March 2018 Newsletter

In this Issue:

Letter from the Chair

APS Division of Laser Science members,

It is an honor to move into the position of Chair of the Division. I would like to thank Past-Chair Peter Delfyett for his service to the Division. I also thank the other officers and members of the Executive Committee for their work in carrying out the business of the Division in promoting laser science interests.

The Division is organizing programming at three conferences in 2018. We have a single invited symposium on “Ultrafast laser techniques for molecular photochemistry and photophysics” at the March APS meeting in Los Angeles. The CLEO conference in San Jose in May (, jointly sponsored by the OSA, IEEE, and APS-DLS, will feature a broad range of technical programming as well as a large exhibit. Finally, the Division’s annual meeting, the Laser Science conference held in conjunction with OSA’s Frontiers in Optics meeting, will be in Washington, DC in September ( This conference will feature invited and contributed talks, large poster sessions in several innovative formats, the New Laser Scientists conference (see below), and an exhibit. These are excellent venues to present your work and to network with colleagues.

I encourage all members to take advantage of the various programs and services the Division offers. The Distinguished Traveling Lecturer program sends distinguished scientists to primarily undergraduate colleges and universities in order to convey the excitement of laser science to undergraduate students and to the public. The Student Travel Grant program provides funding to help offset the expenses of student members presenting their work at the CLEO or Laser Science conferences. The Child Care Grant program provides partial reimbursement of child care expenses for DLS members who either bring children to one of these conferences or arrange for their care at home. Finally, DLS sponsors the Symposium on Undergraduate Research, held in conjunction with the Laser Science meeting. The Symposium provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research results at an international conference, and over the years it has played an important role in the professional development of many young scientists. For many years the Symposium was organized and directed single-handedly by Prof. Hal Metcalf of SUNY Stony Brook, and I and the DLS leadership are very grateful to him for his effort in making this such a successful and valuable endeavor. Chad Hoyt (Bethel University) co-chaired the 2017 Symposium and expects to phase in full responsibility for continuing the symposium. Information on all of these activities may be found at the DLS web site,

Finally, the DLS leadership is here to serve its members—people like you. We will soon be holding our elections for the next officers and Executive Committee members and I hope that you will exercise your right to vote. We want DLS to be your primary professional affiliation and to continue our activities that benefit the laser science community. You can help by renewing your membership in DLS and encouraging your colleagues to join. To facilitate new student memberships, DLS offers free membership for their first year. Please consider promoting student membership in any venues you believe are useful, such as upper-division and graduate courses and seminars.

I wish all of our members an exciting and productive year in their laser science related research and educational activities.

Please send any comments or suggestions to

Anne Kelley, DLS Chair
University of California, Merced

Undergraduate Symposium, 2017

The seventeenth annual DLS Symposium on Undergraduate Research at the APS LS conference was held in Washington, DC on Sunday, 17 September, 2017. The Symposium has grown from ten oral and poster presentations in 2001 to 49 in 2017 representing research from 28 universities and institutes. These Symposia have brought over 500 students to our annual meetings to present what are often the first research papers of their careers.

One student commented, “The DLS conference was an amazing opportunity to connect with students and researchers while also learning about cutting-edge research being conducted in the field of optics. Additionally, it provided a broader view of the opportunities and careers available in optics.”

The Symposium was organized and arranged by Harold Metcalf, Stony Brook University, and Chad Hoyt, Bethel University. It was supported by the DLS, OSA, students’ home institutions, NSF, Thorlabs, the Society of Physics Students, Bristol Instruments, East Coast Optical Technologies, and Photonics Industries International.

Symposium students, advisors and organizers

Figure: 2017 Symposium students, advisors and organizers.

3 guys looking at poster

two ladies speaking

Student Travel Grants, FiO/LS 2017

Two students received grants of $500 to defray their expenses to attend FiO/LS 2017. The recipients were Ali Kazemi Jahromi, Univ. of Central Florida and Mallik Mohd Raihan Hussain, University of Dayton. The deadline for applications for 2018 grants is April 27, 2018.

