Research in Applied Physics is built on the foundations of quantum mechanics, statistical physics, electromagnetic theory, mechanics, and advanced mathematics. The style of Applied Physics research at Caltech is both theoretical and richly experimental. State-of-the-art facilities are housed in the Watson Laboratories and in associated laboratories across campus.
We seek to understand and control the world of solids, liquids, and gases around us. Traditional materials science has a focus on "engineering materials" of technological importance such as ion conductors or doped silicon. At Caltech we also develop engineering materials and devices as we see opportunities, but we also try to control the stability of crystals under pressure or temperature, for example. A rigorous emphasis on basic science and mathematics backs up what we do.