About Keith Schwab - Keith Schwab

I was born in St. Louis Missouri (USA) in 1968. I was exposed and began to appreciate the natural world when I was young through my studies of physics and backpacking experiences in the Boy Scouts. I am currently a professor of Applied Physics at Caltech (Pasadena, CA) and my research is focused on demonstrating quantum phenomena at ever larger length scales. As my scientific work has progressed through my career, the nonsensical nature of the universe has become more and more evident, and absolutely fascinating.  We have shown that small mechanical devices, composed of a trillion atoms, can behave as one large quantum object. I have published twelve articles in the journals Science and Nature, with over 8000 citations.  My career has taken me to the National Security Agency, to the World Economic Forum at Davos, and around the world for scientific lectures.

Over the last 10 years I I have begun to spend much less time traveling for my profession and more significant time outdoors, hiking, backpacking, and flying. My intent with the photographs you find here is to share some aspect of the beauty and emotional experiences which I discover in the mountain landscapes or in the small details and minutia I find at my feet.

I have deep concerns for the impact which our way of life has on our environment, and my hope is that these photographs can inspire and remind us that this planet is more than buildings, cars, airports, and restaurants. One can have a rich and rewarding life exploring deeply the local environment.

I am a very passionate glider pilot and love the fact that energy from the sun, together with some understanding of the natural forces, can be harnessed to carry me to altitudes higher than Mt. Everest, and for hundreds of miles.  I am a private pilot (glider) and fly a DG303 high performance sailplane.   I have flown up to 18,000' and covered over 250mi.

Brief CV:

1986  St Louis University High School (Jesuit)

1990 BA in Physics, University of Chicago

1996 PhD in Physics, University of California Berkeley

1996-2000 Postdoctoral Scholar, Caltech

2000-2006 Senior Physicist, National Security Agency

2006-2009 Professor of Physics, Cornell University

2009-present Professor of Applied Physics, Caltech


Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum 2004, participated in WEF Annual Meeting at Davos, 2005, 2007, 2008.

An image of a nanodevice I created is part of the permanent collection at MoMA (New York) 2008.

Named one of "50 most influential men in America under 38" by Details Magazine, 2003.

Named one of "10 most innovative America under 40" by Fortune Magazine, 2003.

Named one of "100 most innovative in world" by MIT Technology Review, 2002.

Bishop, CA 2015



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