March 2006 Newsletter

Inside this Issue

Executive Committee

Charles W. Clark, Chair
William C. Stwalley, Vice Chair
Timothy J. Gay, Chair-Elect
David R. Schultz, Secretary/Treasurer

From the Chair

Charles W. Clark

Modern Major League Record

Some 765 abstracts were submitted to the forthcoming DAMOP Annual Meeting in Knoxville , the largest number ever, and a 20% increase of traffic above last year's meeting in Lincoln. DAMOP sorting categories for the APS March Meeting attracted 142 contributed papers, also a record number.

This year's open submission process for nominating invited speakers was also highly successful. We received the equivalent of about 50 full symposia proposals, competing for 17 available slots (14 at the DAMOP Annual Meeting and 3 at the APS March Meeting ). The DAMOP Program Committee was impressed by the high average quality of proposals and the diversity of topics and people they contained. We have considerably more women in the DAMOP invited program than has been the case in recent years. As I said in last July's newsletter , those who want to improve the DAMOP meeting program can now push it in their preferred direction, by submitting symposium proposals. The DAMOP Program Committee treats all proposals on an equal footing, and every invited speaker in this year's program was nominated in the open submission process.

Actually, there is one exception to that rule, which was caused by the award of the Nobel Prize to AMO scientists during the DAMOP Program Committee's deliberations. I keep asking the Nobel committee to clear their decisions with the DAMOP Program Committee first - but I guess everybody's got their own priorities, or maybe their e-mail message got lost somewhere on The Internet. Anyway, the Nobel Prize gave us a special opportunity to create a related theme session at the APS March Meeting on optical frequency standards.

This high level of activity and interest in our meetings is testimony to the vitality of our field, but it is accompanied by some growth pains. When the DAMOP Annual Meeting was considerably smaller, it was easier to arrange 3.5 days of programming so as to minimize parallel sessions in related areas. This year that became really difficult: to accommodate all the contributed papers we had to add an additional parallel track on every day, and a room full of Ph.D.s at the abstract sorters' meeting couldn't identify a solution without conflict. Not that we didn't work hard at it! (See photos in the next section.)

At some point we're going to have to revisit the basic structure of the meeting to accommodate increased demand, e.g. extending the number of days, extending the duration of sessions, increasing the number of parallel tracks, or reducing the number of invited sessions. I'd be interested in hearing any good ideas on alternatives.

Now my special “faithful reader” bonus for those who made it this far. There's a strong correlation between the number of abstracts submitted and the number of registered attendees. It looks like we're on track for record attendance this year, so make your reservations soon!

The Big Board

Thanks to all who participated as abstract sorters for the DAMOP Annual and APS March Meetings.


Some of the Beautiful People putting the DAMOP Annual Meeting program to bed in Knoxville, February 11.
L/R: Fred Meyer, Predrag Krstic, Dave Schultz, Randy Vane, Bob Compton, Sergei Ovchinnikov, Joe Macek, James Sternberg, and Vinaya Sathyasheelappa.


The fabled Big Board upon which the DAMOP Annual Meeting sessions are laid out in a solemn, secret ritual.
Since no outsider has ever seen it before, many believe the Big Board doesn't even exist.
This photograph, smuggled out of the sorters' meeting, should dispel those doubts.

AMO Physics in Jeopardy

Remember, all your answers must begin with “Who is. . .” :

  1. Present at the 2006 State of the Union Address as a guest of the First Lady
  2. Received the 2005 UNESCO Niels Bohr Gold Medal
  3. Led the Optologics Team to victory in the first “Optical Allusions” trivia contest of the Optical Society of America
  4. First Director of the Ultrafast Science Center at Stanford University
  5. Recipient of the 2005 Gold Medal of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
  6. Appointed President of the aforementioned CNRS in 2005
  7. Fifth editor of Physical Review A

DAMOP 2006 In Knoxville

Joe Macek

The 37'th DAMOP Meeting of the American Physical Society will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Meeting sessions commence on the morning of Wednesday, May 17 and continue until noon on Saturday, May 20, 2006. Four special events will take place on Tuesday May 16. The principal venue for the meeting is the Knoxville Convention Center. A student tutorial workshop will be held at the Nielsen Physics building of the University of Tennessee, about a 5-10 minute walk (uphill) from the Convention Center. Otherwise all rooms are designated for the Convention Center.

Registration: Registration and conference check-in will take place beginning Tuesday, May 16, in the Henley Street concourse of the Knoxville Convention Center. The registration desk will be staffed from 12:00 PM-9:00 PM on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday through Friday. The conference registration fee includes all sessions, plenary talks, the welcome reception on Tuesday evening, the Conference banquet on Friday evening and all breaks.

