August 2014 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Editor’s Note

Amy VanEngen SpiveyWelcome to the August 2014 edition of the American Physical Society’s Division of Laser Science (DLS) newsletter. This month’s newsletter contains several items of note. There is an update on the United Nations’ 2015 International Year of Light (IYL) and events that are being planned around the world in celebration of IYL 2015. Highlights from CLEO:2014 are presented along with information about upcoming laser-related conferences. If you are preparing to attend the Frontiers in Optics / Laser Science meeting in Tucson, AZ, this October, you may be interested in the detailed information and web links presented here related to that conference, as well.

For those who prefer to print out a hard copy of this newsletter rather than merely reading the hypertext version, here are some instructions for doing so: Take a look at the menu at the left. In the light blue box, there is a “Print” link next to a little printer icon. Clicking on that link should take you to a printable version of the newsletter. Once you are viewing the printable version, if you select File and Print in your browser's command menu, you should be able to print all pages of the newsletter.

Feel free to contact me with items for inclusion in the next division newsletter, which is planned for January of 2015. The January newsletter will be my last one as DLS newsletter editor. After five years of service in this capacity, I am stepping down in order to pursue other activities at my home institution and within the APS. If you or a colleague would be interested in serving as editor, please contact me or the division chair as soon as possible.

Amy VanEngen Spivey, editor

From the Division Chair

Toni TaylorI am having a great time serving as the 2014 Chair of the APS Division of Laser Science. It is hard to believe that my term is more than half over!

In my last newsletter, I described the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), which was launched in May 2013. As a reminder, NPI is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics - the application of light — and drive US funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields critical to US competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. Following its announcement, a number of national and regional events have been successful in educating Congress and the public on the importance of photonics to society and our nation, as well as engaging the media. In addition, APS and four society partners brought together more than 100 experts to assemble recommendations to help guide US funding and investment.

I am pleased to report that these NPI-related efforts are paying off in new and enhanced opportunities for optics and photonics research, development and education. The America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Reauthorization Act of 2014 bill recommends that federal agencies work with optics and photonics industry and research partners and support internal programs to leverage knowledge and resources and to promote innovation. The bill from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation asserts that “optics and photonics research and technologies promote U.S. global competitiveness in industry sectors, including telecommunications and information technology, energy, healthcare and medicine, manufacturing, and defense.” Furthermore, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently identified optics and photonics research and education as a key area of interest, calling for innovative research proposals on optics and photonics that are relevant to one or more Divisions in the Directorates for Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, or Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Finally, the NSF’s announcement comes on the heels of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Request for Information (RFI), which included photonics as one of its priority technical areas of interest for a possible new Institute for Manufacturing Innovation. DoD is expected to issue a Broad Agency Announcement this fall requesting proposals for a new institute under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Our DLS-sponsored conferences and workshops are working out quite well. DLS co-sponsored a successful Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) in San Jose, CA, in June. Highlights from CLEO 2014 are presented later in this newsletter. I am looking forward to the Laser Science meeting, which is the annual meeting of the Division. It will be held October 19-23, 2014, in Tucson, Arizona, and will run in conjunction with the Frontiers in Optics meeting, as has been the tradition. The program co-chairs for the 2014 Laser Science meeting are Galina Khitrova from the University of Arizona and Cheuk-Yiu Ng from the University of California, Davis. Besides the exciting technical program, a number of DLS-sponsored events and symposium are held in conjunction with the Laser Science Conference, including:
  • Symposium on Undergraduate Research, Monday, Oct. 20, 12:30-18:30.
  • Dissertation Award Finalist Competition, Monday, Oct. 20. DLS has established a new Dissertation Award to be offered for the first time in 2014 in conjunction with the Laser Science conference. The finalists for this award will present their work at this special session.
  • Meet the APS Journal Editors, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 15:30 - 17:00.
  • DLS Annual Business Meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 18:00 - 19:00. DLS officers will report on the activities of the past year and on plans for the future. Questions from DLS members are encouraged.
  • Laser Science Banquet, Tuesday, 21 October, 19:00 - 21:00, Signature Grill Restaurant, Outdoor Patio - JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort. Have dinner with your DLS colleagues! Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased when you register for the meeting.

