July 2007 Newsletter

Executive Committee

William C. Stwalley, Chair
Pierre Meystre, Chair-Elect
Louis F. DiMauro, Vice Chair
David R. Schultz, Secretary/Treasurer

From the Chair

Bill Stwalley

Bill Stwalley Where do we go from here?

This continues to be a major question of concern for the Chairline, the Executive Committee, and the Program Committee of DAMOP. We welcome your input.

AMO physics has shown an extraordinary evolution in recent decades, with highly successful advances in ultracold, ultrafast, ultraprecise and many other directions attracting “the best and the brightest” students, both nationally and globally. Our DAMOP meetings showcase this dramatic evolution, but with increasing stress on our traditional meeting format as our research community grows.

With a record registration of 945 at Knoxville and a close second of ~845 at Calgary , it will be difficult for DAMOP to continue “business as usual” in the future. We have our next two DAMOP meetings scheduled:

  • May 27-31, 2008 at Penn State University in University Park , PA ,
  • Late May, 2009 at University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (exact dates dependent on the UVA 2009 graduation date not yet set).

Both are university environments which can readily handle a DAMOP meeting of 600, but are increasingly stressed as attendance approaches 1000. It is important to realize that the format changes we discuss here cannot and will not be imposed on these planned meetings; it will be up to the Local Committees to determine which (if any) format changes would be possible or desirable given their constraints.

So what are some options?

  • A longer meeting (more days or longer days or both),
  • More parallel sessions,
  • Fewer invited talks,
  • Shift of a sizable number of presentations from contributed to poster.

Further considerations include the degree of participation of the DAMOP community (e.g. quantum degenerate gases) in the APS March Meeting and the degree of participation of the Quantum Information and Precision Measurements Topical Groups in the DAMOP meeting.

The DAMOP meeting is the premier meeting in AMO physics and we all want to keep it that way. However, it will be changing.

DAMOP Election of Officers - Results

DAMOP's annual election of officers took place this past Spring with voting closing on April 30 th . The results were, as usual, very close, reflecting the DAMOP community's high regard for all the candidates. It was again tough to choose among them. Thanks are due to Thad Walker and the nominating committee, to the 23 percent of DAMOP's 2810 members that voted, and especially, to the candidates. Those elected were

  • Vice Chair – Lou DiMauro (The Ohio State University)
  • Executive Committee Members – Elizabeth McCormack (Bryn Mawr College), Jun Ye (JILA, NIST, University of Colorado).

Congratulations to Lou, Liz, and Jun. DAMOP depends on having an excellent pool of candidates and your action to vote.


Rob Thompson

The 38th DAMOP Meeting of the American Physical Society was held in Calgary , Alberta , Canada as the 7th Joint Meeting with DAMPhi of the Canadian Association of Physicists. More than 845 international delegates convened in Canada for a full week of lectures, poster displays, workshops and functions. A total of 443 talks were presented at the conference.

An Educators Day on Tuesday welcomed delegates to the University of Calgary campus and was aimed at high school physics teachers, university/college instructors and students. Hosted by Carl Wieman, and including scientific presentations from Debbie Jin (NIST) and Chris Monroe (Michigan), the sessions were a great success for the nearly 60 educators who registered for the event.

Also on Tuesday, the Annual Graduate Student Workshop also attracted a large audience, with approximately 63 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers attending the sessions. With a theme of recent advances in AMOP Physics, interesting talks were presented by Randy Hulet (Rice University), Hideo Mabuchi (California Institute of Technology), Alex Lvovsky (University of Calgary), and Bob McKellar (National Research Council of Canada). The session also included a lunch and a visit to the Quantum Optics Research Labs at the University of Calgary.

Tuesday evening the official welcome reception was held at the historical Fairmont Palliser Crystal Ballroom which provided a warm atmosphere for delegates to arrive and meet colleagues from around the world.

The scientific portion of the conference was launched with the traditional “Prize Plenary Session” featuring talks by recipients of DAMOP-related APS medals and prizes. The 2007 Prize Session lived up to its usual high standards, with excellent presentations from Jun Ye (Rabi Prize), James Bergquist (Broida Prize), and Michael A. Lieberman (Allis Prize). The scientific talks continued at a high level through 52 invited, focus, and contributed sessions over the next three and a half days, before wrapping up mid-day on Saturday, June 9, with the hot topics session, which included talks by Gerald Gabrielse, Herman Batelaan, Lilian Childress, Chris Westbrook, and Michel Brune.

One of the conference highlights was the Nobel Session to celebrate the 2005 awarding of the Nobel Prize to Roy Glauber and Jan Hall who were in attendance and spoke to a capacity audience.

