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Recommenciations This chapter recommends action that will permit atomic, molecular, and optical physics (AMO physics) to continue to advance scientifi- cally; to train scientists for industry, government laboratories, and universities; and to contribute to the national programs. The changing pattern of support of AMO physics during the past decade is reviewed in the first section. The following sections describe a plan of action and present recommendations. In the final section the roles of the funding agencies are discussed. BACKGROUN~THE HISTORY OF SUPPORT AMO physics in the United States advances by the collective efforts of over 300 groups in academic institutions, in government laborato- ries, and in not-for-profit institutions. In addition, basic AMO research is carried out in a number of industrial laboratories, including AT&T Bell Laboratories, IBM Research Laboratories, Eastman Kodak Com- pany, and Hughes Research Laboratories. Four sources provide most of the federal funding for basic AMO research: the Department of Defense (DOD) agencies, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Na- tional Bureau of Standards (NBS) also supports AMO physics through its in-house programs and through the Joint Institute for Laboratory 37

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38 ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS Astrophysics. This diversified pattern of support has intrinsic strengths: it reflects the varied interests within the field and provides flexibility and some protection against sudden changes of policy. Because no agency is responsible for the overall health of the field, however, there is no mechanism for assuring continuity or for respond- ing to major losses of funding. Until early in the last decade, the DOD agencies provided substantial support, but during the intervening years the DOD largely abandoned its commitment to basic AMO physics. Although the NSF and DOE increased their support, the increase fell far short of the loss. As a result the field has suffered a serious cut in funding. This history is documented in Figure 3.1 based on the data of Table 3.1. The figures include federal funding of atomic and molecular physics and a small portion of optical physics. The research includes basic AMO physics at universities and university-related private research institutes, plus a fraction of the basic atomic and molecular science at federally funded research and development centers. It is estimated that the figures represent about two thirds of the total support for basic research in AMO physics in universities and univer- sity-related research institutes. Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1 provide a realistic portrait of the changing pattern of funding for atomic and molecular physics because the data were assembled over the years using a consistent set of criteria for basic research. Table 3.2 gives the overall funding figures, including optical physics, for 1983. Comments · The physics survey* published by the National Academy of Science in 1972 (the Bromley report) pointed out serious problems due to inadequate support that confronted atomic, molecular, and electron physics. Thus the level of funding in 1972, which serves as the starting point in Table 3.1, constitutes a weak base. · The history of funding between 1972 and 1983 borders on the disastrous. The funding in constant dollars fell by 30 percent. Such a loss by itself would be a serious blow to the field, but the true loss was even greater. The constant dollar figures account for normal inflation, but they do not allow for the increased complexity of science and the need for more-sophisticated equipment. Informed estimates place the *Physics Survey Committee, D. A. Bromiey, chairman, Physics in Perspective, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1972.

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30,000 c', 20,(300 6 o 1 0,000 o 30,000 can cry: J 20,000 o 1 0,000 o RECOMMENDATIONS 39 CU R R ENT DO LLARS (thousands) I ~ ~ ::.:::.:::.:.:::::: :: _ _ _ ~ . .~ i.:. .:...:.:.:.:.:..,:. Am_ it_ _ _. . .-. .-.-.-. . . -.-. .1 : :::::::::::::: .::: .:3 _ _ _ _ 1972 1 975 1977 1 979 1981 1983 //// NS F _ DOD _ AEC/ERDA/DOE YEAR CO NSTA NT DO L LA RS (thousands ~ ·:: :_:;: :;-: :_:~3 At_ it_ | 1 NASA ~ NBS ~ ;-; .-.-. .-.-;-; .-; . - ;~.-.- .-. -. 1 ~ =1 ~ _ ~ _ _ _ ~ ~ 1972 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 YEAR FIGURE 3.1 Funding of basic atomic and molecular physics by the federal government in universities and allied institutes, 1972-1983. Source: Table 3.1. increase in dollar cost of front-line AMO research over the decade at a factor of 4 or 5. Thus the effective loss to the field is significantly larger than 30 percent; it may be greater than 60 percent. As a result of this loss, the average grant size in AMO physics is now far below the cost of carrying out front-line research.

