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August 30, 2019 12:00 AM

Caltech Assistant Professor of Geophysics & ISP Alum!

Caltech’s Dr. Zhongwen Zhan has a vision for the next generation of earthquake-monitoring networks: the use of lasers to assemble the most detailed picture yet of how the earth vibrates. Zhan (PhD ’13), an assistant professor of geophysics, has repurposed a tool from industry to send a laser through an underground fiber optic cable and detect vibrations using the light that reflects back. “We can provide better earthquake hazard assessment for the future at no cost to the city,” he says. “This is an important public service because it could save lives, and it’s good for fundamental research, too.”

Read more in the Caltech Breakthrough article, "Listening with Light."
Watch the interview, "Seismologist Zhongwen Zhan: Keeping an Ear to the Ground."