Impact of AMO Science
Throughout this report the contributions of AMO science to areas of national need and to other fields of science are highlighted, and a number of opportunities are underscored. In Figure B.1, the panel illustrates these contributions in the form of a matrix. Rows of the matrix represent the agglomerated research areas of AMO science as used in the questionnaire sent to the community and reproduced at the end of Appendix D. Columns represent various areas of national need. The degree of shading in the blocks indicates the perceived current level of impact. This level was assigned by the panel following consideration of the material in the body of the report and of inputs from the community, but relying primarily on the knowledge and judgment of the panel regarding the various elements of the matrix. Clearly, matrix elements are not independent of one another, but more complicated correlations cannot be shown in this simple presentation.
The broad extent to which AMO science serves the needs of the nation is graphically evident from Figure B.1. Particularly striking is the relationship of research in all areas of AMO science with energy and defense. The importance of AMO research to environmental problems is also clearly apparent, and the influence in the areas of industrial technology, materials processing, and manufacturing is remarkable.
Especially conspicuous in the matrix is the pervasive importance of laser spectroscopy and the physics of coherent light sources to literally all of the needs areas listed. Similarly impressive are the strong enabling aspects of atomic and molecular structure, optical interactions, and collisions, not only to a number of applied areas but also to other fields of science.
The matrix bespeaks the significance of AMO science as an essential player in the economic, technological, and scientific future of the nation.