Special Events - Tuesday, May 16

Student symposium on atomic physics: In conjunction with the DAMOP06 Meeting, there will be a special Student Symposium, with the purpose of intensively exposing graduate students to several modern topics in AMO physics. The Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 16, from 9 AM to 5 PM and will consist of three tutorial-type lectures at Nielsen Physics building on the UT campus, followed by the tour of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Spallation Neutron Source / Center for Nanophase Material Sciences (SNS/CNMS). While aimed primarily at graduate students, the Symposium is open to all conferees who are interested (see below). Conferees must be registered for DAMOP 2006.

All Symposium participants must register for the Symposium by March 31, 2006. They should also be registered for the conference. The Symposium fee of $50 will also cover the costs of the tour (bus transportation and lunch).

The Symposium Agenda (Lectures at the Nielsen Physics Building, UT Campus):

  • N. Bigelow: Ultracold Polar Molecules: From Cold Chemistry to Molecule Chips
  • G. Gabrielse: Setting a Trap for Antimatter
  • C.W. McCurdy: Using Advanced Computation to Solve the Coulomb Breaking Problem

Information needed for Tours to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Spallation Neutron Source on May 16, 2006

NAME (must match name on passport)
Current Employer (or Affiliation):
Present Position:
Street Address:
Zip/Postal Code:

Tour of the Spallation Neutron Source and Center for Nanophase Material Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: A tour to Oak Ridge National Laboratory is scheduled for 12:15 PM Tuesday. The tour is open to any conferee that has registered for the tour, has paid the $18.00 fee for transportation and lunch and has filled out the form above and returned it to ( Sergei Ovchinnikov ) by March 31, 2006. The transportation and lunch are included in the $50 fee for students attending the workshop. All people going on the tour including students and other conferees should meet in front of the Nielsen Physics Building at the University of Tennessee for bus transportation to ORNL. Lunch will be served at ORNL.

12:15 PM Bus pickup in front of Nielsen Physics Building

5:15 PM Return to Knoxville Convention Center

Welcome Reception: There will be a welcome reception from 6:00-9:00 PM in the Convention Center Henley/Cumberland Concourse.

TAMOC Meeting: A meeting of the Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Community will be held at 8:00 PM in room 301AB.

Special Events - Wednesday, May 17

Plenary Session: The opening session of the conference will take place from 8:00-10:00 AM in Ballrooms EFG and will honor four APS Prize Winners: C. Lew Cocke, Rainer Grobe, Q. Charles Su and Paul Corkum.

Poster Sessions and Exhibits: Poster sessions will be held from 4:00-6:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Knoxville Convention Center Ballrooms AB. Refreshments will be provided. Various commercial and industrial firms will have exhibits in the Atrium during the poster sessions. People presenting posters are asked to remove them no later than 6:30 PM on the day of the presentation.

PRA/PRL Session for Authors and Referees: The editors of Physical Review A and the Physical Review letters will hold an information session for referees from 4:00-5:00 PM in the Convention Center Room 301C. Topics covered are “How to Deal with the Flaws and Foibles of Reviews and Rebuttals” (PRA - G. Drake, L. Narducci, L. Collins, F. Narducci and PRL - G. Basbas, F. Narducci, APS Editorial Offices, Ridge, N.Y.).

Public Lecture: A public lecture by Tim Gay on Football Physics will be held at 8:00 PM in Ballroom EFG.

Special Events – Thursday, May 18

Nobel Symposium: A special symposium featuring Nobel Laureates in Atomic Physics who have received that honor since 1997 will be held in Ballroom EFG from 6:00-7:30 PM.

Nobel Reception: A reception in honor of the Noble Laureates in Atomic Physics will be held from 7:30-9:00 PM in the Henley/Cumberland concourse of the Knoxville Convention Center.

Sundown in the City: In the past a free concert series “Sundown in the City” has been held on Market Square, nearby the Convention Center. This event is an occasion to sample life in Knoxville at your leisure.

Special Events – Friday, May 19

Conference Banquet: The conference dinner at 7:00 PM will be preceded by a cash bar reception beginning at 6:30 PM in the Henley/Cumberland concourse. The after-dinner speaker is Patricia M. Dehmer - Associate Director, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the US Department of Energy. Pat's presentation will be entitled “The making of the American Competitiveness Initiative: How societal needs and science got together and what it means for you.”