CLEO San Jose 2017 Statistics

The 2017 Conference on Laser and Electro-Optics in San Jose, CA, cosponsored by DLS, brought more than 4,000 attendees, 200 international exhibitors and over 2,000 technical presentations from around the world. With comprehensive, peer-reviewed technical sessions and market focused exhibit-floor programming, CLEO provided attendees an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in a broad range of fundamental and applied laser science research. From quantum cascade lasers on silicon, to skin-mounted wearables and high capacity quantum computers, this year’s CLEO conference provided a platform to foster the development of today’s laser and electro-optical devices.

Comprehensive High-Quality Programming
“CLEO provides high-quality programming that marries industry and academic research sparking innovation in a number of critical applications — from biomedical applications to industrial lasers and photonics applications,” said Nicusor Iftimia, Physical Sciences Inc., USA, General co-chair.

Industry Leading Companies in Lasers and Electro-Optics
More than 200 companies exhibited at CLEO:EXPO, taking advantage of the annual industry-leading gathering to introduce new products and demonstrate cutting-edge innovations. Companies such as Calmar Laser, Coherent, Continuum, Edmund Optics, Newport, Menlo Systems, Thorlabs, Toptica Photonics and many others showcased state-of-the-art technology including; ultrafast lasers, spectroscopy, optical pulse technology and nanophotonics.

The CLEO exhibit hall featured presentations on the state of the optics and photonics industry, precision manufacturing using ultrafast lasers and special topical symposia on: Advances in Metaphotonic Devices, Military Applications of High Power Lasers, Multimodal Imaging in Biophotonics, Optical Microcavities for Ultrasensitive Detection and more.

Conference co-sponsors included the American Physical Society, IEEE Photonics Society, and The Optical Society.

DLS Washington, DC 2017 Statistics

With over 1,200 attendees, this year’s meeting was redesigned to provide attendees with innovative elements, such as the new Science & Industry Showcase, Visionary Speakers and new modes of presentation. The conference was built around four transformative technologies that are redefining the future: Automotive, Nanophotonics and Plasmonics, Optics in Computing and Virtual Reality and Augmented Vision.

“The technology enabled by optics and photonics is extraordinary,” said Roseanne Sension, general co-chair for Laser Science. “The conference aligned the FIO + LS programming to offer a true glimpse of the intersection of science and applications.”

The Student Leadership Conference brought in 227 students. DLS had 15 Laser Science sessions with 514 presentations. As special events, we also had the Laser Science Symposium on Undergraduate Research, the Carl E. Anderson Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Laser Science and the LS poster session. There was also the DLS Annual Business Meeting, the DLS Executive Committee meeting and the Meet the Editors of the APS Journals Reception.

We invite you to join us in Washington, D.C., for FiO/LS from 16-20 September 2018. To receive updates about paper submissions and registration, please sign up here.

2017 DLS Carl E. Anderson Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Winner

The Carl E. Anderson Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Laser Science was established in 2013 and endowed by Charlotte Anderson in 2015. The award recognizes doctoral research in the Laser Science area and encourages effective written and oral presentation of research results. Four finalists, selected from an outstanding pool of applicants, presented their work in a special session at the 2017 Laser Science conference and the winner was selected by the dissertation award committee. The finalists were Tal Galfsky, The City University of New York (“Control of Light-matter Interaction Using Photonic Hypercrystals”), Dennis Gardner, University of Colorado, Boulder, (“First Demonstration of Sub-Wavelength Imaging at Short Wavelengths”), Vivishek Sudhir, Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne, Switzerland (“Quantum Limits on Measurement and Control of a Mechanical Oscillator”), and Shuo Sun, University of Maryland, College Park, (“Nanophotonic Spin-photon Quantum Transistor”). Dennis Gardner was selected as the 2017 winner. Deadline for 2018 nominations: Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Dissertation award finalists

Figure: Dissertation award finalists, from left to right: Kristan Corwin (DLS Chair-Elect), Shuo Sun, Tal Galfsky, Vivishek Sudhir, Dennis Gardner (CAE awardee)

Gerard Mourou, 2018 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science Winner

Congratulations to Gérard Mourou of École Polytechnique, "For fundamental contributions in ultrafast, ultrahigh-field laser inventions, such as chirped pulse amplification, that led to the new discipline of relativistic optics." The Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science is sponsored by the DLS. It recognizes outstanding contributions to basic research that use lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light.

