November 2007 Newsletter

Inside this Issue

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

Campuses or Convention Centers?

Historically DAMOP has usually met on university campuses with a local concentration of AMO physicists. However, in recent years, this has no longer been the case. While the Tucson 2004 Meeting was on the University of Arizona campus, the Lincoln 2005 Meeting, the Knoxville 2006 Meeting, and the Calgary 2007 Meeting each utilized a local convention center (increasingly remote from the corresponding university campus.) Each meeting was highly successful by many criteria, but I do believe the character of the meeting became increasingly detached from the host university.

Three future DAMOP meetings are now scheduled:

  1. May 27-31, 2008 at Penn State University in University Park , PA
  2. May 19-23, 2009 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville , VA
  3. May 2010 at a convention center in Houston , TX , hosted by Rice University

As I mentioned in the July Newsletter, the last two DAMOP meetings were the two largest ever, averaging ~900 attendees, reflecting the growth of the AMO community. Thus, some meeting format changes may become necessary as the Local Committees (with the Chairline, the Executive Committee and the Program Committee) plan for these meetings; some options include longer meetings, more parallel sessions, fewer invited talks and shifts from contributed talks to posters.

As I see it, my prime responsibility as current DAMOP Chair is to help the Local Committee at Penn State and the Program Committee put on the best DAMOP meeting ever in 2008, but an important secondary responsibility is to do what I can to encourage still better DAMOP meetings in future years. Your suggestions to help me with both responsibilities are encouraged; in particular, I would like to receive expressions of interest in hosting DAMOP 2011, so that preliminary proposals can be developed in advance of and discussed at the DAMOP 2008 meeting.

DAMOP 2008


David Weiss and Kurt Gibble

The 39th meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) of the American Physical Society will be held from May 27 to May 31, 2008 in State College , Pennsylvania . The conference will be on the Pennsylvania State University campus. Registration and most scientific sessions and committee meetings will be held at the beautiful Nittany Lion Inn, a Historic Hotel of America.

Registration will open on Tuesday, May 27, when the program will include Educators’ Day (Bill Phillips and Lou Bloomfield will be speakers), with some committee meetings and the Welcome Reception at the Nittany Lion Inn. There will also be the Graduate Student Tutorial Workshop, where the topics and speakers will include quantum computing (Dave Wineland), quantum optics (Pierre Meystre), quantum degenerate gases (Brian DeMarco), and more.

The scientific sessions will, as usual, extend from Wednesday morning until Saturday at about noon , including poster sessions in the late weekday afternoons. The public lecture on Wednesday evening will be given by Steven Chu, Nobel laureate and Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, who will speak about the world’s energy future. The conference banquet will be on Thursday evening at the Penn Stater Conference Center .

The web site contains further information, some of which is summarized below.


The deadline for Early Registration will be 5:00 pm Friday April 4, 2008 . Registration will begin on the DAMOP 2008 website on December 15, 2007. The registration fee will include admission to all sessions, the welcome reception, the public lecture and the conference banquet.

Invited Symposia and Speaker nominations

The site for invited speaker nominations,, will be open until November 5, 2007. The DAMOP program committee will select all invited speakers from those nominated on this site by the community.

Abstract Submission

Complete contributed abstract submission instructions can be found at The site is already open. Authors of invited papers will receive instructions on abstract submission. The deadline for receipt of contributed and invited abstracts is Friday, February 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm EST. Post-deadline papers will be considered after this date but are not guaranteed to be included in the Bulletin (submitting abstracts on time is very highly recommended). Abstracts must be submitted through the APS website at The list of DAMOP sorting categories is provided below. Also, see the special instructions below for the Undergraduate Research Session.

Travel to State College

The University Park airport (SCE) is 5 miles from the Nittany Lion Inn. It is serviced by Delta Connection (Cincinnati and Atlanta), US Airways Express (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), Northwest Airlink ( Detroit ), and United Express (Washington Dulles). The Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) connects directly to 8 additional cities, is 90 miles away, and is accessible by rental car. State College is less than a 4 hour drive from New York , Washington D.C, Philadelphia , Baltimore and Pittsburgh .


DAMOP 2008 room blocks have been reserved at the Nittany Lion Inn and five other hotels within walking distance. Conference rates at these hotels for singles range from $51 to $105. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservation and payment. Reservations should be made before April 25, 2008 to obtain the conference rates.

There will also be an option to stay in the Penn State student dormitories. All will be within walking distance of the Nittany Lion Inn, some just a block away. Rates range from $40 to $63 per person per night, depending on occupancy and location, and reservations should be made by April 25, 2008 .

Accompanying Persons Information

There will be an area near the DAMOP registration desk on Wednesday and Thursday where accompanying persons can meet and obtain information about activities in the State College area. A variety of tours will be scheduled throughout the week. Banquet and reception tickets for accompanying persons should be purchased in advance.

Invitations for Visa Purposes

Attendees who wish to have a letter of invitation for the purpose of applying for a U.S. visa should contact Katie Frieden ( Please include with your message the following: (1) Your complete name, mailing address, e-mail address and institutional affiliation; (2) Whether you are giving an invited or contributed presentation; (3) The title(s) of your presentation(s).


DAMOP Abstract Sorting Categories

Please use only the sorting categories below when submitting your contributed abstracts.

