• Chair: Christopher Monroe
  • Chair Elect: Gerald Gabrielse
  • Vice Chair: David Schultz
  • Past Chair: Louis F. DiMauro
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Carol E. Tanner
  • Councillor: Thomas Gallagher


  • Nicolas Bigelow
  • Linda Young
  • Paul Lett
  • Chii-Dong Lin
  • Murray Holland
  • Carl Williams

From the Chair

Christopher MonroeChristopher Monroe, Joint Quantum Institute, University of Maryland, National Institute of Standards and Technology

This year's DAMOP meeting in Houston reached a record attendance of 1120, with nearly half of them students. The recent growth of DAMOP is no surprise, given that AMO physics is among the hottest in all of the physical sciences by any measure. Incoming students are flooding the gates to get involved with research from cold atomic gases and quantum information science to ultrafast physics and precision measurements, and they are finding a close-knit community on display at our annual meeting.

This growth in DAMOP, by roughly 40% over the last 5 years, threatens to change the tenor of the meeting, and tough decisions must be made to balance intimacy with demand. But I would argue that at any number it is better to be growing than shrinking!

DAMOP Attendance By year Graph

In order to respond to this growth, the annual DAMOP meeting will now be administered by the APS Meetings Department, starting with the Atlanta meeting in 2011. This means that DAMOP will not likely be held on college campuses anymore and will instead convene at larger city venues that can accommodate the growing attendance. A good example of the success of a downtown DAMOP is the recent meeting in Houston, which somehow managed to comfortably hold everyone while also featuring an intimate venue and easy access to Rice University for other events. Local chairs Randy Hulet and Barry Dunning are owed special thanks for making this so, as is Umbe Cantu, the Rice meeting coordinator who actively oversaw all of the details of the meeting and was critical to its success.

In the future, the DAMOP leadership will try to maintain a local flavor of our annual meeting by holding it in places where there is a local AMO presence, whenever possible. The locals are better equipped to organize our high school physics teacher workshop, the student symposium, and other outreach activities that make the DAMOP meeting what it is. As we decide the DAMOP venues in future years, we therefore appeal to the community to come forward with suggestions for holding DAMOP in a city near you. With APS dealing with the administrative details and contracting, this will not be the onerous job it once was.

It is my pleasure to oversee the coming year of DAMOP activities and the organization of the 2011 meeting at the Atlanta Marquis Hotel, from June 13-17 (Monday-Friday). I would like to thank chair-elect Gerry Gabrielse and vice chair David Schultz for their guidance, as well as secretary-treasurer Carol Tanner, outgoing chair “Godfather” Lou DiMauro, and past chair Pierre Meystre for all of their help in the transition.

DAMOP and DAMPhi 2010

Highlights from Houston and Rice University
By: Carol Tanner, Univ. of Notre Dame, DAMOP Secretary/Treasurer

DAMOP 2010, the 41st annual meeting of the division, was held 25-29 May 2010 in a warm and sunny Houston, Texas. This meeting was held jointly with the Division of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Photon Interactions (DAMPhi) of the Canadian Association of Physicists. This DAMOP meeting was historic in that it is likely to be the last DAMOP organized by a local committee. The total number of preregistrants, 1027, was again the highest ever recorded and an 11% increase over last year. Among the 1120 attendees were 112 international participants of whom 45 were from Canada and 515 students of whom 27 were undergraduates.

Prior to the meeting, a Graduate Student Symposium was held on Tuesday, 25 May, on the campus of Rice University. It was attended by 83 students. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser, the featured speakers spanned a wide variety of laser applications: Vanderlei Bagnato (Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos-Brazil) “Applications of the Laser in Life Sciences;” Zheng-Tian Lu (Argonne National Laboratory) “Laser Spectroscopy and Atom Trap in Trace Analysis for Earth Science;" Jun Ye (JILA-Univ. of Colorado), "Precision Measurement Meets Ultrafast Science;" and Todd Ditmire (Univ. of Texas-Austin), "Ultra-Intense Lasers and Their Applications."

