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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future 4 Funding and Infrastructure for Research and Development in AMO Science AMO science is typically ''small" science undertaken by individual investigators or small groups. In a few applications, such as laser fusion and laser isotope separation, AMO science becomes "big" science, requiring large facilities and large research teams. The national investment in AMO science has helped produce a vigorous and productive science that creates and supports important technologies. AMO science continues to advance with the introduction of new ideas and the invention of new techniques. RESOURCES This study comes at a time of considerable discussion and uncertainty about the future of funding for all physical sciences. Because of its vitality as a basic science and its relevance to a wide range of problems, AMO science currently is supported by a large number of agencies and is actively pursued by many academic, federal, and industrial laboratories. But the assumptions and policies of the past decades are undergoing reexamination, driven largely by the end of the Cold War and increasing concerns about national competitiveness in a global economy. Federal support for much of physical science has been based either explicitly or implicitly on the impact of earlier research on defense-related technologies during and after World War II. The reexamination of the rationale for funding for research and development (R&D) and the reality of limited federal resources present AMO science with challenging and potentially difficult times. A significant fraction, perhaps one-half, of AMO R&D funding has been defense-related. Defense-related R&D grew rapidly in all areas in the first half of
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future the last decade to the point that it accounted for over two-thirds of all federally funded R&D, but then it leveled off, and it is now declining. The impact of this reduction on basic research is not clear because basic research accounts for only a small fraction of all defense R&D. Although the present debate concerning the reasons for support of R&D makes this a difficult time for science, it also provides an opportunity to place AMO science appropriately within the context of national needs and priorities. This is an especially good opportunity for AMO science because of its broad economic and societal impact. Consideration of the relative roles of government and private industry in promoting and supporting long-range R&D is an important component of the national debate. Methods for improving technology transfer and industrial competitiveness, and the roles of individual federal agencies and laboratories in such activities, are being analyzed and discussed. Over the past 30 years, private industry has accounted for an increasing share of all R&D in the country (rising from ~33% in 1960 to ~51% in 1991); much of this increase is in health-related sciences. In AMO science, several industrial laboratories have played important and highly visible roles in basic as well as applied research, but AMO research in these laboratories is now declining. Difficult and uncertain economic times, changing corporate structures and markets, and changing philosophies regarding basic research have resulted in reductions in the amount of long-range R&D carried out in industrial research laboratories, even though much of this work was of high quality and visible. The reductions in R&D activities appear to be broad-based. The 1992 edition of the annual R&D trends survey conducted by the Industrial Research Institute exhibits many indicators of reductions in industrial R&D. The major finding of that survey is that "1993 will see the recession continuing for industrial R&D in the United States." Of the 141 companies responding to the survey, 36% expect decreases in R&D capital spending, while only 20% plan increases; 40% expect decreases in hiring of new graduates, and only 10% plan to increase hiring; and 32% plan decreases in "directed basic research," while only 12% plan increases. The federal government must of necessity carry the major responsibility for supporting basic science, but there are obvious advantages in having active basic science along with applied R&D programs in industrial laboratories to promote links between the science and the technologies that derive from it. In an environment shaped by increasing concern about federal budget deficits, national priorities must be set and difficult decisions must be made. Setting priorities is a natural and necessary part of any budgeting process. In fields of science where large facilities, such as telescopes or accelerators, are central, formal priority setting is an absolutely necessary and accepted part of the process. In AMO science, where much of the science is done by single investigators or small groups, the pattern has been to let the individual investigators and the peer review process determine the directions of research. The AMO science community believes strongly in an emphasis on individual creativity and in the
