Together, we are changing the world. With the close of Break Through: The Caltech Campaign, we thank our friends and supporters for empowering Caltech scientists and engineers to push the boundaries of science and technology toward a brighter future for us all.

Every breakthrough opens new paths forward.

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Driven by curiosity. Funded by people. Selected Campaign Breakthroughs

What if we could harness solar energy before it reaches Earth?

That’s exactly what Caltech’s Space-Based Solar Power Project aims to do. Leading the ambitious project to collect solar power in space and transport it to Earth via microwaves are Sergio Pellegrino, the Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering; Ali Hajimiri, the Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; and Harry Atwater, the Otis Booth Leadership Chair for Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Imagine being able to access solar power 24/7, free from weather constraints or darkness of night.

Reflect on this

How can we hitch a ride to catch some seismic waves?

Geophysicist Zhongwen Zhan saw an opportunity to use miles of unused underground fiber-optic cables beneath the streets of Pasadena for an entirely novel purpose: a first-of-its-kind earthquake monitoring system. In addition to advancing fundamental knowledge about how seismic waves propagate, the system one day may help save lives by improving earthquake hazard assessment.

Delve deeper

What’s next on the cosmic horizon, after ripples through spacetime?

That’s the perfect question for physics professor Rana Adhikari. In 2015, he was a member of the team that confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity through the detection of gravitational waves. Since that historic achievement, which captured the cosmic ripples of black holes colliding 1.3 billion light years away, he has partnered with engineers and physicists to fine-tune the instruments so we can learn even more about the universe and our place in it.