The conference formally began with registration on Tuesday afternoon, 25 May, in the Hyatt Regency Downtown Houston, which was followed by a Welcome Reception. The Reception provided an opportunity for attendees to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones in the relaxed and cool setting of the Hyatt's Imperial Ballroom.

The Wednesday morning plenary session marked the opening of the scientific program and the only session where all of the attendees could meet in a single venue. It featured welcoming remarks by Rice University Provost, physicist Eugene Levy, followed by presentations given by this year's two prizewinners. Chris Greene (JILA-Univ. of Colorado), the winner of the Davisson-Germer Prize, presented "Few-body processes in the quantum limit." Mark Kushner (University of Michigan), the winner of the Allis Prize, presented "Controlling the Properties of Low Temperature Plasmas: The Role of Modeling in Investigating the Science and Developing the Technology."

For the duration of the meeting there were six parallel oral sessions including invited (four speakers), focus (typically two invited speakers and six contributed) and contributed (typically ten speakers). The sessions were scheduled to be approximately two hours in length to ensure ample time for informal discussion. In general, oral morning sessions ran from 8:00 to 10:00 and 10:30 to 12:30 and afternoon sessions from 14:00 to 16:00. Poster sessions, with refreshments, were held in the Exhibit Hall Market Place in the basement of the Hyatt, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons, from 16:00 to 18:00. These were the largest and most lively poster sessions to date at a DAMOP meeting.

Numerous special events also took place during the conference. On Tuesday evening 25 May, AMO theorists met to discuss common concerns at the TAMOC meeting. On Thursday afternoon the editors of Physical Review and Physical Review Letters held a tutorial for authors and referees, including how to write a useful report and how to rebut an unfavorable one. Throughout the conference, Steve Pratt (Argonne National Laboratory) current chair of the Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (CAMOS) interacted with attendees at a table in the common area, which displayed the current CAMOS activities. Following tradition, a public lecture took place on Wednesday evening, which featured Professor Gerard A. Mourou (Director of the Institut de Lumiere Extrême, ENSTA) celebrating 50 Years of the Laser with a talk entitled “Extreme Light Laser: Analyzing the texture of matter from the atom to the vacuum.”

The conference banquet took place on Thursday evening, 27 May beginning at 18:30, when dinner was served for 1156 people in the Imperial Ballroom of the Hyatt. After the meal, several DAMOP members were honored with awards. The honors included announcement of the new APS Fellows sponsored by our division. Each new APS fellow received a certificate and pin. The participants in the Thesis Prize Session (details below) were also recognized, and the Thesis Prize winner was announced. Banquet attendees were entertained with an after dinner talk by Brian Clark (Schlumberger) who gave an interesting, timely, and geographically relevant presentation entitled “Physics and the Search for Hydrocarbons.” Brian's knowledge and expertise regarding the oil industry answered many people's questions about current events taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. Festivities drew to a close when the chair of DAMOP, Louis DiMauro (The Ohio State University), passed the virtual gavel to the new chair, Chris Monroe (JQI, U. of Maryland, NIST-Gaithersburg).

The conference continued at full throttle with six parallel sessions (invited, focus, and contributed) extending throughout all day Friday and Saturday morning. The conference wrapped up around 12:30 on Saturday.

High School Teacher's Day also took place on Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. The program included a video of LIGO followed by a question and answer session with LIGO physicist Nergis Mavalvala. Members of the DAMOP Executive committee, conference organizers, and other distinguished guests lunched with the teachers. Workshops on diffraction and laser light were also part of their day. The program was organized and run by Ed Lee of the APS, and there were about 40 local high school teachers in attendance.

As the pictures below suggest, the conference was a tremendous success. The Hyatt in downtown Houston was an excellent venue with ample space for our ever growing but not yet overwhelming annual DAMOP meeting. We are looking forward to next year's DAMOP 2011 meeting in Atlanta and hope to see you there.