Elections for DLS officers are coming up soon. We will be electing a Vice-Chair, a Secretary/Treasurer, a Councilor, and two At-Large members. Please participate in these elections. We will also be looking for a new newsletter editor. Amy Spivey has done a fantastic job as editor since 2010 and has our sincere thanks for her great effort! We will also be losing Anne Kelley as our Secretary/Treasurer. She has done a superb job keeping DLS running smoothly and efficiently. We will certainly miss her immensely! If you are interested in any of these positions, please let one of the DLS officers know.

I hope to see many of you at the Laser Science meeting and the DLS Annual Business meeting and Banquet.

Toni Taylor
Chair, APS Division of Laser Science

Preparations Continue for the 2015 International Year of Light

(adapted from the website for the International Year of Light)

What is the International Year of Light (IYL 2015)?
The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

What is its goal?
The goal of IYL 2015 is to highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.

How will it achieve its goal?
IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015 — from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.

What organizations support IYL 2015?
IYL 2015 is endorsed by a number of international scientific unions and the International Council of Science, and has more than 100 partners from more than 85 countries. Founding Scientific Sponsors of IYL 2015 are the American Physical Society (APS); The American Institute of Physics (AIP); the European Physical Society (EPS); the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS); SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics; the International Network; the Institute of Physics (IOP); and The Optical Society (OSA).

How did IYL 2015 come about?
A resolution welcoming and endorsing an International Year of Light in 2015 was first adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board at its 190th session in October 2012. The IYL 2015 resolution was submitted to the United Nations Second Committee in November 2013 by the nation of Mexico, and delegates from both Mexico and New Zealand spoke in support of the submission. The resolution was adopted at the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly in Paris with co-sponsorship from 35 countries.

When will IYL 2015 events begin?
IYL 2015 will kick-off with opening ceremonies to be held January 19-20, 2015, in Paris, France.

How can I get involved with IYL 2015?
Anyone can learn about IYL 2015 through the web site. Scientists and educators can organize presentations about light or optical science, as suggested in the “Hands On Involvement” section of the IYL 2015 web site. Conference and event organizers can add their event to the calendar of light-related events in 2015, and there are many other ways to get involved. Check it out!

Encourage Students and Colleagues to Join the APS and Division of Laser Science

There are many benefits to joining the Division of Laser Science when you become a member of APS. These benefits include:
  • Reduced registration fees at CLEO and FiO/LS
  • Eligibility for nomination as APS Fellow through DLS
  • Student travel grant program
  • Eligibility for visit from a DLS Distinguished Traveling Lecturer
  • Eligibility for the upcoming DLS Dissertation Award
  • International Travel Grant Program

Students can join APS (and DLS) for free in their first year of membership, and regular APS members pay just $8.00 to join the division.

Encourage your colleagues and students in optics and laser physics, or anyone who uses lasers on a regular basis, to join the APS Division of Laser Science!

Highlights from the CLEO:2014 Meeting

(information courtesy the Optical Society)

With a record number of paper submissions and the highest attendance in five years, CLEO:2014 (held June 8-13 in San Jose, CA) was comprised of six days of presentations, symposia, business insights and innovations from prominent companies in the laser and electro-optics industry. The event was host to 5,000 attendees and featured sessions and activities in areas such as photonics for brain mapping, high-power lasers, nanophotonics, laser therapeutics, nonlinear optics, quantum optics, technology transfer, laser-based manufacturing and more. More than 2,600 paper submissions resulted in hundreds of technical sessions featuring key research institutions worldwide and covering a wide variety of topics.

CLEO: 2014 also offered opportunities to hear from the most prominent experts in the field — including early pioneers and today’s foremost researchers. The late James Gordon, known as one of the founding fathers of quantum electronics, was honored at a special symposium featuring presentations from three Nobel Laureates and a host of well-known laser experts who provided both personal stories of Gordon’s life and overviews of the current state of research influenced by Gordon’s many contributions.

Plenary speakers this year included Gerhard Rempe of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, who spoke on quantum coherent networks; Larry Coldren of the University of California, Santa Barbara who discussed the latest in photonic integrated circuits; and Sir David Payne of the University of Southampton who offered a comprehensive view of the future of specialty fibers.

The exhibit hall showcased products and services from 250 companies, such as Coherent, IDEX, Newport, Thorlabs, Toptica and many others. Show floor activities included the CLEO: Market Focus, which this year featured panels on air quality monitoring, solid-state lighting, photonics business strategies and public-private collaborations. The Technology Transfer Program offered an opportunity for startups to hear from seasoned entrepreneurs about best practices for taking innovations from the lab into the marketplace.