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future effectiveness of the individual investigator. Indeed, respondents to the FAMOS survey questionnaire indicated that the highest priority should be single-investigator, small-scale programs (see Appendix D). Competitively funded, peer-reviewed, small-scale science promotes a kind of intellectual capitalism; individual scientists choose what to work on and promote their ideas and results. Their success is ultimately determined in the marketplace of ideas and by their peers, who help make decisions about funding, publications, and other kinds of recognition. This system has produced remarkable results. It is, however, not too difficult to identify broadly defined areas of promise, and it is possible to identify (as is done in this report) which areas of AMO science are particularly relevant to specific national needs, such as energy or information technology and communications. In connection with this study, an attempt has been made to carry out a systematic and comprehensive survey of the financial resources invested in AMO science. Two measures were used, one generated from the budgets of the agencies and laboratories supporting AMO science and the other from numbers supplied by respondents to the FAMOS survey questionnaire. The survey of agency budgets is complicated by the large number of agencies, and divisions within agencies, that support AMO science. In part, support is distributed within and across agencies because AMO is an interdisciplinary science that cuts across traditional boundaries of physics, chemistry, and engineering. Also, the very nature of the field makes it difficult to draw precise boundaries, but boundaries must be defined in order to generate consistent numbers. As described in the preface, the boundaries are least clear in the molecular and optical areas. In this report the panel defines AMO science according to the list in the Research Specialties Directory generated for use with the questionnaire and reproduced in Appendix D. This definition is much more inclusive than that used in the "Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics" section of the 1986 National Research Council (NRC) report Physics Through the 1990s (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1986). This change in definitions, while necessary and appropriate, means that one cannot compare the funding levels reported here directly with those presented in the earlier study. Here the panel concentrates on generating a snapshot of AMO funding for fiscal year (FY) 1991 (the responses to the questionnaire give numbers for only that year), together with, where possible, federal funding levels for AMO science for FY89, FY90, and FY91. This time period is not long but should reveal any substantial recent reallocations of resources. It is difficult to estimate the total size of the national effort in AMO science because this depends on how the boundaries are drawn, both the boundaries of the field and the boundary between research and development. For example, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory the support for basic AMO science is approximately $6M per year, but the entire laser-related R&D effort, including laser fusion and laser isotope separation, totals about $200M per year. One measure of the size of the field is the total amount of resources quoted by the
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future respondents to the FAMOS questionnaire. As noted previously, recipients of the questionnaire were given the Research Specialties Directory (taken as the working definition of AMO science) and were asked to identify their areas of activity and to give annual support levels. The respondents listed total annual support grants, contracts, and donations for AMO R&D of ~$610M per year. It is possible there is some double counting, but respondents were asked to quote only their individual share of any multiinvestigator support. This figure does not include all R&D efforts in AMO science, for example, the large laser programs at Livermore or activities in certain industrial laboratories. On the basis of the survey data, it appears that the total annual R&D funding for AMO science, broadly defined, is probably on the order of $1B. Federal Funding for Research in AMO Science The principal sources of R&D support for AMO science are the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and private industry. Data from the FAMOS questionnaire suggest that ~75% of the total support is provided by federal agencies, with ~90% of this from the first four agencies listed above. Industrial contracts and corporate donations account for ~15% of the total support. The different federal agencies operate largely independently and have differing missions. In this study the most careful examination was done of agencies whose principal role is awarding grants and contracts because for these agencies the data are the most accessible. It is difficult to separate AMO science as defined here from other science and engineering in industrial organizations (where the required data are frequently not available) and in many federal laboratories, but the effort has been made in representative cases. In the present study the field definition provided by the Research Specialties Directory was the most carefully applied in determining the support level from NSF and DOE. For these agencies, abstracts of funded proposals were made available for the past several years, and there were individually examined to determine if they lay within the field definition. In agencies other than NSF and DOE, figures for the field were, for the most part, generated by program managers within the agencies. The total annual federal funding of grants and contracts for basic research in AMO science is on the order of $100M. National Science Foundation The primary mission of NSF is to promote the progress of science and engineering, and it is the largest source of support for basic AMO science. NSF relies on the merit review system to determine which grants to fund. Support for AMO science is provided by six disciplinary divisions: Astronomy, Atmospheric