1. Atomic and Molecular Structure and Properties

1.1 Spectroscopy, lifetimes, oscillator strengths
1.2 Atomic and molecular structure, including in static fields
1.3 Fundamental symmetries and precision measurements

2. Photon Interactions with Atoms, Ions, and Molecules

2.1 Atomic photoionization and photodetachment processes
2.2 Molecular photoionization, photodetachment, and photodissociation processes
2.3 Strong field (intense laser) processes
2.4 Short pulse (e.g., attosecond, femtosecond) processes

3. Atomic, Molecular, and Charged Particle Collisions

3.1 Atom-atom and atom-molecule collisions
3.2 Reactive scattering and recombination processes
3.3 Electron-atom collisions
3.4 Electron-molecule collisions
3.5 Collisions involving antimatter
3.6 Ion-atom and ion-ion collisions
3.7 Collisions involving clusters
3.8 Collisions involving surfaces

4. Quantum Optics, Matter Optics, and Coherent Control

4.1 Wavepacket dynamics and coherent control
4.2 Atom optics
4.3 Matter wave interferometry
4.4 Quantum and/or nonlinear optics
4.5 Slowing and stopping light
4.6 Cavity QED

5 . Quantum Information

5.1 Entanglement, decoherence, and error correction
5.2 Quantum cryptography and communication
5.3 Quantum computation
5.4 Quantum measurement

6. Cold Atoms, Molecules, and Plasmas

6.1 Bose-Einstein condensates
6.2 Degenerate Fermi gases
6.3 Atoms in optical lattices
6.4 Dynamic and out-of-equilibrium phenomena in cold atoms
6.5 Ultracold collisions and photoassociation processes
6.6 Quantum Monte Carlo calculations of cold gases
6.7 Laser cooling and trapping
6.8 Low temperature plasmas

7. Special Topics

7.1 Rydberg atoms and molecules
7.2 Exotic atoms and molecules
7.3 Nonlinear dynamics
7.4 New experimental techniques
7.5 New theoretical methods
7.6 Applications of AMO science

Student Travel Support

Students may apply for travel support to Penn State in 2008. For details of the application process, go to Last year funds from NSF, NIST, and DAMOP allowed support of about 80 students at the level of $500 each.

Call for Papers, Special Undergraduate Session at DAMOP

There will again be a special session featuring research performed by undergraduate students. The Education Committee of DAMOP would like to encourage undergraduate students to apply for participation in this special session. From the applications received, the Committee will select up to five students to present the results of their work. Travel assistance will be available to those students selected. We welcome submissions in a wide range of topics, including AMO physics and the related areas of other fields such as chemical, plasma, condensed-matter, computational, biological, and nuclear physics. Participation is limited to currently enrolled undergraduate students, and applications from women and minority undergraduate students are strongly encouraged.

The papers will be 20 minutes long, including time for discussion. Students who wish to apply should send an email to Allen Landers ( The body of that email should include the following: (1) title, (2) authors and affiliations, and (3) a one-page summary written by the student describing the project and his/her contribution to it. In addition, as described in the next paragraph, the student should attach to this email the abstract for the paper in APS format. Finally, the student’s sponsor (mentor) should submit a separate letter of recommendation to the email address shown above. All application materials must be received no later than Friday, January 25, 2008.

For those students selected to participate in this special session, the Committee will submit the abstracts directly to DAMOP. Thus the abstracts must conform to APS style and length formats for a contributed paper. To check compliance to this format go to, select “Start Abstract Submission,” designate “Test Web Abstract,” provide the information requested, and cut-and-paste the text of the abstract into the indicated box. This will display the abstract as it will appear in the program and will also show any formatting problems. Please DO NOT submit the abstract directly to DAMOP.

Any questions regarding applications to the DAMOP special undergraduate session should be addressed to: Allen Landers , chair DAMOP Education Committee,

DAMOP Thesis Prize: Call for nominations

Nominations are solicited for the DAMOP Thesis Prize. Nominations must be received by the Chair (Robin Côté, prior to the deadline for nominations: December 7, 2007. Nominations must be submitted as a whole in an email attachment consisting of a single file in .PDF format. Further information can be found at


... the 2008 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics will be awarded to Horst Schmidt-Böcking, University of Frankfurt , for “the invention of the COLTRIMS technique and his many contributions to AMO physics”

… the 2008 Will Allis Prize for the Study of Ionized Gases will be awarded to Kenneth Kulander, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for “the development of time-dependent methods and models that have advanced our understanding of strong field ionization processes in rapidly ionizing gases”

… the 2008 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science will be awarded to James Bergquist of NIST for “his contributions to laser science and test of fundamental physical principles, in particular, the application of ultra-stable lasers to tests of quantum measurement theory and the fundamentals of quantum mechanics”

… the 2007 Francis Pipkin Award was won by David DeMille, Yale University , for “wide-ranging studies of fundamental symmetries in atoms and molecules, including novel approaches to searchers for the electric dipole moment of the electron and investigations of parity nonconservation and the spin-statistics connection”

… there will be an NSF sponsored US-Africa Advanced Studies Institute on Environmental and Biological Applications of Lasers (EBAL 2008) in Cairo, Egypt January 19-28, 2008. Information about the Institute is available at


… there will be a Jerusalem winter school of physics held this year on “Condensed matter physics and quantum information with cold atoms.” The dates are December 26, 2007 to January 6, 2008 . More information on the school and online application forms can be found in the web page: Organizers of the school are P. Zoller, E. Altman and R. Kosloff


Lou DiMauro

The Interagency Task Force (ITF) on High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council’s Interagency Working Group on the Physics of the Universe released a report on August 2007. The report identifies the needs for improving Federal stewardship of specific aspects of high energy density physics, particularly the study of high energy density plasmas in the laboratory, and strengthening university activities in this latter discipline. A strategic plan for cross-agency coordination to maximize scientific discovery is described. The ITF membership consisted of representatives from federal agencies and departments and the executive branch. The report can be found on the website of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at