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40 ~ A: - · - ~ o o ~ - 'e so au - - ~ of - ~ no c,: ~ - .o o v) ~ - ~ ~ - ~ ~ cat an - ~ ~ o o ~ At; cd 'e c) · - o ~ ~ . - · v) - no o or ~ an · - - ~ o v) ad 4 ~ ~ - ~ · - ct of ~~ - o ~ 5 ~ - A: z ~ no ~ ~ - ~ 'e ·= ~ - - oo - A, it o o ~ o ~ z o~ ~ - o ~ . o ~ #7 s~ 04 5~ o' o ~ z 04 o ~ . ~ o ct ~ 5~ ~ 04 o ~ . ~ o ct t7 s~ o ~ . o ~ 04 s~ ~s ~ oo ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ - o o o o o o o-o ~ . . . . . . . o o o o o o o o ~ ~ o - ~ o u~ ~ ~ oo ~ ~ ~ ~D ON ~ ~ r~ ~ ~ C~ _ r~ ~ ~ ~ ~ oo ~ ~ - ~ ~ r~ ~ oo 0 x . . . . . . . ~D ~ — r~ O ~ _ } — {~\ ox ~ cr~ cr. oo ~t ~ - } ~ - - ~c ~ - o o ~ - -3 ~ o~ o c~ ch . . o oo r~ c~ oO ~ ~ O O ~ ~D ~ . . . . . . . . O ~ ~ - } ~ ~D — t ~ r~ ~ ~ ~ X — (~) =~ (~] ~ — — o r~ 00 _ ~ r~ ~ - ~ ~ O r~ ~ ON O O ~ O . . . . . . . '} ~ ~ oo ~ ~ ~ o oo ~o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ oo ~ r~ ~ ~0 s~ ~ ~ t— ~ ~ — — \o ~ ~ - - ~ ~ - - - oo ~ _ oo r~ - ~ ) (~\ . . . . ~ ~ ~ ~ — — {~\ \o ~ — rn ~ O ~ ~ cr~ 0 oo ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~o ~ ~ ~ ~ - - ~ x . . O r~ - r~ O ~ — oo t— — ~D ~ ~ _ ~ ~ ~ - - ~ oO 00 ~ r~ O O O =\ ~— ~ — oo ON ~ ~ ~ ~ o ~o ~ ~ 00 r~ _ d- ', _ _ _ ~ - o ~ . - ~ u' o ~ c~ . - . . c~ ~ e~ . - s~ ) "s v: ~ o z e ~o ~ v: z o 4 ’ O ~ ~: o ~3 ~, o s~ _ oc ~ Ct V) V: Ct s~ Z Z E~ <:

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41 - o to - to 11 - 'e o ct v, o c: so en - oo - - ret en — ID ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Cal . ~ . ~ . . . . . ~ oo ~ — oo o ~ ~ ~, \O ') ') - - - o ~3 - - ~ oN ON - - ~ ~ o o x . . . . . . . . . — O~ ~ r~ r~ ~ ~N ~ 00 00 r~ r~ cM ~ ~ - ~ ~ ~ ~ — r~ ~ - 0~ ON 00 ~ O r~ ~ ~t . . . . . . . . ~ ~N ~ ~ ~ crx — O ~ ~ r~ crN — ~] ~ ~ ~ - ~ ~ ~ r~ ~ c~ ~ — ~ - ~ ~ ~ ~ o o ~ o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . . . . r~ r~ ~ C~ r~ O ~ ~ ON t— - oo ~t r~ ~ ~ O ~ O — r - , — ', ~ ~ _ _ _ ~ - oo — <5\ ~ ~ ') ~D ~ O . . . . . . . . . N ~ ~ ~ ~ - - o o ~ — O ~ ~ ~ oo ~ r~ ~ ~ ~ ~ - - - ~ - oo oo ~o r~ O O O ~ O . . . . . . . ~ ~ cr ~ ~ — oo cr~ ~ — r~ r~ ~ ~ O ~ r~ oo r~ — ~ v ~ ~ ~ ~ - - - ~ ~ - o ~ ~ :~. ._ ._ Q ·~ .> Z ~ ., c~ ~ _ ~ ~L .o s~ ~ ~ ~ C~ ~ O ~ _ 04 ~Q ~ O O ~ ~ ~ O ~ Z C) ·< Z Z E_ ~ O . _ ~ ~ ~ 4) . ~ · O ~ :D ~ .> ~ .0 ~ ~ ~:5 O ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ '~ -= 3 U: Ct .0 ·- ~ V, Z ~ O ·: ~ _ >~= 0) ·~=1 ~Q ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ O Z ~ ~ o E~ C-) C) 3 ct ~ F: Y — ~ ~ n ,~, m ,= 3 ~ O ~n =, ' O _ ~ ~ ct . _ 3 ~ O n ~ ~ Ct O Ct ~ ~ ~ O Z c) C) ._ ~ C) ·_ O ~n ~ O =0 ~ ~ ~ O C; ~ <( X O C n ~ s_ O ~ 5_ 0 ._ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ct C ~ C O .o,> c,) s~ s~ ~ _ ct ~ ~ '~ ~ ~ ~ — — C O ~ ~ ° n C ~ O ~ n 5 ~ n O ~ ~ ~e ,C C ~ .< C ~ 5 ~ ~ ~ ~L~ _C Ct n C . ~; C) ~ &Q >' S~ n ~ -5: C ~ ~ ~— , -,, ~ C 5 ~ c': Z 0 5 0 ~ ~ C s~ ~ Ct ~ ~ · C) V ~ . ~ 0 s~ &Q ~ >4 3 ~ C C ~ C — — =: ~ ~ m3 ~ ~ ~ ° c e.o O ~ ~ ~ ° C - o o