Day-by-day highlights and summary information about all aspects of the conference are detailed on the conference web site.

In 2015, CLEO will return to San Jose, California, from May 10 to May 15. See you there!

Upcoming Meetings

Second International Workshop on Ultracold Rydberg Physics
Dates: October 5-8, 2014
Location: Transamérica Prestige Beach Class International Hotel, Recife, Brazil
Registration deadline: August 31, 2014

This conference is aimed at understanding the many aspects of Rydberg atom systems. The study of Rydberg atoms is experiencing a renaissance due to the many recent advances made in this research area, such as the progress towards making quantum gates, the observations of new and exotic types of molecules, the investigation of plasmas and study of many-body dynamics. Of central interest is controlling the interactions between Rydberg atoms so that they may be engineered to make new devices based on quantum entanglement or used to investigate phenomena that can be better understood by taking advantage of this control. There will be both invited and contributed talks, in addition to a poster session. Students are particularly welcome to attend this conference and should inquire about support. More detailed information and updates are posted on the conference web site.

Frontiers in Optics 2014 and Laser Science (FiO/LS)
Dates: October 19-23, 2014
Location: JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Housing reservation deadline: September 19, 2014
Pre-registration deadline: September 22, 2014
Post-deadline submission deadline: October 6, 2014
Laser Science chairs: Galina Khitrova (Univ. of Arizona) and Cheuk-Yiu Ng (Univ. of California at Davis)

This conference serves as the annual meeting of the APS Division of Laser Science and is co-located with the Optical Society’s Frontiers in Optics conference. Together, these meetings provide an important forum for presenting the latest work in optics-related fields. The Laser Science program will feature a wide array of presentations in areas ranging from Photonic Crystals to Quantum Information to Exploring New Physics with Quantum Degenerate Gases. A full list of session topics and confirmed invited speakers is given on the FiO/LS website.

In addition to the separate LS and FiO technical sessions, there will be a joint FiO/LS plenary session in which Rebecca Richards-Kortum of Rice University will speak on point-of-care medical diagnostics for low-resource settings and Jeff Kimble from the California Institute of Technology will discuss atom-light interactions in photonic crystals. During the awards ceremony, Mordechai Segev will be honored as the winner of the 2014 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, and Paul Corkum will receive the 2014 Frederic Ives Medal / Jarus Quinn Prize.

This year, for the first time, the Laser Science conference will include a special session in which finalists for the recently-established Division of Laser Science Dissertation Award will give their presentations. Be sure to look for this special session when the detailed conference schedule becomes available!

More information about DLS-sponsored student travel grants, child care grants, the Symposium on Undergraduate Research, and the New Laser Scientists Conference (NLSC) at FiO/LS can be found below. See you in Tucson!

APS March Meeting
Dates: March 2-6, 2015
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Call for papers opens: August 2014

The Division of Laser Science will be organizing a session at the 2015 APS March Meeting.

CLEO: 2015
Dates: May 10-15, 2015
Location: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, USA
Call for papers opens: August 15, 2014
Abstract submission deadline: December 16, 2014

Student Travel Grants for FiO/LS 2014 Meeting
Deadline: September 1, 2014

(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)

We are now accepting applications for Student Travel Grants to assist with travel costs to Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science 2014 in Tucson, Arizona, during October 19-23, 2014.

Through this program, DLS will provide partial funding (up to $500) for a limited number of graduate students to attend and participate in the FiO/LS meeting. To be eligible, the student must be a member of APS-DLS and must be the presenting author on an accepted oral or poster presentation.  Normally the student’s faculty mentor must also be a DLS member.  Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible before the meeting, and checks will be issued at the meeting. Please see the APS web site for more application details.

The deadline for receipt of complete applications is September 1, 2014.

Child Care Grants for FiO/LS 2014 Meeting
Deadline: September 1, 2014

(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)

Grants of up to $500 are available to assist DLS members who are bringing children to Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science 2014 (October 19-23, in Tucson, Arizona, USA) or who incur extra expenses in leaving them at home (e.g., extra daycare or babysitting services). Eligible costs include babysitters (onsite at the conference location or at home) and airfare/hotel for a caregiver to accompany the child to the conference location. Meals, toys, onsite transportation and tickets to museums or other attractions are not eligible for reimbursement. Grant recipients are solely responsible for their choice of child care provider; APS-DLS does not endorse any child care providers.

Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and grant recipients will be notified prior to the conference. In the event that the number of requests for grants exceeds the available funding, preference will be given to applicants in the early stages of their careers.

Applications must be received by September 1, 2014, and successful applicants must submit a reimbursement request along with original receipts no later than November 23, 2014. Application forms and details can be found on the APS web site.

Symposium on Undergraduate Research at FiO/LS 2014

(from Harold Metcalf)

The fourteenth annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers in Optics / Laser Science meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 20, in the afternoon. This symposium is one of the highlights of the FiO/LS meeting, and all meeting participants are invited to attend the posters and talks. It has grown from ten presentations in 2001 to almost fifty in recent years. Programs from past symposia are available on the APS web site.

Symposium events begin with a poster session followed by the oral presentation sessions. Besides students and mentors, the audience usually includes many regular conference attendees. The abstract deadline is August 29, 2014. Student participants typically receive financial support to cover the costs of their travel, lodging, conference registration, and meals. Those interested in having their names on the mailing list should write to Dr. Harold Metcalf ( Please send the names and e-mail addresses of both the student and the advisor.

8th New Laser Scientists Conference at FiO/LS 2014

(from Dan Gauthier)

Alongside the 2014 FiO/LS meeting, the Division of Laser Science will sponsor the 8th New Laser Scientist Conference (NLSC), a one-day mini-conference for new faculty and scientists doing laser-related research. The NLSC helps to establish a peer group for new laser scientists in the DLS and includes roundtable discussions on planning one's scientific career, how to manage one's research group and relations with one's colleagues, best practices for obtaining research funding, and work/life balance. This conference is designed to benefit new faculty and scientists who are within a few years of their first permanent appointment. Those interested in proposing attendees (including yourself!) are invited to contact Dan Gauthier of Duke University at

Distinguished Traveling Lecturer Program
Next deadline: November 30

The Distinguished Traveling Lecturer (DTL) Program is sponsored by the DLS, and its goal is to bring distinguished scientists to speak at colleges and departments that might not otherwise have the resources to invite them. The program covers the speaker’s honorarium and travel expenses, while the host institution is responsible for the speaker’s local expenses. Application deadlines occur on May 30 and November 30 each year. The current distinguished lecturers are:

Laurie Butler (University of Chicago)
Hui Cao (Yale University)
Fleming Crim (University of Wisconsin)
Jim Kafka (Spectra-Physics / Newport)
Wayne Knox (University of Rochester)
Chris Monroe (University of Maryland)
Luis Orozco (University of Maryland)
Carlos Stroud (University of Rochester)
Ron Walsworth (Harvard University)
Linda Young (Argonne National Laboratory)

Minutes of the June 2014 DLS Executive Committee Meeting

(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)

DLS Executive Committee meeting
June 9, 2014
Pacific Room, San Jose Hilton, San Jose, CA

Attending: Toni Taylor (chair), Roseanne Sension (vice-chair), John Fourkas (chair-elect), Henry Kapteyn (past chair), Anne Kelley (Secretary-Treasurer), Anthony Johnson (Councilor), Ralph Jimenez, Albert Stolow, Kristan Corwin

Toni Taylor called the meeting to order at 9:02 am.

The committee voted to approve the minutes from the Executive Committee meeting at Laser Science 2013.

Anne Kelley gave a Treasurer’s report. The Division has been approximately breaking even for the past several years, but is likely to go into the red in 2015 because the cancellation penalties for moving CLEO from Baltimore to San Jose may eat up nearly all of the profit from CLEO in that year. There was discussion of approaches to increasing membership. One might be to target APS members who are not DLS members and offer to pay their DLS dues (pro-rated) for the remainder of the year, in the hope that they will continue their membership. This would cost DLS an average of a few dollars per member at the start. It could be done at meetings of DAMOP, which already has a high degree of overlapping membership with DLS, and/or at the March meeting. Kristan Corwin has had good experiences doing this for DAMOP and can advise. The committee voted to approve this on a trial basis.

The new DLS Fellows were announced. We got seven, more than we expected, which must mean that other divisions did not use all of their slots. Some of the new Fellows are now no longer DLS members. Anne will try to get them to rejoin in order to receive their awards.