Special Events - Saturday, May 20

There will be five parallel sessions starting at 9:00 AM including a Hot Topics Session. The Conference ends at 12:00 noon.

Email: Internet access for conference participants will be available at the UT Conference Center (next to the Knoxville Convention Center and connected by a walkway) in rooms 418 and 420 during the meeting.

Accompanying persons information: Please check in at the accompanying persons information table in the reception area on Tuesday from noon to 5:00 PM to confirm sign-ups for advance registration activities and more information on things to do in Knoxville. Coffee and pastries will be available on Wednesday between 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM followed by a walking tour of Knoxville. There will also be a sign-up sheet available for tours and outings that accompanying persons may wish to participate in.


Preferred Hotels

Holiday Inn Select Downtown
525 Henley Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 522-2800
Rate: $85.00 single/double plus tax
Deadline: April 17, 2006

Knoxville Hilton
501 W. Church Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 523-2300
Rate: $89.00 single/double plus tax
Deadline: April 17, 2006

Crowne Plaza Knoxville
401 Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 522-2600
Rate: $89.00 single/double plus tax for rooms with two double beds, $99.00 single/double plus tax for rooms with king beds.
Deadline: April 16, 2006

University of Tennessee Residence Halls: The Apartment Residence Hall, 2117 Andy Holt Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916, (865) 974-2426 . For students attending DAMOP 2006 and looking for more affordable housing options, the Apartment Residence Hall on the UT Campus is available. Each apartment has two bedrooms, with 1 person in each bedroom and a shared bathroom. The living room, bedrooms, and study areas are completely furnished. The kitchen has a refrigerator and stove. Linens will be provided at check in, including top sheet, bottom sheet, blanket, pillow, pillowcase and towels. Daily towel exchange and emergency linen exchange will be available at the front desk, which is staffed 24 hours a day. There is a telephone in each room, and parking will be available adjacent to the building. Students wishing to purchase this housing option should fill out the appropriate section on their registration form (be sure to list a roommate preference, if applicable). Apartment Residence Hall housing will be available for $26.50 per person per night. If you are driving to DAMOP and will be parking your car on campus, you must also purchase daily parking permits. Students can select the parking permit option on their registration form as well. Parking permits will be available at a rate of $5.50 per daily permit. The walk from the Apartment Residence Hall to the Knoxville Convention Center where DAMOP events will be held takes approximately 20 minutes.

Meals: The Nobel reception and conference dinner are included in the registration fee, as well as daily coffee breaks and poster session refreshments. To accommodate the time constraints of the conference a fixed price buffet lunch service will be set up in the Knoxville Convention Center to operate between 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. Some seating will be available near the main conference rooms and on the Terrace off of the second floor accessible by escalator from the main conference rooms.

Looking forward to seeing you in Knoxville!

DAMOP Student Travel Support Deadline

Please be aware that the deadline for submitting an application for student travel support to this year's DAMOP meeting in Knoxville is March 27, 2006.

DAMOP Election of Officers

All DAMOP members should have received an email within the past couple days announcing the 2006 Election of Officers and providing the appropriate web link to view the candidate biographies and to cast votes. Please check your email inbox for this email and cast your vote right away. The efficient and effective operation of DAMOP, as well as its leadership in new activities, critically depends on having both an excellent pool of candidates and your action to vote. We express here our deep appreciation to Ron Walsworth and the members of the Nominating Committee and most especially to the candidates willing and able to stand for election for DAMOP offices: DAMOP Vice Chair – Jerry Gabrielse, Pierre Meystre, DAMOP APS Councilor – Dan Heinzen, Paul Julienne, and DAMOP Executive Committee – Maria Allegrini, Ignacio Cirac, Robin Côté, Tom Killian. Voting will close on April 15, 2006, but please vote early.

DAMOP Contributions to the History of Physics

Thomas Miller

Many DAMOP members may not know about the continuing contributions made by DAMOP members to the Forum on the History of Physics. Check out the Newsletter of the FHP, which a former DAMOP Chair, Ben Bederson, has been editing in recent years. The current one has a review by Ben on a book on documents related to the 1941 meeting between Bohr and Heisenberg in occupied Denmark, the subject of the play “Copenhagen.” The review has a link to images of Bohr's never-sent letters to Heisenberg about that meeting. And another former DAMOP Chair, Eugen Merzbacher, writes on “The Light Quantum: Celebrating Einstein's Paper of June 1905.” Finally, DAMOP member Ed Gerjouy has a letter regarding an article that he wrote for the Fall ‘05 Newsletter, “Rembering Julian Schwinger,” based on the days when both worked for Oppenheimer.