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future TABLE 4.1 Annual Federal Agency Funding Levels for Basic AMO Science in Then-Current-Year Dollars for FY89 Through FY91 (in thousands of dollars) Experimental Theoretical Source Period Atomic Molecular Optical Atomic Molecular Optical Total National Science Foundation FY89 7,905 16,853 4,905 2,126 4,000 1,233 37,022 FY90 8,404 16,710 5,884 2,465 6,254 909 40,626 FY91 8,949 19,340 7,004 3,233 5,466 1,315 45,307 Department of Energy FY89 8,405 8,628 2,558 2,227 2,733 316 24,867 FY90 7,773 10,386 2,377 1,965 3,816 267 26,584 FY91 8,698 11,426 2,339 2,252 3,005 296 28,016 Air Force Office of Scientific Research FY89 1,161 6,106 12,560 54 1,708 387 21,976 FY90 1,135 5,561 12,061 54 2,168 389 21,368 FY91 1,118 5,260 10,786 53 2,027 369 19,613 Office of Naval Research FY89 800 1,300 2,850 125 1,825 500 7,400 FY90 680 1,530 2,550 210 1,885 460 7,315 FY91 1,050 1,160 2,850 230 1,965 590 7,845 Army Research Office FY89 700 710 2,850 60 0 0 4,320 FY90 410 740 2,290 87 0 0 3,527 FY91 660 735 2,180 39 0 0 3,614 TOTAL FY89 18,971 33,597 25,723 4,592 10,266 2,436 95,585 FY90 18,402 34,927 25,162 4,781 14,123 2,025 99,420 FY91 20,475 37,921 25,159 5,807 12,463 2,570 104,395
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials Research, and Physics. The largest sources of support are the Physics and Chemistry divisions, each with more than 40% of the total. Abstracts for the years FY87 to FY91 from program elements with possible AMO content in all six divisions were examined and classified according to whether the subject was atomic, molecular, or optical science and whether the work was experimental or theoretical. Not surprisingly, a substantial number of individual research programs involved work in more than one area, and the classification into atomic, molecular, and optical is thus somewhat arbitrary. Nevertheless, the classification gives some measure of the way support is distributed. The total support for FY89 to FY91 is shown in Table 4.1. Because the abstracts are recorded only in the first year of multiple-year grants, the present methodology may result in some underreporting of the earlier years, but the errors should be small. The increases in funding from FY89 to FY91 are larger than inflation. In constant FY89 dollars, the totals for the 3 years FY89 to FY91 are approximately $37M, $38M, and $41M, respectively, an 11% increase. While the level of support has been growing, there also is an increasing tendency for the support to be restricted to certain strategic needs, such as the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) initiatives. It is useful to compare the figures in Table 4.1 with those obtained from responses to the FAMOS questionnaire. It seems likely that the rate of response to the questionnaire was highest among funded university and college faculty. Almost all (93%) of the NSF support goes to research programs at universities and colleges. If it is assumed, for the sake of argument, that the response rate is close to 100% for this category, comparing the total for FY91 above to the total reported by respondents to the questionnaire provides a test comparison of the two methods. The total FY91 NSF support reported by respondents to the questionnaire is $59M, compared to the $45.3M shown in Table 4.1. This comparison suggests that more people identify themselves as doing AMO science than are included in the present analysis of NSF funding. The average size for all NSF grants (theory and experiment) included in Table 4.1 is $100K. This is compared with an average NSF grant of $86K reported by respondents to the questionnaire and with an average of $92K for FY83 given in Physics Through the 1990s. In constant FY83 dollars, the average FY91 grant of $100K is only $75K. This erosion in grant size is alarming but is recognized by the program managers. The Physics Division has increased the average annual award level for experimental AMO physics from $120K in FY91 to $156K in FY92. Department of Energy The Department of Energy is another major source of support for AMO science. DOE's mission is to develop efficient, dependable, and environmentally