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42 A TOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS · The research awards in AMO physics are so small that many experimental and theoretical groups now require two or more awards to sustain an active program. The total number of awards did not, however, increase during the past decade; instead, it slightly de- creased. One must conclude that the number of AMO scientists engaged in basic research has declined. The loss of investigators from AMO physics was discussed in the Survey by the Committee on Atomic and Molecular Science (CAMS)* though the Survey found no means to identify the number of investigators who, having lost their support, simply left AMO research. Nonetheless, it is evident that there has been a severe winnowing of the field. · A conspicuous feature in Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1 is the changing posture of the DOD support. Although DOD support had already dropped significantly in the 5 years preceding 1972, it was still the largest single source of support in 1972, providing 37 percent of the total. By 1983 DOD support had dropped to a relatively small second- ary role, providing 15 percent of the total. · The pressure generated by this severe erosion of support for basic AMO physics has increased to the point that the future vitality of the field is in jeopardy. The problems, which are documented in the CAMS Survey, may be summarized as follows: The shortage of sustained support for basic AMO physics is making it increasingly difficult for the research groups to maintain the critical level needed for rapid scientific advance; there is little flexibility to move in new directions, to provide adequate support for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visitors. Essential equipment can- not be purchased, and instrumentation in many AMO laboratories is obsolete. The infrastructure of support services the shops, techni- cians, and special facilities that are essential for effective research— has seriously deteriorated throughout the United States. There is wide concern that long-term research is being sacrificed for short-term goals. Opportunities in basic research for young scientists have diminished; few universities have the resources to launch the research of a junior faculty member. The pattern of chronic underfunding threatens to stifle the freedom of imagination that is essential for science to flourish. *Subcommittee on Atomic and Molecular Survey, NRC Committee on Atomic and Molecular Science, Survey of Atomic and Molecular Science in the United States, 1980-1981, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1982.

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RECOMMENDATIONS 43 TABLE 3.2 Overall Funding of Basic Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics by the Federal Government in Universities and Allied Institutes, 1983~ Atomic and Molecular Physics NSF Physics Division Other Divisions DOD DOE NBS NASA Total Atomic and Molecular Physics Optical Physics NSF DoDb ONR AFOSR AROD Total Optical Physics Total AMO Support $9,330,000 2,870,000 3,410,000 3,490,000 600,000 2,750,000 $22,458.000 $ 891,000 2,650,000 1 ,000,000 2,093,000 $ 5,743,000 $28,201.000 " Data on the support of atomic and molecular physics were compiled using the criteria described in Table 3.1. The support for optical physics is more difficult to identify owing to the lack of a clear distinction between optical physics and optical engineering. The NSF support, $891,000, is estimated as the optical-physics component of a $2.293 million program in quantum electronics in the Division of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering. (In addition, approximately $550,000 of the atomic and molecular physics program can be characterized as optical physics.) b The DOD support for optical physics is dominantly the universi- ty-based component of research. It does not include support for the free-electron laser ($2.25 million from ONR; $1.5 million from AFOSR), nor does it include costs of basic research in optical physics within the DOD laboratories. · The panel notes with pleasure that federal priorities for research in the past few years have placed increasing emphasis on the support of basic research. This provides a constructive climate for addressing the serious problems that confront AMO physics. A PLAN OF ACTION In order for AMO physics to pursue the opportunities outlined in the Program of Research Initiatives, as well as the other scientific oppor-

