National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science

An Investment in the Future

Panel on the Future of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences

Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences

Board on Physics and Astronomy

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1994

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This project was supported by the Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG05-85ER 13326, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NAGW-3282, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-9100088, and the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. PHY-8921799 and PHY-9222966. Partial support for this project was provided by the Basic Science Fund of the National Academy of Sciences, whose contributors include AT&T Bell Laboratories, Atlantic Richfield Foundation, BP America, Inc., Dow Chemical Company, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, IBM Corporation, Merck and Company, Inc., Monsanto Company, and Shell Oil Companies Foundation.

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-65036

International Standard Book No. 0-309-05032-4

Additional copies of this report are available from:
National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area)

B-285

Cover: Scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA) image of magnetic domains in a patterned permalloy memory array. (Courtesy of J. Unguris, D.T. Pierce, and R.J. Celotta, National Institute of Standards and Technology.)

Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

PANEL ON THE FUTURE OF ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL SCIENCES

GORDON H. DUNN,

National Institute of Standards and Technology,

Chair

LLOYD ARMSTRONG, Jr.,

University of Southern California

LOUIS E. BRUS,

AT&T Bell Laboratories

SYLVIA T. CEYER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

F. FLEMING CRIM,

University of Wisconsin

ALEXANDER DALGARNO,

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

F. BARRY DUNNING,

Rice University

ELSA M. GARMIRE,

University of Southern California

PAUL L. KELLEY,

Tufts University

DANIEL J. LARSON,

University of Virginia

PAUL LIAO,

Bellcore

STEPHEN R. LUNDEEN,

Colorado State University

PETER W. MILONNI,

Los Alamos National Laboratory

RICHARD C. POWELL,

University of Arizona

Former Members of the Panel Who Were Active During the Study

NEAL LANE, Rice University, Chair (resigned July 1993 to become director of the National Science Foundation)

THOMAS J. McILRATH,

University of Maryland

(resigned September 1993 to become AMO program director at the National Science Foundation)

RONALD D. TAYLOR, Senior Program Officer

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

COMMITTEE ON ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL SCIENCES

DANIEL J. LARSON,

University of Virginia,

Chair

WILLIAM STWALLEY,

University of Connecticut,

Vice Chair

HOWARD C. BRYANT,

University of New Mexico

SYLVIA T. CEYER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

STEVEN CHU,

Stanford University

DANIEL GRISHCHOWSKY,

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

WENDELL T. HILL III,

University of Maryland

SIU AU LEE,

Colorado State University

C. WILLIAM McCURDY,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

RONALD E. OLSON,

University of Missouri

YUEN-RON SHEN,

University of California, Berkeley

RICHART E. SLUSHER,

AT&T Bell Laboratories

DAVID J. WINELAND,

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Former Members of the Committee Who Were Active During Formation of the Panel

GORDON H. DUNN,

National Institute of Standards and Technology

ANDREW W. HAZI,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

WILLIAM KLEMPERER,

Harvard University

DONALD H. LEVY,

University of Chicago

RONALD PHANEUF,

University of Nevada, Reno

RONALD D. TAYLOR, Senior Program Officer

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

DAVID N. SCHRAMM,

University of Chicago,

Chair

LLOYD ARMSTRONG, Jr.,

University of Southern California

DAVID H. AUSTON,

Columbia University

DAVID E. BALDWIN,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

WILLIAM F. BRINKMAN,

AT&T Bell Laboratories

PRAVEEN CHAUDHARI,

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

FRANK DRAKE,

University of California, Santa Cruz

ROBERT C. DYNES,

University of California, San Diego

HANS FRAUENFELDER,

Los Alamos National Laboratory

JEROME I. FRIEDMAN,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MARTHA P. HAYNES,

Cornell University

GILLIAN KNAPP,

Princeton University

ALBERT NARATH,

Sandia National Laboratories

GEORGE W. PARSHALL,

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Incorporated

(retired)

JOSEPH M. PROUD,

GTE Corporation

(retired)

JOHANNA STACHEL,

State University of New York at Stony Brook

DAVID WILKINSON,

Princeton University

SIDNEY WOLFF,

National Optical Astronomy Observatories

DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director

ROBERT L. RIEMER, Associate Director

RONALD D. TAYLOR, Senior Program Officer

TIMOTHY M. SNEAD, Administrative Associate

MARY RIENDEAU, Administrative Assistant

SUZANNE BOWEN, Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS

RICHARD N. ZARE,

Stanford University,

Chair

RICHARD S. NICHOLSON,

American Association for the Advancement of Science,

Vice Chair

STEPHEN L. ADLER,

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

JOHN A. ARMSTRONG,

IBM Corporation (retired)

