PAUL L. HOUSTON, CHAIR
Department of Chemistry
Ithaca, NY 14853-1301
607-255-4303; fax 607-255-8549
WILLLIAM D. PHILLIPS, CHAIR-ELECT
Atomic Physics Division
National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
301-975-6554; fax 301-975-3038
ROBERT W. BOYD, VICE-CHAIR
The Institute of Optics
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
716-275-2329; fax 716-273-1075
WINTHROP W. SMITH, SECRETARY-TREASURER
Department of Physics
University of Connecticut
2152 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269-3046
860-486-3573; fax 860-486-3346
1997 was a vintage year for laser physics. On October 13 at the joint meeting of the Optical Society of America and the DLS-sponsored Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference, the 1997 Schawlow Prize was awarded to Eric Ippen and Charles Shank for their pioneering work in generating short pulses. Less than 24 hours later it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Physics would be awarded to Steven Chu, William Phillips and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji for their work on cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light. All three are Fellows of the APS. Many of us at the meeting had the pleasure of hearing the news while Bill Phillips, the DLS chair-elect, was in attendance. In fact, at the DLS executive committee meeting that same day, we also learned that Bill had previously been selected by the Schawlow Prize committee for the 1998 award. We extend to all these prize winners our sincere congratulations as well as our thanks for advancing laser science!
We also congratulate our new Vice-Chairman, Robert Boyd, and new executive committee members, Margaret Murnane and John Miller, all of whom began service this past October. Joe Eberly succeeds to Past-Chair, where he will continue to provide the sage advice that marked his previous years of service to the Division. He deserves our sincere thanks for a job well done.
Chair's Message 1
New Officers of the DLS Executive Committee 2
APS Fellows 2
Student Travel Grants 3
APS Fellow Nominations 4
1997 Noble Prize 5
1998 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize 6
In Focus: Name Change for ILS? 7
Distinguished Traveling Lecture Program 8
1999 Schawlow Prize 9
Student Summer Research Grants 10
Physical Review A Editorial Board 10
The 1997 calendar year saw progress in many other areas of laser science interest as well. Our Distinguished Traveling Lecturers gave a number of talks at predominantly undergraduate universities and colleges, several undergraduate summer research project applicants were funded by the Division, seven new Fellows of the APS were elected from the DLS membership, and the Division funded numerous travel grants for students to attend the ILS or CLEO conferences. The Division sponsored three symposia at the March meeting to increase our interaction with those applying laser techniques to condensed matter physics. Of course,
contd. on pg. 4
We would like to congratulate the winners of this fall's election. Robert Boyd was elected as the ViceChair, and John Miller and Margaret Murnane as the MembersatLarge. Their term of office began at the conclusion of the ILSXIII Conference.
Congratulations to the seven DLS members who were elected Fellows
of APS in 1997:
David W. Chandler, Sandia National Laboratories
For important contributions to molecular dynamics, in particular for his invention and applications of
photofragment imaging and for his work using laserinduced
Eric Allin Cornell, NIST
For pioneering research that led to the first observation of BoseEinstein condensation in an atomic gas,
an observation that has opened a new area of investigation
Phillip L. Gould, University of Connecticut
For his pioneering research in the use of lasers for diffracting and manipulating atoms, cooling trapped
atoms to ultracold temperatures, ultracold atomic collisions
and developing techniques for photoassociative molecular spectroscopy
Irving Philip Herman, Columbia University
For distinguished accomplishments in laser physics, notably
the development and application of laser techniques to probe and
control materials processing
Wolfgang Ketterle, M.I.T.
For pioneering research in achieving BoseEinstein condensation
in an atomic vapor, and for seminal studies on the properties
of the condensate
Steven Lloyd Rolston, N.I.S.T.