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future acceptable techniques for the transformation, delivery, and use of energy and to help ensure national security. The department supports AMO science because of its relevance to energy research and its applicability to defense programs. The DOE figures included in Table 4.1 were derived from a detailed review of abstracts from the divisions of Chemical Sciences, Materials Sciences, Advanced Energy Projects, and Engineering and Geosciences in the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES) and from information supplied by the Office of Fusion Energy (OFE) and the Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER). The increase in support evident in Table 4.1 from FY89 to FY91 is slightly greater than inflation. In constant FY89 dollars the FY91 total represents an increase of approximately 3%. The figures in Table 4.1 include basic AMO science efforts at Ames, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, and Oak Ridge national laboratories that are supported from the same budgets as those that support research at universities and allied institutes. The national laboratories account for approximately 50% of the support. Other DOE laboratories, such as Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore, receive block funding from DOE and are not included in Table 4.1. For comparison, the annual totals for basic AMO science at the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories are estimated to be $5,250K and $6,350K, respectively, while large applied AMO programs such as inertial confinement fusion have budgets totaling a few hundred million dollars. The table does not include grants and contracts made to national laboratories and universities by OHER. Total annual OHER support through FY91 for research in AMO science was in excess of $3M. As with NSF, respondents to the FAMOS questionnaire at colleges and universities report significantly more support, $26M, from DOE than suggested by the ~$13M of university FY91 support that is part of the ~$28M indicated in Table 4.1. This comparison may be considerably affected by those university researchers who have joint appointments or carry out their research at the DOE laboratories. Department of Defense Research Offices The Department of Defense supports AMO science through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In addition, AMO science or AMO-related work is carried out at many DOD laboratories. The funding of AMO science through AFOSR comes largely from the Physics and Electronics Directorate and from the Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate. Proposals to AFOSR are reviewed by an Air Force laboratory scientist and must overlap the mission of an Air Force laboratory. AFOSR support for AMO science is summarized in Table 4.1. The figures in Table 4.1 include estimated University Research Initiative support of about $700K per year in
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future molecular experimental work and $1,000K per year in optical experimental work. The table does not include support of approximately $7M per year for basic research (6.1 funds) in AMO science carried out in the Air Force laboratories. The downward trend in research support evident in Table 4.1 is more dramatic when inflation is taken into account. As the first agency empowered to make federal research contracts in the post-World War II reconstruction period, ONR, established by the Vinson Act of 1946, has had the longest continuing commitment to AMO science. Its program of support remains a vital component in the overall health of the field. In recent years, about half of the support of basic AMO science has been in base programs of ongoing research, and half has been provided through accelerated research initiatives that support defined target areas for 5-year periods. The base programs also involve support of chosen thrust areas but may provide support for periods longer than 5 years. The largest component of support for AMO science comes from three divisions in ONR: Physics, Chemistry, and Mechanics. The numbers in Table 4.1 do not include support from the divisions of Materials, Electronics, and Biology, which may amount to something on the order of $2M per year. The table also does not include the approximately $10M per year of support from ONR for basic AMO science at the Naval Research Laboratory. The Army Research Office supports AMO science as part of its mission to provide the requisite science base for the Army's technological needs. ARO works to articulate the technical problems and performance goals of the Army to the scientific community to promote and acquire science that is specific to Army requirements. The ARO research program seeks to seed scientific and technological work that promises major advances over current technologies. ARO support is summarized in Table 4.1 and includes a large University Research Initiative program that is scheduled to be reduced by $800K per year in FY93. National Aeronautics and Space Administration To support its multiple missions in planetary and space sciences and exploration, NASA requires a wide range of information and results from AMO science, some of which is funded directly by NASA. In FY92, four divisions (Solar System Exploration, Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Earth Science) provided a total of approximately $7.3M of support for AMO science. This total consisted of $6,173K for experimental work (atomic, $1,967K; molecular, $3,468K; optical, $738K) and $1,128K for theoretical work (atomic, $1,057K; molecular, $71K). Total Funding from Federal Grants and Contracts The estimated total support for basic research in AMO science from federal grants and contracts is shown in Table 4.1. These figures include individual