SYLVIA T. CEYER,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

AVNER FRIEDMAN,

University of Minnesota

SUSAN L. GRAHAM,

University of California, Berkeley

ROBERT J. HERMANN,

United Technologies Corporation

HANS MARK,

University of Texas at Austin

CLAIRE E. MAX,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

CHRISTOPHER F. McKEE,

University of California, Berkeley

JAMES W. MITCHELL,

AT&T Bell Laboratories

JEROME SACKS,

National Institute of Statistical Sciences

A. RICHARD SEEBASS III,

University of Colorado

CHARLES P. SLICHTER,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ALVIN W. TRIVELPIECE,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

Preface

In response to requests by several federal agencies, the Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) of the National Research Council's Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA) proposed a study of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science to be conducted by a panel chosen for that purpose. The specific charge to the Panel on the Future of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (FAMOS) was to conduct an assessment of atomic, molecular, and optical science in the United States that reflects the opinions of the AMO community at large and addresses the following:

  1. Determines manpower, instrumentation, facility, and funding requirements not only in the context of the intellectual challenges of AMO science, but also in the context of national needs such as (a) science education; (b) defense, energy, space, and environmental applications; (c) industrial and technological competitiveness; and (d) appropriate aspects of human health and welfare;

  2. Seeks to identify scientific forefronts, technological opportunities, and windows of future opportunity;

  3. Seeks to establish sets of research and educational priorities from various perspectives;

  4. Sets forth goals and planning scenarios that reflect these research and educational priorities;

  5. Develops long-range strategies that will best meet the goals set forth;

  6. Assesses the institutional infrastructure in which AMO science is conducted and identifies changes that would improve its constituent research and educational efforts;

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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  1. Provides a comparison of AMO science in the United States with its counterpart in other industrialized nations; and

  2. Reviews the scientific advances made during the last decade.

With financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Research Council, the panel was assembled and has worked within the resources provided to meet the charge. This report is the product of the study.

AMO science centers on phenomena and processes involving the common building blocks of our world, that is, atoms, ions, molecules, and light, at energies characteristic of our everyday experience. Therefore, the new discoveries and inventions and the basic scientific knowledge provided by AMO science find immediate and widespread application in many areas of national importance. AMO science supports many areas of science, engineering, and technology and contributes significantly to the nation's highest priorities, including those related to basic scientific knowledge; education and human resources; industrial technology, manufacturing, and processing; information technology, high-performance computing, and communications; energy; global change; defense; health and medical technology; space technology; and transportation. Given the extraordinary diversity of the field and the broad impact of the science, the panel found it necessary in this assessment to adopt a focused definition of the field. However, the boundaries are occasionally crossed to better inform the reader of the applications and impacts of AMO science.

Briefly, atomic science encompasses the study of atoms and their ions, including their structure and properties; optical interactions; and collisions and interactions with electrons, external fields, and solids and surfaces. It is the test bed for the most precise tests of the fundamental physical laws of nature. Molecular science is defined here as the study of molecules, clusters, and molecular ions, including their structure and properties, optical interactions, collisions, and interactions with electrons, external fields, solids, and surfaces. Optical science here includes only those areas that are closely related to the laser, one of the key technological advances of this century, and to its applications. Thus, the panel has had to exclude many important areas of optical science and engineering, including vision, imaging science, atmospheric optics, and binary optics, and it hopes that these will be the subject of a future National Research Council assessment that will complement the present one.

Because AMO science provides data, understanding, instrumentation, and technologies that are essential in many other fields of science and engineering and in many applications, AMO science facilitates meeting a number of the nation's goals and needs. This report examines at some length this "enabling" aspect of the field.

At the organizational meeting in October 1991, the panel structured itself

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

into subpanels that were disciplinary (atomic, molecular, and optical) and cross-disciplinary (technology impacts, education and human resources, interfaces with other sciences, resources and research infrastructure, and data) in nature. Most of the early work of the panel was carried out through these subpanels.

In an effort to gather the most current information from as broad a base as possible, letters asking for written input were sent to approximately 900 scientists in the field, to officers of the societies and divisions of societies that are closely allied to the field, and to heads of 11 major national laboratories. A number of industrial leaders were contacted. Town meetings were held at the International Quantum Electronics Conference (1992), the joint meeting of the Optical Society of America and the Interdisciplinary Laser Science Conference (1992), and the 1992 and 1993 annual meetings of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society. A questionnaire was designed to solicit specific information from the scientists themselves that could be used to address the charge to the panel. The questionnaire was mailed to nearly 20,000 scientists who were members of the appropriate divisions, sections, interest groups, and so on, of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the American Chemical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society of Photographic and Instrumentation Engineers, and the Materials Research Society.

