Fostering Collaborative Research in Physics & Engineering

HEPL, founded in 1947 as Stanford's first Independent Laboratory, provides facilities and administrative structure enabling faculty to do research that spans across the boundaries of a single department or school—for example: physics & engineering or physics & biology/medicine. The Independent Laboratory concept, in many ways unique to Stanford, facilitates world-class research and teaching.
For more information about HEPL research, see the Research page.

News in Brief

Phptpvoltaic Retinal Implant image

Aero/Astro Professor Emeritus Brad
Parkinson has won the 2016 Marconi
Prize for his role in guiding the
development of GPS from an orphaned
military project to a ubiquitous technology.
(Image credit: Bradford Parkinson)

May 16, 2016

Stanford engineer Bradford Parkinson, the ‘Father of GPS,’ wins prestigious Marconi Prize

The Marconi Prize is awarded each year to recognize major advances in the communications field that benefit humanity.

Excerpted from a news story by Bjorn Carey in the Stanford Report, May 16, 2016

It is difficult to imagine that 50 years ago, practically no one wanted to fund the development of a Global Positioning System (GPS). Not only were governments uninterested in funding such a project, they didn’t consider it useful.

Today, Bradford Parkinson, the Edward C. Wells Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus, at Stanford, has been awarded the Marconi Prize for his role in guiding the development of GPS from an orphaned project to a technology that is deeply seeded in nearly every aspect of modern life.

The $100,000 Marconi Prize, given annually, recognizes major advances in the communications field that benefit humanity.

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Phptpvoltaic Retinal Implant image

Post-Doc researchers Brett Shapiro
and Hugo Paris, with Undergrad assistant
Litwan Gan, standing in front of the test
mass/mirror isolation system in the
Stanford LIGO Lab.

February 11, 2016

Stanford Researchers Celebrate Their Collaboration in the Technological Advances Enabling the Long-Sought Detection of Gravitational Waves by the LIGO Observatories

Excerpted from a news story by Bjorn Carey in the Stanford Report, February 11, 2016

Today an international team of scientists excitedly announced that they had directly observed gravitational waves, often described as ripples in the fabric of spacetime. The discovery of gravitational waves confirms a prediction that Albert Einstein made nearly 100 years ago to shore up his general theory of relativity.

The detection was made by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, an experiment led by researchers at Caltech and MIT that includes more than 1,000 affiliated scientists, including several Stanford physicists and engineers who have played key roles in the program since it was launched. The instrument systems that made the detection possible were built in part on a legacy of interdisciplinary technological advances made by Stanford scientists.

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