Scenes from the Houston/Rice University

DAMOP 2010

The Hyatt

The Hyatt down town Houston was an excellent venue for the meeting.

People viewing posters

It proved ample room for posters and a comfortable setting for talks.

Will Happer

Prof. Will Happer of Princeton University.

Kate Kirby

DAMOP is well represented with Kate Kirby now in a leadership position at APS.

Lou DiMauro

Lou DiMauro opens evening festivities at the banquet.

Jan Chaloupka

At the banquet, Jan Chaloupka introduces the undergraduates invited to speak.

Undergraduate Invited Speakers

Lou DiMauro, DAMOP Chair, congratulates the undergraduate invited speakers.

Lou DiMauro, Liz McCormack, and Chris Monroe

Lou DiMauro, Liz McCormack, and Chris Monroe, new chair of DAMOP.

2010 Thesis Prize Finalists

Liz McCormack, chair of thesis prize committee, introduced the thesis prize finalists listed here, and the prizewinner, Kang-Kuen NI.

Randy Hulet

Randy Hulet (Rice U.) thanks Umbe Cantu local conference administrator for her extraordinary service.

And Umbe

And Umbe thanks some of her crew.

Barry Dunning

Barry Dunning, Rice Univ., introduces our after dinner speaker.

Brian Clark

Our after dinner speaker, Brian Clark, from Schlumberger.

Charles Clarke and Dave Schultz

After dinner, Charles Clarke, NIST gives advice to Dave Schultz, ORNL, newly elected vice chair.

Bill Phillips and Hal Metcalf

Bill Phillips, JQI, wishes Hal Metcalf, SUNY-Stony Brook, a Happy Birthday!

Lou, Chris, and Jerry

Lou, Chris, and Jerry, past, present, and future DAMOP chairs enjoy an evening out.

Vanderlei Bagnato

Vanderlei Bagnato, Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos-Brazil, visits the labs at Rice Univ.

DAMOP Student Travel Support
The number of students who attend the DAMOP annual meeting grows every year. This year the student registrants surpassed 50% at 515 out of a total of 1120. DAMOP Student Travel Support assists many students who might not otherwise be able to attend. This year 153 students applied and 85 students received $500 each in travel support. We thank the DAMOP Education Committee chaired by Jan Chaloupka (University of Northern Colorado) for their hard work in writing proposals to the funding agencies. This year, we thank NIST, ARO, AFOSR, NSF, and DAMOP for their generous financial support. Keep your eyes on upcoming newsletters and broadcast emails for information on how to apply for DAMOP 2011 Student Travel Support.

Plenary Prize Session
It is never too early to start thinking about nominations for the various prizes and awards sponsored by DAMOP and by the APS. Most prizes have a July 1 deadline except for the Thesis Prize, which typically has a December 1 deadline. An award nomination packet includes a substantial amount of supporting material so please do not wait until the last minute to prepare your nomination. More information on prizes of interest to the DAMOP community.

2010 Davison-Germer Prize
From: APS web page

Chris GreeneRecipient: Chris Greene, JILA, University of Colorado

Citation: "For seminal contributions to theoretical AMO physics, including dissociative recombination, ultracold matter, and high-harmonic generation, and for the prediction of 'trilobite' long-range molecules."

Background: Chris Greene has been a Fellow of JILA and Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1989. His doctorate in theoretical atomic physics was earned in 1980 from the University of Chicago, under his advisor Ugo Fano. His undergraduate degree was in math and physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1976, with an honors thesis supervised by Donal Burns. A one-year postdoctoral stint in Richard Zare's group at Stanford was then followed by 7.5 years on the faculty at Louisiana State University. Dr. Greene's theoretical research interests cover much of atomic, molecular, and optical physics, notably few-body processes in ultracold gases, dissociative recombination in electron collisions with molecular ions, photon-atom and photon-molecule interactions, and molecular Rydberg state behavior. Dr. Greene belongs to the American Physical Society, with service as DAMOP chair in 2002-3, the American Chemical Society, and the Optical Society of America. Other awards he has received to date include the 1991 I. I. Rabi Prize of the American Physical Society, a Visiting Miller Professorship at the University of California-Berkeley in 2007, and an Alexander von Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists in 2007. He was also an NSF Presidential Young Investigator and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow.

