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Division of Physics

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Experiment

Name Email Phone Room
John  Gillaspy (703) 292-7173  1015 N  
Kevin  Jones (703) 292-7732   


All proposals submitted to the Physics Division that are not governed by another solicitation (such as CAREER) must be submitted to its division-wide solicitation: Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects.


The Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Experimental Physics program (AMO-E) supports research that can be categorized by four broad, sometimes overlapping, sub-areas of the discipline: (1) Precision Measurements, (2) Ultracold Atoms and Molecules, (3) Optical Physics (including the ultrafast regime), and (4) Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy or Collisions. Ions are included as a subset of Atoms and Molecules. The focus of research in the AMO-E program is on the fundamental quantitative understanding of atoms and molecules and their interaction with light, and the application of AMO methods to fundamental science in other disciplines in the Division (e.g., Nuclear Physics, Gravitational Physics, and Elementary Particle Physics). Examples of activities supported directly by the AMO-E program include:  quantum control, cooling and trapping of atoms and ions, low-temperature collision dynamics, the collective behavior of atoms in weakly interacting gases (Bose-Einstein condensates and dilute Fermi degenerate systems), precision measurements, the effects of electron correlation on structure and dynamics, the nonlinear response of isolated atoms to intense ultra-short electromagnetic fields, atom-cavity interaction at high fields, and quantum properties of the electromagnetic field. 

NSF recognizes that some research projects within this Program, such as precision measurement projects, may require more than three years to realize demonstrable research outcomes. For such projects, PIs are encouraged to consult the program officers above to discuss the possibility of submitting a proposal of 4 or 5 year duration.

Some AMO-related activities are supported primarily by other NSF Programs.  Proposals focused on plasmas should be directed to the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering.  Proposals focused on condensed matter systems should be directed to the Division of Materials Research, which contains the Condensed Matter Physics Program and the Electronic and Photonic Materials Program. Applied AMO proposals are supported by the Engineering Directorate, particularly the Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices Program. The Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms Program within the Chemistry Division supports proposals on molecules. Experimental and theoretical AMO proposals on Quantum Information Science should be directed to the Quantum Information Science (QIS) program.  All of these other programs coordinate the AMO aspects of their proposal portfolio closely with the AMO-E program.