging from the study of meteorites to medical diagnosis and treatment.
John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry; Norman Davidson Leadership Chair, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Jacqueline K. Barton
As the faculty lead of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Jackie Barton’s strategy is to help scholars realize their own ambitions, rather than directing the division’s overall scientific course. “I do the best I can to enable our faculty to do the great research, the great experiments they want to do,” Barton says.