A major challenge of the study has been that of assessing priorities, as set forth in the third item of the charge to the panel. AMO science affects national priorities in many different ways. It does not depend in its major thrusts on the construction and operation of large facilities. Because of these factors, a single linearized list of detailed technical priorities would not be meaningful. The panel, however, has arrived at three general priorities for AMO science in the immediate future.

The panel has been impressed by the important contributions to national needs that have been made and continue to be made by AMO science. These contributions range from the most fundamental levels of discovery and invention to applications critical to the nation's technological infrastructure and to its national economic productivity, competitive position, and security. The U.S. research investment in AMO science has yielded enormous returns both economically and in terms of scientific knowledge. Expecting this trend to continue, the panel views AMO science as the subtitle of the report indicates—An Investment in the Future.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

Acknowledgments

The FAMOS panel acknowledges with thanks the thousands of workers in the field who took the time to respond to the questionnaire, attended the ''town meetings," or otherwise provided input. Gratitude is also expressed to the more than 100 leaders and workers in the field who wrote detailed and thoughtful letters that helped guide the panel.

Agencies of the U.S. government were particularly cooperative in providing data and information for various parts of the study, and for this the panel especially acknowledges with thanks M. Berman (Air Force Office of Scientific Research), K. Gebbie (National Institute of Standards and Technology), W. Kalkofen (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), R. Kelley (Air Force Office of Scientific Research), A. Laufer (Department of Energy), J. Martinez (Department of Energy), R. McKnight (Department of Energy), P. Reynolds (Office of Naval Research), B. Schneider (National Science Foundation), D. Skatrud (Army Research Office), and J. Weiner (National Science Foundation).

A number of people were called upon to write or to critique portions of various drafts of the report, to supply figures for the report, or to give help and advice in other key ways. For this the panel thanks W. Anderson, N. Bardsley, H.G. Berry, J. Bowman, J. Burke, H. Carmichael, R. Celotta, S. Chu, J. Cohen, J. Dehmer, R. Deslattes, T. Deutsch, D. Dietrich, K. Dumas, G. Fisk, A. Gallagher, C. Gardner, T. George, H. Gould, N. Halas, B. Heckel, E. Heller, E. Herbst, E. Hinds, C. Howard, R. Hulet, S. Hurst, M. Inokuti, R. Jacobs, R. Keller, H.J. Kimble, N. Kurnit, S. Lamoreaux, S. Leone, R. LeSar, C.C. Lin, Chinlon Lin, J. Macek, G. Maggiora, L. Maleki, J. Margrave, J. McElroy, P. Meystre, A. Mills, A. Miziolek, P. Mohr, G. Pettit, A. Phelps, C. Rhodes, A. Shimony, J. Simons,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

R. Smalley, B. Sundaram, A. Temkin, J. Tully, J. Weisheit, C. Wieman, L. Wilets, D. Wineland, and S. Younger.

Special appreciation is accorded Ronald Phaneuf, who did the statistical analysis of the questionnaire responses; to Steve Smith, who conducted a detailed analysis of support for the field; and to Kenneth Smith, who provided input for the economic impact analysis. Special thanks are also due to Christine Dunning, who provided the graphical interpretations of the questionnaire results, to Jennifer Overton and the staff of the Rice Quantum Institute for mailing the questionnaires and for data entry, and to Norma Cowley and Rita Mack for typing drafts of the questionnaire and report.

Finally, the panel gratefully acknowledges the work and support of the National Research Council and associated staff. Susan Mitchell from the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel provided advice in constructing and designing the survey as well as evaluating the results. Roseanne Price edited the final report. Suzanne Bowen from the Board on Physics and Astronomy provided general program assistance to the panel and prepared the final manuscript. Paul Uhlir of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications worked with the panel as part of a Commission effort to explore objective, quantitative measures of the health of fields of science. This collaboration yielded many dividends for the panel's work. Ronald D. Taylor of the professional staff of the Board on Physics and Astronomy served as the study director throughout the project and provided valuable guidance on how to present the field in the most effective manner.