The upcoming Laser Science meeting in Tucson was discussed. Because the meeting is being held at a resort with no other properties within walking distance, there are few options for the location of the banquet. The least expensive option presented by the OSA staff is $75/head (without drinks) at the resort’s Signature Grill. Anne already approved listing the banquet on the registration web site at $70, an increase from $60 last year and $50 in previous years. Anne will continue to work with OSA staff to try to get a better price and/or drinks included with the price. It was also noted that the menu provided has no vegetarian options, which Anne will work with OSA staff to correct. A number of possibilities for after-banquet speakers were discussed and will be pursued. Cheuk Ng, one of this year’s Laser Science co-chairs, has declined to continue past this year; possible replacements for 2015 were discussed.

The high cost of the Tucson location has also caused serious financial stress for the Symposium on Undergraduate Research. The EC previously approved (by e-mail) additional funding for the Symposium, but we would like to find donors to help offset some of the additional costs. Several possibilities were discussed and will be pursued.

Dan Gauthier, who is running this year’s New Laser Scientists meeting in Tucson, has requested suggestions for names of newly hired faculty or national lab scientists who would be appropriate to invite. Members were asked to send suggestions directly to Dan.

The new DLS Outstanding Dissertation Award was discussed. Eight applications have been received and all are excellent. The committee discussed the preferred number of finalists, each of whom will present a talk in a special session at FiO/LS and receive $750 toward travel expenses, and agreed that four would be the ideal number. They should each be scheduled for 30 minute talks. Their travel expenses will be taken out of the Student Travel Grants budget, leaving $2500 (five awards) for the regular travel grants program at FiO/LS. The committee also agreed that holding this competition annually rather than biannually might be ideal, but we should reconsider at our next meeting.

The committee discussed having a lower registration rate for postdocs than for senior scientists. While there are many reasons why this might make sense, we need to tread carefully with OSA as we do not want to jeopardize maintaining lower rates for students.

Anthony Johnson reported on an APS corporate restructuring proposal described in materials provided to the committee. The main comments from the committee were that it may not be desirable to limit the number of terms that the Treasurer may serve, as this position is traditionally an important source of experience and corporate memory. Members also wondered who, under the new structure, would take care of negotiating our relationships with OSA.

Ralph Jimenez reported on the APS Convocation held in February. The day before the Convocation there were Congressional visits organized by APS. Issues discussed with Congressional staffers included sustainable funding for science, limitations on travel for national lab staff, and the problems caused by switching most DOE grants to lump-sum (rather than annual) funding without a concomitant one-time increase in the budget for these grants. The IT staff at APS expressed willingness to set up various tools for Divisions to communicate with their membership. The desirability of a DLS Facebook page was discussed (OSA has one).

Ralph Jimenez has been approached about holding a joint session with DCP at the March meeting. The EC is in favor of this but not if we have to use our only session to do it. If DCP is willing to convert one of theirs to a joint session, we should do it; otherwise we should try to get a second, joint session for the 2016 meeting. Ralph will discuss with DCP.

The committee met with OSA staff Chad Stark and Naomi Chavez. Contributed papers to Fundamental Science (QELS) are up from the past few CLEO meetings. The next CLEOs are 10-15 May 2015 and 5-10 June 2016, both in San Jose; the intent is to move back to May thereafter, still in San Jose. Cancellation penalties for moving CLEO 2015 from Baltimore currently stand at $91K (DLS share, $15K) but this may go down if space is resold. FiO/LS will be in San Jose in 2015 and Rochester in 2016, with the intent to either stay in Rochester or alternate between Rochester and San Jose in future years. Canadian locations have been suggested but pose problems for international students and national laboratory scientists. A proposed revision of the roles and responsibilities of volunteers and staff on JCQE was discussed. If approved, this would reduce the number of DLS representatives on JCQE from three to two, both of whom would serve on CLEO Steering.

At least one new DLS member is needed for JCQE and CLEO Steering, and potentially one more for JCQE if the proposed changes are not made. Several names were discussed and Toni will follow up.

A nominating committee is needed to find candidates for the upcoming elections for Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Councilor, and two At-Large members. DLS chooses two members and APS chooses the third, but we can give APS some suggestions. A number of names were suggested to Toni.

The photonics community is being invited to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) from DOD related to the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The RFI seeks public feedback on the creation of two new Innovative Manufacturing Institutes. Photonics is one of six technology focus areas competing for inclusion. Toni attempted to join an informational webinar but there were technical difficulties. Toni has some additional information that she can provide to interested members.

Potential topics for the March meeting, organized by John Fourkas, were discussed.

Amy Spivey plans to put out the next Newsletter this summer. Please send her any items for inclusion.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:18 pm.