2010 Will Allis Prize
From: APS web page

Mark J. KushnerRecipient: Mark J. Kushner, University of Michigan

Citation: "For ground-breaking contributions to developing and applying hybrid plasma models that have advanced the fundamental understanding of the chemistry, surface kinetics, and energy transport in low temperature plasmas."

Background: Mark J. Kushner received the BS in Nuclear Engineering and the BA in Astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976; and the MS and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1977 and 1979. He served on the technical staffs of Sandia National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before joining Spectra Technology where he was Director of Electron, Atomic, and Molecular Physics. In 1986, Dr. Kushner joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was the Founder Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering while also serving in many administrative roles. In January 2005, Dr. Kushner became Dean of Engineering and the Melsa Professor of Engineering at Iowa State University where he established the Engineering Policy and Leadership Institute and initiated the 2050 Challenge to focus education, research and outreach on addressing the most pressing of societal issues. Prof. Kushner joined the University of Michigan as founding director of the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering and George I. Haddad Collegiate Professor in September 2008. Prof. Kushner's research area is low temperature plasmas, their fundamental properties and technological applications, ranging from lasers to material processing. He is a Fellow of the APS, IEEE, Optical Society of America, American Vacuum Society and Institute of Physics. He is on the editorial boards of several journals and editor-in-chief of Plasma Sources Science and Technology. Prof. Kushner has received the Semiconductor Research Corp. Technical Excellence Award, the Tegal Thinker Award for Plasma Etch Technology, the AVS Plasma Science and Technology Award, IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Award and the Semiconductor Industry Association University Researcher Award.

Graduate Student Thesis Prize Session
We would like to recognize and congratulate all participants in the thesis prize session. The selection process includes evaluation of the packets of supporting material and their presentations at the conference. In order of appearance this year's finalists were: Kang-Kuen NI (Cal. Tech.), Christian Schunck (MIT), Steven Olmschenk, (U. of Mich.), Qi Shou, (JQI-U. of Maryland). Each year, the DAMOP Thesis Prize Committee takes on the difficult job of selecting the finalists from numerous excellent nominations. Their committee work isn't over until the winner is selected. This year we thank Liz McCormack (Bryn Mawr) and her committee for their efforts. The committee met after the Thesis Prize session at DAMOP 2010 and selected Kang-Kuen Ni as the winner. Committee work begins again this fall with Ana Maria Rey (JILA, University of Colorado) as the new chair of the Thesis Prize Committee. The nomination deadline is December 1, 2010 and Ana Maria can be contacted for any questions you may have. 

About this Year's DAMOP Thesis Prize Recipient
Kang-Kuen NIKang-Kuen NI, California Institute of Technology

Kang-Kuen Ni grew up in Taiwan where she graduated from Hsinchu Experimental High School in 2000. She then moved across the ocean to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in UC LEADS (Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees) and joined research projects ranging from astrophysics and gravitational physics to condensed matter physics. In 2003, she began doctoral studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she joined the research group of Prof. Carl Wieman at JILA and where she was awarded a NSF graduate fellowship. Kang-Kuen's doctoral dissertation, completed under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Jin and Dr. Jun Ye, describes the first experimental realization of an ultracold, near quantum degenerate gas of polar molecules. This work opens new research directions in ultralow-energy chemical reactions, quantum phase transitions, and quantum information science. After completion of her PhD in 2009, Kang-Kuen joined Prof. Jeff Kimble's group at Caltech as a Center of Physics Information postdoctoral fellow.