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44 A TOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICA ~ PHYSICS "unities that are sure to arise, the nation must increase its investment in basic AMO physics. The effects of the pattern of chronic undersup- port during the past decade must be countered. In considering alter- native routes for accomplishing this, the panel discussed adopting centralized institutional modes and also the possibility of organizing large areas of research around highly visible major facilities. However, the panel concluded that the great strength of AMO physics in the United States has been the high quality of the many diverse, relatively small, research groups. The tradition of scientific innovation and rapid advance by these groups in universities, in government laboratories, and in industrial laboratories, working with the freedom and the resources to pursue scientific leads as they unfold, has been the major factor in the success of AMO physics in this nation. The panel places the highest priority on assuring the continued vitality of these groups. At present hardly any federally funded AMO university group in the United States has the resources to move forward in new research. We propose a plan to bring the support of a reasonable number of groups to a level where they can undertake new research effectively. The plan is based on the following points: · A decade of severe underfunding and high turnover has winnowed the field. Attempts to concentrate the existing support on fewer groups would be counterproductive; as much excellent research would be hindered as helped. New support is essential. · The research community in basic AMO physics in the United States is not large; an estimate based on the CAMS survey indicates that it comprises about 300 individual groups. For AMO physics to retain its vitality, support for a significant number of these groups must be brought to a realistic operating level, and there must be an opportunity for some new groups to start. · The gap between the available funding and the costs of research has become so great that the timetable for bolstering the research must be prompt. Based on these considerations, we recommend a 4-year program to allow individual research groups to start work in the areas of the Scientific Initiatives. The goal is to bring the support of the field up to a level where new work can be undertaken as old work is phased out. Special infusions of support would then no longer be needed. Altogether eight initiative areas are described in Chapter 1. (Three areas are proposed in atomic physics, three in optical physics, and two in molecular physics.) Each of these areas is broad, and one can expect that new opportunities will also occur within the next few years. We

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RECOMMENDATIONS 45 propose a plan to start support for approximately four or five groups in each area for 4 years. At the end of the 4-year period there would be approximately 140 groups in the three disciplines. This number is not large considering the breadth of the area, the likelihood of unforeseen scientific opportunities, and the need to start some new groups, perhaps one in each area every year. The proposed program relates primarily to AMO groups at univer- sities and university-related private research institutes. The needs of AMO groups working in federal laboratories are difficult to document and quantify because much of the basic research is carried out in support of mission-oriented programs. Basic AMO research in federal laboratories is an important component of the field, however, and many of these groups require special infusions of support to move ahead. RECOMMENDATIONS Base Support To undertake new experimental and theoretical research on the Program of Initiatives, funds are required to Support graduate students, postdoctoral workers, and other pro- fessional scientists; —Help restore the infrastructure of technicians, shops, and special research facilities that has largely vanished; —Purchase new equipment at an adequate rate; Maintain the equipment; Support travel and visitors; —Allow enough flexibility for groups to pursue new scientific leads without the 2- to 3-year delay that is now often required for starting new research. The cost of operating a typical active university-based AMO re- search group is estimated to be about $350,000/year (1984 dollars). Contributing to this figure are the following. The cost to a research grant for supporting one postdoctoral researcher is about $50,000/year. Most experimental groups need a technician, though hardly any AMO group in the United States has been able to retain one; supporting a technician costs a grant typically $70,000/year. Approximately $50,000/year is needed to keep instrumentation up to date. As a result of these and other operating costs, a number of estimates place the average total cost for an experimental group at about $60,000/year for each graduate student in the group.