The idea for the study arose in the course of the Board on Physics and Astronomy's review of the topics covered by Physics Through the 1990s (the Brinkman Report; National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1986). After the Board raised the question of an update of the AMO volume of the Brinkman report, Steve Smith, then at the National Science Foundation, encouraged the Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences to respond. The Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences then developed detailed plans for the study. The panel thanks the BPA, CAMOS, and Steve Smith for the inspiration to undertake the preparation of this report. Thanks are also extended to the BPA for its interest and support throughout the study.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

PART II
ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL SCIENCE: TODAY AND TOMORROW

 

21

1

 

Case Studies in AMO Science

 

23

   

Lasers: From Basic Research to New Technologies and New Industries

 

23

   

Manipulating Atoms: New Technology for Today and Tomorrow

 

28

   

Laser Trapping and Cooling of Atoms and Ions: Particle Optics

 

28

   

Optical Tweezers and the Biosciences

 

30

   

Buckyballs and Carbon Nanotechnology: Surprising New Materials from Small Science

 

32

2

 

Recent Major Advances and Opportunities in AMO Science and Applications to the Needs of Society

 

36

   

The Nation's Scientific Knowledge Base

 

36

   

Recent Discoveries and Future Opportunities in AMO Science

 

37

   

Fundamental Laws and Symmetries

 

37

   

Cavity Electrodynamics and Micromasers

 

39

   

Highly Perturbed Atoms in Intense Laser and Microwave Fields

 

41

   

Transient States of Atomic Systems and Collision Dynamics

 

42

   

New Insights into Molecular Dynamics

 

44

   

Clusters

 

47

   

Physics of Nonlinear Optics

 

48

   

Laser Cooling and Trapping

 

50

   

Interactions with Surfaces

 

52

   

Enabling Other Fields of Science

 

54

   

Astrophysics

 

55

   

Space Science

 

58

   

Atmospheric and Environmental Science

 

59

   

Plasma Physics

 

61

   

Exotic Atoms and Nuclear Physics

 

63

   

Surface and Condensed Matter Physics

 

65

   

Biosciences—Mapping the Human Genome

 

67

   

The Nation's Measurement Technology

 

68

   

Measurement Standards

 

68

   

Measurement and Instrumentation

 

70

   

AMO in Measurement and Sensing for Industry

 

71

   

The Nation's Technological Infrastructure and U.S. Economic Productivity, Competitive Position, and Security

 

72

   

Industrial Technology, Manufacturing, and Processing

 

72

   

Lasers in Manufacturing

 

72

   

Plasma Processing of Materials

 

75

   

Chemical Manufacturing

 

77

   

Information Technology, High-Performance Computing, and Communications

 

78

   

The Erbium-Doped Fiber-Optic Amplifier

 

79

   

Optical Data Storage

 

81

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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Energy

 

81

   

Energy Production

 

82

   

Efficient Use of Energy

 

87

   

Global Change

 

88

   

Defense

 

91

   

Weapons Systems and Delivery

 

92

   

Remote Sensing

 

93

   

Countermeasures

 

94

   

C3—Communication, Command, and Control

 

94

   

Health and Medical Technology

 

96

   

Medicine

 

96

   

Radiation and Health Physics

 

100

   

Design of Bioactive Molecules (Pharmaceuticals)

 

101

   

Space Technology

 

102

   

Measurement and Sensing

 

102

   

Spacecraft Navigation and Communication

 

103

   

Transportation

 

105

   

Aviation

 

105

   

Ground Transportation

 

106

3

 

Education and Human Resources

 

108

   

Science Education

 

108

   

K-12 Education

 

109

   

Undergraduate and Graduate Education

 

109

   

Human Resources in AMO Science

 

111

   

Present Situation

 

112

   

PhD Production and Initial Employment

 

113

   

Future Needs

 

114

4

 

Funding and Infrastructure for Research and Development in AMO Science

 

116

   

Resources

 

116

   

Federal Funding for Research in AMO Science

 

119

   

National Science Foundation

 

119

   

Department of Energy

 

121

   

Department of Defense Research Offices

 

122

   

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 

123

   

Total Funding from Federal Grants and Contracts

 

123

   

Federal Laboratories

 

125

   

National Institute of Standards and Technology

 

125

   

Department of Energy Laboratories

 

125

   

Department of Defense Laboratories

 

126

   

Infrastructure and Facilities

 

126

   

The Single Investigator

 

126

   

Centers and Institutes

 

127

   

User Facilities

 

128

   

National Laboratories

 

130

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science

An Investment in the Future

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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Page xviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Get This Book
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This book responds to the call for a clear description of the role of basic science in meeting societal needs. It gives examples of societal benefits of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science in a number of key areas, including industrial technology, information technology, energy, global change, defense, health and medical technology, space technology, and transportation.

This volume highlights the role of lasers in trapping, cooling, and manipulating individual atoms and molecules to make possible ultraprecise atomic clocks, structural engineering at the atomic level (nanotechnology), and new approaches to the study of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). AMO science is shown to be a field that is both an intellectually important basic science and a powerful enabling science that supports many other areas of science and technology.

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