Undergraduate Research Session
Each year the number of undergraduates participating in our annual meeting grows, and everyone is always impressed by the quality of their work. From the pool of undergraduate participants, we congratulate the few who were selected and accepted invitations to speak in the Undergraduate Research Session held on Thursday morning. Their presentations were fabulous and spanned a wide variety of research topics. Many thanks are due to the DAMOP Education Committee, Jan Chaloupka [chair] (University of Northern Colorado), Tom Donnelley (Harvey Mudd), and Kat Gillen‑Christandl (Cal Poly), Barry Walker (Univ. of Delaware) for organizing this session. Barry Walker, is the new chair of the Education Committee.

APS Fellowship Through DAMOP

DAMOP nominates several candidates for APS Fellowship each year. The newest DAMOP sponsored APS Fellows, honored at the DAMOP 2010 banquet, are listed here. Successful candidates are elected by the APS Council. As the new Vice Chair of DAMOP, David Schultz also takes on the role of chair of the DAMOP Fellowship Committee. The next deadline for submitting nominations is April 1, 2011. It is never too early to start preparing these nominations. Packets are submitted on-line through the APS web page. Details can be found here.

DAMOP 2011 Annual Meeting

Please mark your calendars for the 42nd Annual Meeting of DAMOP that will be held June 13-17, 2011 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. As the year progresses, information about the meeting will be posted online. Please direct any questions to Dave Schultz or the DAMOP Chair, Chris Monroe.

DAMOP at the APS 2011 March Meeting

From: Lincoln Carr, Colorado School of Mines

Call for Nominations of Invited Speakers:

The 2011 March Meeting of the American Physical Society will be held March 21-25, 2011 in Dallas, TX. At the 2010 APS March Meeting, DAMOP sponsored 19 sessions, with 224 abstracts. We expect that DAMOP will represent a similarly large presence next year. DAMOP will be sponsoring two or three focus sessions to be announced shortly, as well as at least four invited sessions. Please consider nominating speakers for invited talks both in the invited and focus sessions; in the past we have had great invited symposia, and this can only continue with active participation from the members of DAMOP. The program committee can only invite speakers who have been nominated. The call for abstracts will go out in early August, and will include details of how to submit an abstract and how to nominate speakers. The deadline for invited speaker nominations is September 3, 2010; the deadline for contributed abstract submissions is November 19, 2010. Contact Lincoln Carr, for further information.

Funding Opportunity

International Travel Grant Award Program

From: Michelle Irwin, APS

The next deadline will be at the end of December 2010. The deadlines are typically end of June and end of December. Please check the ITGAP website for announcements and updates:

Following the initiative of the APS Forum on International Physics (FIP), the sponsors* of the APS International Travel Grant Award Program (ITGAP) recognize that funding for collaborations between developed and developing country scientists is often insufficient to meet existing needs and opportunities. While the needs are great, and though we have only limited resources to stimulate growth of longer-term collaborations, we believe that an International Travel Grant Award Program, even a modest one, may make a significant difference. The purpose is to promote international scientific collaborations between APS members and physicists in developing countries.

The grants provide up to US$2,000 for travel and lodging expenses for international travel while visiting a collaborator. A collaborative visit must be for a period of at least one month. One or both partners (co-applicants) in the collaboration must be APS members of at least one of the sponsoring APS units. Other criteria and details.

*ITGAP sponsors: APS Divisions of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP), Astrophysics (DAP), Computational Physics (DCOMP), Materials Physics (DMP), Nuclear Physics (DNP), Physics of Beams (DPB), Particles and Fields (DPF), and Plasma Physics (DPP), the APS Forum on International Physics (FIP), the APS Topical Group on Magnetism and its Applications (GMAG), the APS Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Liaison Committee for the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Future Newsletters

Newsletters typically appear in July, November, and March and are assembled by the DAMOP Secretary/Treasurer. If you have information that might be of interest to all DAMOP members please send the information to Carol Tanner DAMOP Secretary/Treasurer.