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46 ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS We estimate that the average increase in funding for an AMO group to move forward effectively is at least $200,000/year (in 1984 dollars). This includes both theoretical and experimental groups, taking cogni- zance of the higher cost of exprimental work and that the majority of groups are experimental. Based on a target plan of funding for 35 groups a year, the incremental cost for additional funding is $7 million/year for 4 years. The figures are targets to guide the intensity of the overall effort; they are not meant to fix the exact size of individual grants, the precise number and structure of the research groups, or the timetable for starting research in each area. Instrumentation The lack of instrumentation is seriously hindering AMO research in laboratories throughout the United States. During the past decade the complexity of scientific instrumentation increased substantially, caus- ing the costs to skyrocket at the same time that support withered. A state-of-the-art tunable-dye-laser system costs from $100,000 to $150,000; it is not unusual for one experiment to require two of these lasers plus a large amount of peripheral equipment. A modern clean vacuum system for electron scattering costs about $100,000; a state- of-the-art supersonic molecular-beam scattering apparatus costs more. A high quality superconducting magnet and Dewar costs $200,000; a microwave signal synthesizer costs $70,000. Theoretical groups need minicomputers, and some groups need access to larger machines. A university group can require years to acquire funds for a single piece of such equipment. The DOD-University Research Instrumentation Program, a 5-year program encompassing broad areas of research related to national defense, provides a perspective on the need for instrumentation. The program is funded at $30 million/year; in its first year the requests exceeded $645 million. For the period 1984-1985, 70 requests were submitted by AMO groups; only 10 were funded. These figures demonstrate the overwhelming need for support for instrumentation in AMO physics as well as other areas of university-based research. Equipment in most AMO laboratories is obsolete. This is true not only for major equipment but for minor equipment such as oscillo- scopes and leak detectors. These laboratories must be thoroughly re-equipped in order for the groups to carry out effective research. The increase in base support recommended above is not adequate for re-equipping the AMO laboratories. (It should, however, let the groups

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RECOMMENDATIONS 47 replace and maintain instruments as necessary, avoiding this type of instrumentation crisis in the future.) Special one-time support is essential to re-equip AMO laboratories promptly. The instrumentation required for a typical active university labora- tory to start up research initiatives is estimated to cost approximately $300,000. This could purchase, for instance, two laser systems ($220,000), a small vacuum apparatus ($50,000), and smaller equipment including microprocessors, oscilloscopes, and leak detectors ($30,000~. Alternatively, the research might require one laser ($150,000) and a superconducting magnet ($100,000) plus smaller equipment, or a fully instrumented state-of-the-art electron-scattering apparatus ($200,000) plus smaller equipment. Some programs will require less than $300,000; but many activities require more-expensive equipment such as specialized magnets, helium liquefiers, or high-power laser systems. This estimate takes cognizance of the fact that theoretical groups require less but that most of the groups are experimental. Based on a target of re-equipping 35 groups a year, the cost is $11 million/year in 1984 dollars. Theory Theoretical atomic physics is not a major activity at most universi- ties in the United States; yet, as demonstrated by activities in Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan, the field is ripe for exciting and substan- tial advances. We envision that the general increase in base support will improve the climate for theoretical research, but further steps are required to bring the effort in this country up to the level required to guide and interpret the experimental research. A major problem is the dispersed nature of the theoretical community in the United States. Active theorists are currently found in many different types of institu- tions, widely separated geographically. There is a critical need to focus efforts in the country, to strengthen the field, and to attract students. The panel recommends that the agencies invite and support proposals addressing this issue, for example, by creating centers, workshops, or summer schools where students and active theorists could come together for varying periods of time. Access to Large Computers AMO physics provides a natural testing ground for new modes of description and new mathematical procedures because the underlying physical laws are generally known and precise experiments are possi-

