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Controlling the Quantum World: The Science of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons
thriving, and the committee offers the following conclusions on the status of the science:
Revolutionary new methods to measure space and time have emergedwithin the last decade from a convergence of technologies in coherentcontrol of ultrafast lasers and ultracold atoms. This new capability creates unprecedented new research opportunities.
Ultracold AMO physics was the most spectacularly successful new AMOresearch area of the past decade and led to the development of coherentquantum gases. This new field is poised to contribute significantly tothe resolution of important fundamental problems in condensed matter science and in plasma physics, bringing with it new interdisciplinaryopportunities.
High-intensity and short-wavelength sources such as new x-ray freeelectron lasers promise significant advances in AMO science, condensedmatter physics and materials research, chemistry, medicine, and defenserelated science.
Ultrafast quantum control will unveil the internal motion of atoms within molecules, and of electrons within atoms, to a degree thought impossible only a decade ago. This capability is sparking a revolution in theimaging and coherent control of quantum processes and will be amongthe most fruitful new areas of AMO science in the next 10 years.
Quantum engineering on the nanoscale of tens to hundreds of atomicdiameters has led to new opportunities for atom-by-atom control ofquantum structures using the techniques of AMO science. Compellingopportunities in both molecular science and photon science are expectedto have far-reaching societal applications.
Quantum information is a rapidly growing research area in AMO scienceand one that faces special challenges owing to its potential application fordata security and encryption. Multiple approaches to quantum computing and communication are likely to be fruitful in the coming decade, and open international exchange of people and information is criticalin order to realize the maximum benefit.
The compelling research challenges embodied in these conclusions are discussed in more detail in the following chapters, which also highlight the broad impact of AMO science on other branches of science and technology and its strong coupling to national priorities in health care, economic development, the environment, national defense, and homeland security.
The linkages to national R&D goals are clear. The White House set forth the