Aside from Ed's article, the Fall ‘05 Newsletter also had articles or book reviews by yet another former DAMOP Chair, Dan Kleppner (on Leo Szilard), and by DAMOP members Joe Eberly (on E. T. Jaynes), Ben Bederson (on a book on scientific reputations, and one on Lord Kelvin), Charles Townes (on "The History of the Laser"), and Henry Stroke (on a visit with Einstein). The Fall ‘04 FHP Newsletter carried articles or book reviews by Walter Johnson (on Charlotte Froese Fischer's book on Douglas Hartree--she was his final PhD student), Tom Miller (on Lord Rayleigh's lab notebooks). And finally, it took two former DAMOP Chairs (Sid Borowitz and Bederson) to review “The Book Nobody Read.”

Jobs, Conferences, and Other Announcements

Job at NSF
Denise Caldwell

The Physics Division at the National Science Foundation is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of Program Director for the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics program. The position will be temporary, a so-called "rotator" position, for 1-2 years. More information can be found at or by going to and using the search function for “E20060023A-Rotator.”

The closing date for applications is April 14, 2006, and the appointment would begin October 1, 2006.

Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics Application Deadline
Immanuel Bloch, Victor Gurarie, Debbie Jin, Yong-Baek Kim, Leo Radzihovsky, and Peter Zoller

The program entitled “Strongly Correlated Phases in Condensed Matter and Degenerate Atomic Systems” will be held at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, during the period 29 January - 15 June, 2007 and applications are now being accepted. You'll find information about the KITP at . The application deadline is 15 March, 2006 . It's necessary for every participant to apply online via the KITP web site

KITP programs differ from many conferences and workshops in that they create a situation where scientists learn from each other and actually do substantive research, often collaborating with other participants. To foster these interactions, KITP encourages all theory participants to stay for at least three weeks, and gives priority to applicants who plan to do this. We understand, however, that experimentalists generally cannot manage long visits, and we can be flexible for them. KITP provides office and computing facilities on its site at UC Santa Barbara and also provides help in finding living accommodations. Some level of financial support will be available, depending on the needs of the participants and availability of funds. Due to space and financial constraints, however, we may not be able to accommodate everyone who responds.

From Quantum to Cosmos: Fundamental Physics in Space
Lute Maleki

We would like to inform you of the upcoming Workshop “From Quantum to Cosmos: Fundamental Physics in Space” sponsored by NASA with support from other agencies. The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate how fundamental physics research in space can provide the knowledge needed to address outstanding questions at the intersection of physics and astronomy. The workshop will be held in the Washington

DC area during May 22-24, 2006. For more information and registration please see: .

Budget News from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. DOE
Michael Casassa

The President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2007 projects a 23.8% increase for research supported by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The proposed increase will be allocated among a number of targeted areas, some of which will be of interest to the DAMOP community. While the proposed increases have yet to be considered by Congress, BES program managers will ask the community to anticipate opportunities in these areas with a series of solicitations and announcements to be posted on the BES web site. Some of these will be appearing soon, calling for preproposals and proposals due in the next few months. BES program managers encourage members of the DAMOP community to check periodically for these notices at the BES web site. New solicitations are planned to attract proposals for basic research for effective solar energy utilization, for the hydrogen economy, and for advanced nuclear energy systems. A new solicitation is also planned for proposals to support mid-scale instrumentation. Additionally, announcements will be posted to attract new proposals in areas of chemical imaging, ultrafast science, and complex systems or emergent behavior. The President's FY2007 budget proposal for BES describes these areas in more detail. See the links below for more information. Questions may be addressed to the DOE program manager for Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences, Michael Casassa. He can be reached at 301-903-0448 or by email at

BES web site:

BES FY2007 budget proposal:

Questions to the Answers

  1. Who is Debbie Jin? (Present at the 2006 State of the Union Address as a guest of the First Lady.)
  2. Who are Martin Rees, Herwig Schopper, and Peter Zoller? (Received the 2005 UNESCO Niels Bohr Gold Medal.)
  3. Who is Joe Eberly? (Led the Optologics Team to victory in the first “Optical Allusions” trivia contest of the Optical Society of America.)
  4. Who is Phil Bucksbaum? (First Director of the Ultrafast Science Center at Stanford University.)
  5. Who is Alain Aspect? (Recipient of the 2005 Gold Medal of the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).)
  6. Who is Catherine Bréchignac? (Appointed President of the aforementioned CNRS in 2005.)
  7. Who is Gordon Drake? (Fifth editor of Physical Review A.)