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48 ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS ble. New approaches made possible by large computers are profoundly changing AMO physics. For example, numerical integrations of the Schrodinger equation can provide visualizations of time-dependent processes. Threshold laws can sometimes be found by numerical experiments, and the effects of intense radiation fields can be explored numerically. A new order of precision can permit the calculation of the rates of atomic processes that are too difficult or too expensive to measure. In the last few years the available computing capability in Japan and Western Europe has advanced enormously from powerful computers at individual universities and the construction of efficient networks. The lack of computational facilities for theoretical atomic physicists in the United States has seriously hindered activity here. The Report by the Subcommittee on Computational Facilities for Theoretical Research (National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1981) emphasized the general need for increased computational capability in physics, and the problem is being examined by various bodies. An important component of the need in AMO physics is time on Class 6 computers. The present supercomputer usage is close to the equivalent of half-time on a Cray 1. Based on a survey of potential users, we recommend that over a 4-year period computer time equiv- alent to at least one full-time Cray 1 be made available to AMO physicists, supported by high-speed remote-access facilities. Special Facilities Two areas of AMO physics require special instrumentation or access to large facilities: accelerator-based atomic physics and AMO physics with synchrotron radiation light sources. Because of their relatively high cost on the scale of support for AMO physics, these require separate attention. ACCELERATOR-BASED ATOMIC PHYSICS As described in Chapter 4 in the section on Atomic Physics Requir- ing Larger Facilities, many new scientific opportunities have been created by advances in accelerator-based atomic physics. Pursuing these opportunities requires beam lines at large national-user acceler- ators, together with accelerator and ion-source installations dedicated to atomic phyiscs. Provision for funding the installation and mainte- nance of larger facilities, while common in nuclear and high-energy physics, is not traditional within the AMO framework. As a result,

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RECOMMENDA TIONS 49 AMO physics in the United States generally operates in a parasitic mode. The number and availability of such arrangements has been diminishing because of cutbacks in other areas, especially in low- energy nuclear physics. The opportunity exists for the United States to seize a leadership role in accelerator-based atomic physics, but for this to happen it cannot remain a parasite operation on facilities whose major purpose is to serve other fields. In order to exploit this opportunity, the following steps are required: 1. A new generation of sources of highly charged ions needs to be provided for dedicated atomic-physics programs. 2. Dedicated beam lines for atomic physics with fast heavy ions are required at national user facilities. 3. Dedicated atomic collisions accelerator facilities need to be upgraded, taking advantage of recent advances in accelerator technol- ogy. Cost estimates (in 1984 dollars): 1. High-charge ion-source facilities (3) 2. Beam lines at existing and proposed relativistic heavy-ion accelerators 3. Accelerator upgrades and replacement Total $3.0 million $4.7 million $4.3 million $12 million These recommendations are in agreement with the 1981 report of the Committee on Atomic and Molecular Science.* ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS WITH SYNCHROTRON RADIATION Synchrotron light sources are expected to have a major impact on wide areas of AMO research in the coming decade. Many of the opportunities are summarized in Chapter 4, in the section on Atomic Physics Requiring Larger Facilities; others appear scattered through- out this report. Toward the end of this decade, the cutting edge of synchrotron-light- intensive research will lie with the new generation of insertion-device *Workshop on Accelerator-Based Atomic and Molecular Sciences, July 1980 (Na- tional Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1981).

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50 ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS machines (using wigglers and undulatory. Although conceived and justified for a number of fields and a broad range of applications, AMO physics is a natural component of this user community and stands to gain particularly because of its need for high photon intensity and high resolution. This country has the opportunity to gain world leadership in AMO research using synchrotron light. Existing facilities need to be fully equipped and exploited, and we must be ready with fully instrumented beam lines for atomic and molecular research when the new generation of machines starts operating. The panel recommends that insertion devices be supported for existing synchrotron light sources and that substantial access to them be made available to the AMO community. The panel endorses the construction of next-generation light sources, both VUV and x-ray, and recommends that beam lines be provided for the AMO community. RELEVANCE OF ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL RESEARCH TO THE FUNDING AGENCIES Department of Defense Basic research in AMO physics has revolutionized important areas of military technology. Atomic clocks and laser gyroscopes are central to modern navigation and global positioning systems; fiber-optics communication is widely used in ships, tanks, and planes. Data on atomic and molecular processes from AMO laboratories are vital to the understanding of atmospheric and meteorological phenomena that affect military scenarios. Lasers are used for range finding, guidance, optical radar, and numerous other applications; high-power lasers are being employed in new classes of countermeasures and directed energy weapons systems. Remote-sensing techniques from AMO physics have applications ranging from combustion analysis for engine design to chemical weapons monitoring. Numerous other examples could be cited, but this brief summary should suggest the scope of the impact of basic AMO research on DOD objectives. The DOD laboratories depend on scientists trained in university- based AMO research. In order for the DOD agencies to identify new opportunities and to avoid technological surprise, and to evaluate proposals involving advanced technologies, the DOD needs to main- tain a close relationship with the AMO basic research community. Considering all of these facts, and considering the enormous contri- butions to the nation's military program from basic AMO research, it is difficult to understand why the DOD has so drastically reduced its