For pioneering work applying laser cooling and trapping to the study of optical control of collisions, the
quantum motion of atoms in optical lattices, and atomic properties
in metastable states
Bernard Yurke, Lucent Technologies
For theoretical and experimental research in quantum states of light, especially the generation of squeezed
light in cavities and Schroedinger cat states
The DLS is pleased to continue its program to support student
travel to DLS-sponsored meetings. A limited number of grants
for travel and living expenses, up to $700, are available to graduate
students who are DLS members and who are authors or co-authors
on an oral or poster paper at the ILS-XIV meeting. To
make these funds as widely available as possible, some priority
will be given to requests for a lower level of support and to
distribution of these grants to students of different institutions.
Applicants should submit a letter stating their estimated need
for travel funds, including commitment of institutional support,
if any, attached to a copy of the submitted abstract on which
they are first author, and a letter of nomination from a member
of DLS. Please list daytime phone number, fax number, e-mail
address, and social security number. Applicants are required
to fax or e-mail their acceptance letter or attach it to the application
upon receiving the official notice from OSA. Only one award will
be given to a research group. If it is likely that the paper
cannot be given without financial support, the student should
indicate whether the paper would have to be withdrawn if this
request for funds cannot be met. Checks will be issued at the
meeting. Hotel accommodations will be covered at up to half the
conference rate for a double room.
The nominator should certify that the applicant is a full-time
graduate student, and, in the case of foreign students, that they
have a student visa valid through the meeting dates. The applicants
will be evaluated by the selection committee chaired by Dr. Winthrop
W. Smith. Applications should be sent to Dr. Smith at the address
given on the first page of this Newsletter. The deadline for
submitting applications for the QELS/CLEO Meeting must be received
by March 20, 1998. The deadline for the ILS-XIV/OSA Meeting
is August 10, 1998.
Many distinguished members of the Division of Laser Science (DLS) have been honored by being named Fellows of the APS. Nominations for next year's fellowships are now being solicited. These nominations will be processed by a Divisional Committee on Fellows headed by the DLS Vice-Chair, Bob Boyd (see the first page of this newsletter for Bob's phone number and email address). A number of these nominations, typically in the range 5 to 10, will be forwarded to APS for confirmation. The Executive Committee is urging all DLS members to identify colleagues deserving of the rank of Fellow. If you are uncertain about a colleague's status, please consult the APS Membership Directory, where an asterisk identifies Fellows. Any member can nominate any other member, and the supporting documentation is not difficult to assemble. All of the required information is available on the world wide web. The procedure for nomination can be found at
http://aps.org/fellowships/fellinfo.html. You will need to submit a nomination form, available at http://aps.org/fellowship/fellform.html, along with a CV of the nominee and a set of supporting letters.
The nomination deadline is April 1, 1998.
Chair's Message (contd. from pg. 1)
our major activity was the ILS meeting in Long Beach. Attendance was high, and the meeting, held jointly with the OSA Annual meeting, continues to highlight important advances in laser science. More information on these activities and programs appears elsewhere in this newsletter.
The Division made strides in solidifying existing relationships
as well as in establishing new ones. We have close ties, of course,
with the APS and the OSA. Three representatives from the Division
(David Chandler, Charles Bowden, and Hyatt Gibbs) serve on the
USAC/ICO steering committee, which is planning a major conference
in San Francisco in August, 1999. One member (Duncan Steel) represents
the Division to CLEO, and several members (Tony Heinz, Ian Walmsley,
and Rick Freeman) represent us to IQEC. Two Divisional Associate
Editors (Ken Kulander and John Miller) were appointed by Joe Eberly
to cover laser science in Phys. Rev. Lett., and ties to other
journals are being pursued. We met at Long Beach with representatives
of J. Phys. B., Cambridge University Press, J. Wiley and Sons,
as well as with members representing research funding agencies
and foreign laser laboratories. These relationships with other
organizations help the Division both to extend the reach of its
programs and to bring news of other activities to the attention
of the membership.
The executive committee joins me in wishing all of our members
a productive new year. May it be equally successful and exciting
as the last one!