2017 DLS APS Fellows

Congratulations to the following 2017 DLS-nominated APS Fellows.

Hui Deng, University of Michigan. For pioneering contributions to fundamental physics and applications of matter-light coupled systems.

Munira Khalil, University of Washington. For probing coherently coupled vibrational and electronic motion during ultrafast charge transfer processes by using a unique combination of infrared, visible, and X-ray experiments to provide new insights into this mechanism.

Niels Asger Mortensen, University of Southern Denmark. For fundamental explorations of light-matter interactions in nanostructures at the interface of classical electrodynamics and quantum physics.

Gunter Steinmeyer, Max Born Institute. For outstanding contributions to ultrafast nonlinear optics, in particular for the development of pulse characterization techniques, the experimental demonstration of pulse self-compression through laser filamentation, and the investigations of higher-order nonlinear susceptibilities and rogue waves.

Edo Waks, University of Maryland - College Park. For significantly advancing the field of quantum photonics and for developing new concepts to strongly interact solid-state quantum emitters with nanophotonic components.

Upcoming New Laser Scientist Meeting, 2018

Next year the New Laser Scientist meeting (NLSC) will be held at the FiO/LS meeting in Washington, DC. The event is supported by the DLS and corporate sponsors. The purpose is to bring together scientists who use laser technologies in their research and who are in their first few years of a tenure track faculty or similar early career position. It is a unique venue to present ideas to peers and network, talk with more senior scientists about forming and managing a scientific group, balancing work/life issues, research funding, and other topics encountered at this stage of a career. In 2016, seventeen invitees participated at the meeting in Rochester, NY. During the 2016 program there were technical talks by the invitees and presentations by NSF (John Gillaspy) and DOE (Thomas Settersten) program directors. Participants wrote project summaries of their proposed and/or current research and reviewed each others submissions in mock panels. The 2018 meeting is being organized by Thomas Weinacht of Stony Brook University. Please contact Thomas ( with suggestions for new laser scientists who may benefit from this meeting.

Distinguished Traveling Lecturer Program

The DTL program was established in 1992 to bring distinguished scientists to predominantly undergraduate colleges and universities in order to convey the excitement of Laser Science to undergraduate students. In 2001 it was expanded to include graduate schools. Priority is given to those institutions that are not located in major metropolitan centers and do not have extensive resources to bring in outside speakers. Lecturers visit selected academic institutions for two days, during which time they will give a public lecture open to the entire academic community and meet informally with students and faculty. They may also give guest lectures in classes related to Laser Science. Applications to host a DTL should be submitted by members of DLS. The DLS pays travel expenses and an honorarium. The host institution takes care of local expenses.

Recent funded travelling lecturers and locations included Christopher Monroe at Abilene Christian University, Hui Cao at Benedictine University, and Jim Kafka at Fort Lewis College. For more information, including available speakers, see the DTL homepage. The DTL program committee is chaired by Rainer Grobe.

Upcoming Meetings

APS April Meeting, April 14-17, 2018 Columbus, OH
Division of Laser Science (CLEO), May 13-18, 2018 San Jose, CA
Annual Meeting of the APS DLS (with OSA FiO): September 16-20, 2018 Washington, DC

Join the APS and Division of Laser Science

Encourage students and colleagues in optics, laser physics or anyone who uses lasers. Benefits of joining the DLS and APS 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.