The Poster Sessions showcased a wide scope of research with 395 posters presented in three days. The sessions were extremely well attended and provided a hub of activity and discussion at the end of each day.

Dr. Paul Corkum of the National Research Council of Canada presented an excellent public lecture Thursday evening on “Atto-science” showing how electrons can be controlled with laser light.

More than 700 people enjoyed the closing banquet on Friday evening featuring a lecture with the Honorable Preston Manning, former Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament. The presentations included the awarding of the new APS Fellowship certificates and the official division leadership was passed from Professor Gay to Professor Stwalley.

We would like to thank the international delegates for attending this year's DAMOP meeting and would like to thank the Calgary planning committee in their diligence to provide such a stellar program.

The quality of the program would not be possible without the generous financial assistance of Varian, University of Calgary , Special Projects Program and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Scenes from the Calgary DAMOP

Thanks to Cass Bayley and Charles Clark for photos capturing moments from the Calgary DAMOP Meeting

  A snapshot taken during one of the lively poster sessions.
A snapshot taken during one of the lively poster sessions.
DAMOP Chair Tim Gay (center) poses for a photo with Jan Hall (left) and Roy Glauber (right) at the Nobel Symposium. 
DAMOP Chair Tim Gay (center) poses for a photo with Jan Hall (left) and Roy Glauber (right) at the Nobel Symposium.
  Michael Lieberman (Allis Prize), James Bergquist (Broida Prize), and Jun Ye (Rabi Prize) after the Plenary Session. 
Michael Lieberman (Allis Prize), James Bergquist (Broida Prize), and Jun Ye (Rabi Prize) after the Plenary Session.
The seats were full during the plenary and public lectures in Calgary. 
The seats were full during the plenary and public lectures in Calgary.
  More activity during the poster sessions! 
More activity during the poster sessions!
The crowd forms anticipating the Banquet. The keynote speaker, the Honorable Preston Manning is seen (center left) chatting with Roy Glauber (center), local Chair Rob Thompson (center right), and Rob's fiancée (center facing Roy). 
The crowd forms anticipating the Banquet. The keynote speaker, the Honorable Preston Manning is seen (center left) chatting with Roy Glauber (center), local Chair Rob Thompson (center right), and Rob's fiancée (center facing Roy).
  Another view from the poster sessions. 
Another view from the poster sessions.


Student Support for Travel to DAMOP

DAMOP was again a resounding success in large part because of the large number of students who were able to attend, participate, and contribute. Now an integral part of encouraging attendance by students is an annual program made possible by generous support for the past several meetings through grants from NSF and from NIST. These valuable supplements to what academic advisors can provide assist students who might not otherwise be able to attend. This year these grants of $5,000 from NIST and $12,000 from NSF, combined with DAMOP resources allowed support of 80 students in the amount of $500 each. Thanks very much to the one hundred and twenty students who applied for this support, to the NSF and NIST, and to the Education Committee, in particular its chair, Allen Landers, for facilitating these grants.

Yong-Ki Kim Remembered at the Calgary DAMOP

The Yong-Ki Kim Award for Excellence in Research, an informal award presented at DAMOP in Calgary, was established by the family and friends of the late Yong-Ki Kim, to recognize junior scientists working in the areas of atomic structure, spectra and collisions. The Award Selection Committee consisted of Joseph Reader (chair), Klaus Bartschat, Charlotte Froese Fischer, Walter Johnson and Kenneth Taylor. The award, consisting of $1000 and a plaque, was given to George Noble (York University, Ontario) for his poster presentation at the 2007 DAMOP Meeting, “Isotope Shifts and Fine Structures of 6,7Li D Lines and Determination of Relative Nuclear Charge Radius.”
Younghee Kim, Edward Kim, George Noble and Joseph Reader.
Younghee Kim, Edward Kim, George Noble and Joseph Reader.

Undergraduate Research Session and the DAMOP Thesis Prize

Yes, you can sleep soundly knowing that the future of DAMOP is in good hands!

In particular, thanks and congratulations are due the five participants in the Undergraduate Research Session at the Calgary DAMOP, Maya Fabrikant, Corey Janczak, Anna Legard, Michael Mastroianni, and Eli Parke. The presentations were great and the research reported fascinating.

We also wish to acknowledge the truly outstanding work and skill at presenting as shown by the DAMOP Thesis Prize finalists, James Chin-wen Chou, Dzmitry Matsukevich, Cindy Regal, Jacob Taylor, and Martin Zwierlein. The Thesis Prize committee had the worst possible job – picking just one as the winner! If you weren't at the Banquet, you can find out the results at http://www.aps.org/programs/honors/dissertation/amo.cfm.