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 1997
Nobel Prize in Physics jointly to
Professor Steven Chu, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA,
Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Collège de France and École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, and
Dr. William D. Phillips, National Institute of Standards
and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA,
for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser
Drs. Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, and William D. Phillips have developed methods of using laser light to cool gases to the micro-Kelvin temperature range and keeping the chilled atoms floating or captured in different kinds of "atom traps". The laser light functions as a thick liquid, dubbed optical molasses, in which the atoms are slowed down. Individual atoms can be studied there with very great accuracy and their inner structure can be determined. As more and more atoms are captured in the same volume a thin gas forms, and its properties can be studied in detail. The new methods of investigation that the Nobel Laureates have developed
have contributed greatly to increasing our knowledge of the interplay
between radiation and matter. In particular, they have opened
the way to a deeper understanding of the quantum-physical behavior
of gases at low temperatures. The methods may lead to the design
of more precise atomic clocks for use in, e.g., space navigation
and accurate determination of position. A start has also been
made on the design of atomic interferometers with which, e.g.,
very precise measurements of gravitational forces can be made,
and atomic lasers, which may be used in the future to manufacture
very small electronic components.
Intensive development is in progress concerning laser cooling
and the capture of neutral atoms. Among other things, Chu has
constructed an atomic fountain, in which laser-cooled atoms are
sprayed up from a trap like jets of water. When the atoms turn
at the top of their trajectory and start falling again, they are
almost stationary. There they are exposed to microwave pulses
that sense the atoms´ inner structure. With this technique
it is believed that it will be possible to build atomic clocks
with a hundredfold greater precision than at present. The technique
rewarded this year also forms the basis for the discovery of Bose-Einstein
condensation in atomic gases, a phenomenon that has attracted
great interest over the last several years.
Citation: "For pioneering experiments in laser cooling
and trapping, including the first demonstrations of Zeeman cooling,
the magnetic trapping of neutral atoms and the extension of laser
cooling below the Doppler limit."
Dr. Phillips, a NIST Fellow since 1996, is internationally known for advancing basic knowledge and new techniques to chill atoms to extremely low temperatures. The cooling and trapping of atoms, a discipline that emerged in the mid-1970s with the advent of laboratory lasers, has allowed scientists to observe and measure quantum phenomena in atoms that seem to defy the physical principles governing our tangible room-temperature realm.
After earning his Ph.D. in physics and completing post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Phillips came to NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards) in 1978 to work in the Electricity Division. His official duties at NBS originally were related to his first thesis experiment, involving precision electrical measurements. However, he explains, he was allowed to use "stolen moments to dabble in laser-cooling" with lab equipment he brought from MIT. With encouragement from NBS management, he continued experiments and demonstrated that a beam of neutral atoms could be slowed and cooled with radiation pressure from a laser.
NIST's accomplished and internationally recognized laser cooling and trapped atom research program grew out of these early experiments. Dr. Phillips and the team he built have made numerous pivotal contributions to the field. For example, in the mid-1980s, Dr. Phillips' team found serious discrepancies between its own measurements and the generally accepted "Doppler cooling limit." They demonstrated that it was actually possible to chill atoms well below the accepted limits down to a few microKelvins. This discovery paved the way for scientists seeking to create Bose-Einstein condensation, an exotic new form of matter in which atoms all fall into their lowest energy levels and merge into a single quantum state. In the summer of 1995, a NIST/University of Colorado group in Boulder, Colorado, announced the creation of the first Bose-Einstein condensate.
Dr. Phillips and his team are continuing to study ultra-cold trapped atoms with spin-off applications for improved accuracy in atomic clocks and in fabrication of nanostructures. For the latter, Dr. Phillips envisions using light to focus an atom laser to create what might be the basis of a next generation of ultra-small structures for electronic circuits.
Dr. Phillips is one of the recipients of the 1997 Nobel Prize
in Physics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical
Society of America, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He has received silver and gold medals of the U.S. Department
of Commerce in 1983 and 1993, respectively, and has also been
awarded the Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1996.
