APS News

Meeting Briefs

Plasma Processing, Electron Swarms Highlight 1998 GEC
Plasma processing, electron swarms, and innovative plasma sources were among the featured topics at the joint meeting of the Gaseous Electronics Conference (a popular APS-sponsored topical conference) and the International Conference on Reactive Plasmas (ICRP), held October 19-22 in Maui, Hawaii. Plenary sessions included a presentation by the recipient of the 1998 APS Will Allis Prize, Ray Flannery of Georgia Tech, on three-body recombinations at thermal and ultra-low energies. Robert Compton of Australian National University reported on new results from electron swarm experiments, which he believes provide a valuable link between gaseous electronics and atomic physics. Hideo Sugai of Nagoya University in Japan described efforts to develop high- density large-diameter plasma sources to keep up with continuing progress in plasma-aided deposition and etching for the manufacture of semiconductor devices. Other speakers focused on the development and commercialization of large area color plasma displays, the role of plasma diagnostics in developing plasma processing tools for the semiconductor industry, and the development of new industrial plasma apparatus: an ozone generator, a CO2 laser, and a plasma display panel excited by silent discharge.

DNP Holds 1998 Fall Meeting
The APS Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) held its annual fall meeting, October 28-31 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opening with a special evening session commemorating the life and science of David Schramm, a prominent cosmologist who was killed in an airplane crash earlier this year. A plenary session on frontiers in nuclear and particle astrophysics and cosmology was also featured, along with invited sessions on such topics as neutrino oscillations and neutrino mass, double beta decay, the search for exotic mesons, and hadron structure and nuclear force. The meeting also featured four mini-symposia on nuclear spectroscopy with gammaspheres, meson electroproduction, proton emitters, and Standard Model constraints from beta decay. Just prior to the meeting, the DNP sponsored three parallel workshops: physics with the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider; the spin flavor structure of the nucleon; and new opportunities for nuclear physics with spallation neutron sources.

Organic, Polymer and VCSE Lasers Highlighted at ILS-XIV
Applications of ultrafast spectroscopy to biological problems and recent advances in vertical-cavity-surface-emitting (VCSE) lasers were among the technical highlights at the 14th Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference (ILS-XIV), held 5-9 October 1998 in Baltimore, Maryland. Sponsored by the APS Division of Laser Science and held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Optical Society of America, the conference combines fundamental studies of laser interactions with atoms, molecules, clusters, plasmas, and materials with research on emerging applications, such as environmental studies, atmospheric monitoring, and medicine.

The featured plenary speaker for 1998 was Philip Bucksbaum of the University Michigan, who spoke on quantum wave packet sculpting with shaped ultrafast radiation, highlighting exciting new developments in using lasers to create and control the evolution of quantum wave packets.

Four critical review talks were given by recognized experts on exciting new developments in the field of laser science. Ananth Dodabalapur of Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies summarized the history and latest progress on organic and polymer lasers. William Torruellas of Washington State University reviewed the "Golden Age" of optical solitons followed by a review of the "Golden Age" of spatial solitons by Grover Swartzlander, Jr., of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The final critical review session featured a talk on fiber gratings and ultraviolet photosensitivity in glass by Turan Erdogan of the University of Rochester. Opening with a summary of recent time-resolved studies of epidermal chromophores by Duke University's John Simon, a Monday afternoon invited session on applications of ultrafast spectroscopy to biological problems also featured a talk by Gilbert Walker of the University of Pittsburgh on ultrafast studies of nitric oxide, which plays many roles in intra- and inter-cellular signaling. And according to Warren Beck of the Vanderbilt University, the dynamics of biological charge transfer can be probed using dynamic absorption spectroscopy with impulsive excitation.



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Editor: Barrett H. Ripin