lion, and Austria (8 million) have made investments in AMO science that in some cases well surpass U.S. investments even at our most effective and well-funded laboratories (see Box 8–1). The United Kingdom and France, with populations of 60 million each, are not far behind. Japan has committed $ 15 million to develop a cold atom and quantum information research group at the University of Tokyo. China is forming a 5-year national plan for AMO research, including cold atoms, quantum optics, and quantum information science.

An example of outstanding quality is the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, founded in 2003 by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This institute, located in state-of-the art facilities in Innsbruck and Vienna, is composed of four research groups in experimental and theoretical AMO physics. Following the model of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany, and in particular the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching (an equally outstanding institute), the institute’s goal is to secure a leading role for Austrian science in the fields of quantum optics and quantum information. As a result of this conscious prioritizing and concentrated investment it has succeeded in doing so.

One way to measure of emerging trends in international competition in research is to look at how the number of scientific publications from other countries has grown over the past two decades. Figure 8–4 shows some publication data from two of the world’s premier physics journals, The Physical Review and Physical Review Letters. The relative position of the United States has steadily slipped: in 1990, U.S. scientists accounted for half the submissions, but by 2004 they accounted for only 25 percent of the total. The same trend is visible in AMO science by itself.

To make the discussion more concrete, the committee describes below research facilities in Europe and Asia that are essentially the equal of similarly oriented U.S. facilities. It includes synchrotron light sources, free-electron lasers, and large-scale laser facilities. However, there are also facilities in Europe that have no equivalent in the United States—for example, the heavy-ion storage ring (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany—that are not discussed. In terms of strategic resources, Europe’s proposed global positioning satellite system, Galileo, and Russia’s existing one, GLONASS, are fully competitive with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).


Research with synchrotron light is a rapidly growing, worldwide activity. Today one finds many facilities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America that are comparable to those in the United States.1 A significant number of smaller third-generation sources have recently been completed or are currently under


For a comprehensive summary of these laboratories, see <>.

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