For thirteen years, the Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference
has earned an outstanding reputation for bringing exciting new
research to the attention of laser scientists across the disciplines,
from those working in physics, chemistry and biology to those
working on laser sources, applications and non-linear phenomena.
The ILS conference has always been the flagship forum for our
group, first when it was a topical study group, the LSTG, and
more recently now that we have become a division. While the ILS
name is well-known, it suffers from the drawback that the conferences
are not immediately identified by their name with the APS Division
of Laser Science. We write to suggest that the conference name
The rationales for this change are 1) that most conferences, for
example the OSA Annual, the APS March, the SPIE, and the ACS meetings,
are clearly named so as to identify the conference with the group
that sponsors it while ours is not, and 2) that, particularly
in our case where we hold the meeting jointly with the OSA Annual,
the ILS/DLS affiliation is either lost or confused.
We suggest that the conference name be changed to: The APS Division of Laser Science Conference.
The numbering could continue consecutively from the last ILS-XIII conference; i.e., the next conference would be called the DLS-XIV. Or the conferences could be numbered by year, i.e., DLS'98, etc. This last possibility parallels the name of the meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics: DAMOP'98, etc.
Opinions on this topic are solicited, will be relayed to the executive committee, and (if requested) possibly published in the newsletter. Please address them to Win Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up on the Division of Laser Science on the
DLS home page at http://www.physics.wm.edu/~cooke/dls/dls.html
(this is also accessible by going to the APS home page at http://www.aps.org
and clicking on Divisions)
The Division of Laser Science (DLS) announces the appointment of three new Distinguished Traveling Lecturers in Laser Science:
They join the continuing DTLs:
The DLS invites applications from host schools for awards for the Distinguished Traveling Lecturer Program. The DTL Awards are intended to bring distinguished laser scientists to predominantly undergraduate colleges and universities for two-day visits, which generally include lectures and informal meetings with faculty and students. Details about the program and the application procedure may be found on the DLS Web Site at
TARGET DATES FOR APPLICATIONS ARE FEBRUARY 18 AND JUNE 15,
Purpose: To recognize outstanding contributions
to basic research which uses lasers to advance our knowledge of
the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction
with light. Some examples of relevant areas of research are:
nonlinear optics, ultrafast phenomena, laser spectroscopy, squeezed
states, quantum optics, multiphoton physics, laser cooling and
trapping, physics of lasers, particle acceleration by lasers,
and short wavelength lasers.
Nature: The prize consists of $10,000 plus an allowance
for travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded and a
certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The
prize will be awarded annually.
Establishment & Support: The prize was endowed
by the NEC Corporation in 1991.
Rules & Eligibility: Nominations of candidates
for this prize can be made by any member of the American Physical
Society. Nominations are active for three years.
The deadline for submission of nominations for the 1999 Prize
is: JULY 1, 1998
Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the 1999 Selection Committee
Mark G Raizen
Dept of Phys
Univ of Texas
Austin TX 78712
Phone (512) 4714753
Fax 512 471 9637
Other 1999 Prize Selection Committee Members:
Paul L. Kelley
Erich P. Ippen ('97 Recipient)
Robert W. Field (Vice Chair)
Charles V. Shank ('97 Recipient)
The Division of Laser Science will again make funds available
to provide stipend for approximately eight undergraduate students
to conduct laserrelated research in the summer between the
student's junior and senior year. Preference will be given to
DLS student members. The research may be performed at the student's
home institution, or at any other U.S. undergraduate or graduate
institution at which the student's faculty sponsor can provide
close supervision. The DLS invites proposals from any of its
members in good standing as of the date of receipt of the proposal.