2007 IUPAP Young Scientist Award

Joachim Burgdorfer

The selection committee of the commission on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (AMO) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has named the winner of the first IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in AMO Physics. The honor goes to Robin Santra, an Assistant Physicist in the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Group of the Chemistry Division of Argonne National Laboratory. He was selected among a large number of nominees identified in a world-wide search. Santra, who received his Ph.D. in physics from Heidelberg University in 2001, was cited for his pioneering theoretical contributions in the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics, in particular to the phenomenon of interatomic Coulombic decay.

The Young Scientist Prize was created by the IUPAP General Assembly Meeting in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 2005 to recognize outstanding young scientists who have already made significant contributions to their field of research early in their career within the first 8 years after completion of the Ph.D.

The first prize in AMO Physics will be awarded this year. The award consists of a medal, a certificate, and a prize of USD 1,000. The award ceremony will take place during the XXV International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC) in Freiburg, Germany, July 25-31, 2007.

We Hear That...

… Daniel Kleppner will receive the 2006 National Medal of Science – the Medal was established in 1959 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences and, since an act in 1980 by Congress, the social and behavioral sciences.

… The National Research Council's AMO2010 report “Controlling the Quantum World: The Science of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons” is available on the web at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11705.html#toc . The full text and a summary are available on-line and the hardcopy can be purchased.


Conferences and Workshops

Winthrop Smith, Robin Cote, and Phillip Gould

The 21st International Conference on Atomic Physics (ICAP 2008), which will be held July 27 – August 1, 2008 at the University of Connecticut , Storrs , CT , is part of an ongoing series of conferences devoted to fundamental studies of atoms, broadly defined. A Web site with more details is under construction and will be linked our home page: www.phys.uconn.edu . The previous conference was in Innsbruck in 2006. This conference will encompass forefront research on basic AMO physics, emphasizing atoms and their interactions with each other and with external fields.

The ICAP meetings grew out of the molecular beams conferences of the Rabi group. The first was at NYU in 1968. Later conferences have been held all even-numbered years, alternating between North America and other locations, including Europe and recently Brazil , with plans for future conferences in Asia . Historically, topics have included quantum electrodynamics, tests of basic symmetries (PCT), precision measurements (including atomic clocks and fundamental constants), laser spectroscopy, ultracold atoms and molecules, Bose-Einstein condensates, degenerate Fermi gases, optical lattices, quantum computing/quantum information with atoms and ions, coherent control, and ultrafast and intense field interactions. Notably, all invited talks are plenary. Nobel laureates participate actively. The conference will be preceded by a one-week Summer School for new AMO researchers, organized by the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms in Cambridge, MA.

Users' Meeting, including LCLS
Lou DiMauro

SLAC will host the 2007 Users' Meeting and Workshops during the period of September 28 – October 3, 2007. The meeting will formally include LCLS for the first time, recognizing the development of its user program and the beginning of LCLS operations in only 2 years. The Meeting and Workshops will feature new results, technical developments, opportunities, and plans for the future in a venue of talks, poster presentations, and workshops. There will be sessions on LCLS science, instrumentation and future plans; materials and environmental science, structural biology and spectroscopy, science highlights from the last year, and young investigator sessions. Users and interested scientists are encouraged to submit an abstract for an oral presentation by August 15 or for a poster presentation by September 4. Abstracts can be sent via direct email attachment to Lisa Dunn (lisa@slac.stanford.edu) or submitted via the meeting website once registration and abstract submission become available. All information about the meeting can be obtained via the website at http://www-conf.slac.stanford.edu/ssrl-lcls/2007/.

Mark Goldfarb and Darrin Leonhardt

The Sixtieth Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC) will be held October 2-5, 2007 at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia adjacent to Washington, D.C.

The GEC Executive Committee invites papers on basic phenomena and plasma processes in partially ionized gases, and on the theory and measurement of basic atomic and molecular collision processes. Papers reporting on experimental, theoretical, and computational studies that address either fundamental properties of low-temperature plasmas or their applications are encouraged. Applications of interest include, but are not limited to, plasma processing of materials, gas lasers, ion sources, gas discharge lamps, plasma chemistry and combustion, plasma-surface interactions, ionospheric phenomena, diagnostics, plasma aerodynamics, and similar topics. Although most papers will deal with low-energy processes, papers that concern electronic or radiative processes produced by high-energy electrons or heavy particles are also welcome.

Additional details can be found at the conference website http://www.pcm411.com/gec2007/index.html . Deadlines: Abstracts – June 15, Early registration – August 17, Room reservations – September 6.