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RECOMMENDATIONS 51 support of basic AMO physics. By abandoning the tradition of long- range support of basic research, guided by scientific imperatives rather than relevance to immediate DOD objectives, the DOD agencies are paving the way to military obsolescence in the coming decades. This panel recommends that the DOD agencies resume a serious commitment to the support of basic AMO research. Department of Energy AMO physics contributes broadly to the support of the mission of DOE to develop existing technology and to discover new technologies for the generation and transfer of energy. The AMO community provides expertise and essential data on electronic and atomic colli- sions, which are needed to model and to diagnose magnetically confined thermonuclear fusion devices. It provides knowledge of collision processes that are important for isotope separation in the processing of fission fuels and for understanding the interaction of fast fission products with matter. DOE laboratories working on environ- mental problems depend on the AMO community for scientific talent and for vital data. For example, our understanding of the interaction of radiation with matter a central problem for the health and environ- mental mission of DOE is carried forward at the atomic and molecu- lar level by AMO physicists. The weapons laboratories of DOE require highly skilled scientists to carry out their mission; many of these are trained in university laboratories engaged in basic AMO research. The problems of future energy technology will require continued expertise and manpower from AMO physics. The vitality of this field over a long period demands vigorous support of basic AMO physics unfettered by immediate program objectives. DOE has attempted to be responsive in this area by supporting high-risk, long-term projects as well as strongly mission-oriented projects. However, the level of support has fallen far behind the costs of research. In order for the AMO community to continue to meet its obligations to our energy programs, the support for basic AMO research within DOE must be brought up to a level that realistically reflects today's needs. National Science Foundation The NSF is the agency responsible for federal support of basic physics in the United States. It plays a major role in AMO physics. The NSF Physics Division provides about 33 percent of the total support of U.S. university-based atomic and molecular research; other Divisions

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52 A TOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL PHYSICS provide an additional 17 percent. The NSF relies on the peer review system to judge the quality of the research and to select likely new areas of scientific advance. The Atomic and Molecular Physics Pro- gram has attempted to assure the continuity of support for long-range innovative research and to provide grants large enough for effective research. At the same time, the NSF has attempted to provide new starts. Because of budgetary limitations, however, these goals could not be accomplished simultaneously, and the competition for funds has become intense. In spite of the fact that the NSF is the primary federal agency in the support of AMO physics, it has never acted as the parent agency for the field. The overall size and the scope of the NSF programs reflects a pattern established several decades ago when the DOD agencies provided most of the support and NASA participated more actively than today. Although the atomic and molecular program grew some- what in comparison with the total support by the Physics Division during the past decade, the increase fell far short of the losses that occurred because of withdrawal of DOD and other agency support. Thus the overall size of the AMO program in the NSF still reflects the situation when AMO physics had broadly based support, rather than the situation today where much of the AMO research is subject to the vagaries of mission-oriented agencies. Furthermore, the average size of the grants has fallen far below the costs of the research. National Aeronautics and Space Administration The space missions conducted by NASA yield data whose interpre- tation requires an understanding of the extensive range of atomic, molecular, and optical processes that occur in atmospheric and astro- physical environments. A new generation of instruments will soon start to extend enormously the sensitivity and spectral range of astronomical observations. From the proposed Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility, Solar Optical Telescope, 25-meter Millimeter Wave Radio Telescope, and Space Telescope will follow a vast array of data that will create new demands for reliable data on atomic and molecular spectra and atomic and molecular processes. In order to exploit the full power of these new instruments, it is essential to maintain a vigorous experi- mental and theoretical effort to understand the underlying atomic and molecular processes. The panel urges NASA to recognize its responsibility to contribute to the support of research in the basic AMO physics involved in atmospheric and astrophysical phenomena.