(Membership in the DLS may be renewed or initiated at any time
during the year by APS members upon payment of the $5 subunit
fee to the APS Membership Department, One Physics Ellipse, College
Park, MD, 207403486 (301) 2093200.) Proposals should
be limited to about a onepage description of the research
to be performed, the qualifications of the candidate, and the
level of support needed, together with a brief vita of the faculty
sponsor and a copy of the student's transcript. These funds may
not be used for indirect costs. Selection will be made based
upon the appropriateness of the project, its relevance to encouraging
the student to consider further involvement in work using or developing
lasers, adequacy of the resources available, and the scientific
and educational content of the research. The student will be
expected to submit a brief summary of accomplishments at the conclusion
of the research. The selection committee will be announced.
Proposals should be submitted in writing by March 20, 1998 to Professor Winthrop Smith, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, 2152 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT 062693046. ( A second, backup copy may be submitted by email to email@example.com) First consideration will be given to proposals from sponsors who have not obtained support in the previous year; others will be considered if sufficient funds are available. This year's awards will be announced on or about April 1, 1998.
Physical Review A announces the appointment or reappointment of the following as members of its Editorial Board:
Keith Burnett (University of Oxford)
Eugen Merzbacher (University of North Carolina)
Robert F. O'Connell (Louisiana State University)
Jean-Michel Raimond (Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, France)
For further information, contact:
Barbara Maddaloni (516) 591-4033
Fax (516) 591-4155
Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics
(CLEO '98), 3-8 May, 1998, San Francisco, CA. Co-located
with the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS
'98). Sponsored by: IEEE-LEOS/OSA in cooperation with EPS-QEO/JQEJG.
Technical Meeting, Short Courses, Technical Exhibit.
Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS '98),
3-8 May, 1998, San Francisco, CA. Co-located with the Conference
on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO '98). Sponsored by APS-DLS/IEEE-LEOS/OSA.
APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 1998
Annual Meeting (DAMOP'98), 27-30 May, 1998, Santa Fe, New
Mexico. For further information contact James S. Cohen, T-4,
MS B212, Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545. Email:
Gordon Research Conference on Multiphoton Processes, 14-19
June, 1998, Tilton, New Hampshire. The conference e-mail address
is MPGordon@spaniel.llnl.gov. The World Wide Web page is at www-phys.llnl.gov/Multiphoton98.
The 1998 International Conference on Applications of Photonic Technology (ICAPT'98), 27-30 July, 1998, Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. More information can be obtained by visiting our webpage at: http://www3.sympatico.ca/icapt/icapt.html. Co-sponsored by IEEE, and supported by SPIE, CAP, OSA and IEE.
OSA '97 Annual Meeting, 4-9 Oct, 1998, Baltimore, MD.
Co-located with the ILS-XIV. Abstract Deadline: April 10, 1998.
Technical Meeting, Tutorials, Engineering "How To"
Program, Short Courses, Technical Exhibit (Technical Exhibit sponsored
by: OSA\Photonics Spectra).
Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference
(ILS-XIV), 4-9 Oct, 1998, Baltimore, MD. Co-located
with the OSA Annual Meeting. Abstract Deadline: April 10, 1998.
Sponsored by APS-DLS, in cooperation with OSA. Technical Meeting.
Distinguished Lecturer Applications
(Fall 1998): 18 February 1998
Student Summer Research Grants:
20 March 1998
CLEO/QELS Student Travel Grants:
20 March 1998
ILS-XIV/OSA Student Travel Grants:
10 August 1998
Fellow Nominations: 1 April, 1998
OSA '98 & ILS Abstracts: 10 April, 1998
Distinguished Lecturer Applications
(Spring 1999): 15 June 1998
The Division of Laser Science (DLS) is a subunit of the American
Physical Society (APS) specifically concerned with the use of
lasers in science, the application of lasers in technology, and
the interests of the laser community within the APS.
If you are already an APS member, check the DLS line on your APS
renewal form and include the additional $6 with your dues. If
you have already renewed your APS membership for the year
beginning 1 July 1997, or if you are not an APS member,
call the APS Membership Department at (301) 209-3280 or look up
the membership information on the APS Home Page at http://aps.org./memb/membapp.html
(select ASCII Text or HTML format).