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future TABLE 4.2 Total Annual Federal Agency Funding Levels for Basic AMO Science in Constant 1989 Dollars for FY89 Through FY91 (in thousands of dollars) Experimental Theoretical Period Atomic Molecular Optical Atomic Molecular Optical Total FY89 18,971 33,597 25,723 4,592 10,266 2,436 95,585 FY90 17,459 33,138 23,873 4,536 13,399 1,921 94,326 FY91 18,641 34,524 22,905 5,287 11,347 2,340 95,044 grant and contract support from the DOE and AFOSR for basic AMO science at certain federal laboratories. For FY91 the total amount of that support was approximately $20M. Thus, support of AMO science in nonfederal laboratories amounted to ~$84M in FY91. While the totals in then-current dollars in Table 4.1 show increases each year, these increases have not quite kept up with inflation. This finding is consistent with results from the FAMOS questionnaire, where respondents indicated that funding has decreased somewhat during the last 5 years when inflation is taken into account. Table 4.2 shows total federal agency funding in constant FY89 dollars. The average AMO grant size reported by university-based respondents to the questionnaire is $81K. Even in constant dollars, this is less than the $96K (in FY83) average grant size decried in Physics Through the 1990s as too small to sustain an active program. In constant FY83 dollars the present $81K average is only $61K, corresponding to a 36% reduction in the size of a typical grant. Grant sizes reported by respondents from industry and federally funded laboratories and government are significantly larger. More than half the respondents to the AMO questionnaire who receive direct support obtain that support from two or more grants. Despite the funding difficulties, however, the field has remained vital, as evidenced by the number of new and exciting discoveries in the last 10 years. Given the modest average grant size, it is interesting to note that the respondents to the questionnaire, by a 2 to 1 margin, reject the idea of increasing the funding for the strongest programs at the expense of the total number of programs supported. But given modest increases in support, respondents in all employment sectors identified support for single-investigator, small-scale programs as their number-one priority. Funding for young investigators and equipment, two other areas often identified as needing increased emphasis, were also given high priority. On the other hand, in comparisons with other countries, respondents rated the United States as strong in equipment (and very strong in innovation).
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Federal Laboratories There are more than 700 federal laboratories supported by 14 federal agencies, and 190 of these laboratories employ 50 or more scientific and technical personnel. The laboratories involved in AMO science are those funded by DOE, DOD, NASA, and the Department of Commerce (DOC), which supports NIST. National Institute of Standards and Technology AMO science is of major importance to the missions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The total FY92 funding for AMO-related science in the NIST Physics Laboratory was $32M. Seventy percent of this came from NIST's own budget, and 30% was in the form of grants and contracts from other governmental agencies and reimbursable services. The effort was divided into four thrusts: Atomic and Molecular Structure and Dynamics, Physics of Surfaces and Materials, Physics of Electronics and Magnetics, and Optical and Laser Physics and Technology. Of the $32M, $11.2M was for basic research, of which three-quarters was for atomic and molecular science and one-quarter for optical science. Department of Energy Laboratories The changes in the economic and political climates in the world are anticipated to precipitate changes in the functions of the various DOE laboratories, especially the weapons laboratories. Studies are in progress, and laboratories are examining differing scenarios for their future. It is too early to predict the outcome, but it appears change will come, both a change in missions and perhaps some downsizing of laboratories. The laboratories are promoting programs to address economic competitiveness, energy, environment, health, and science education. The DOE laboratories with significant components of AMO-related research include Ames, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia national laboratories. The total support for basic AMO science at these laboratories is on the order of $30M. However, as already noted, the total AMO-related budgets, which include large applied AMO programs such as inertial confinement fusion, reach a few hundred million dollars. The laboratories also support large multidisciplinary facilities, such as the synchrotron light sources at Berkeley, Brookhaven, and Stanford, the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (now slated for shutdown), and the accelerators at Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, and Oak Ridge, which are used in part for AMO science.
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Department of Defense Laboratories AMO science is also carried out at a number of DOD laboratories, including both Air Force and Navy laboratories. The Air Force laboratories with significant AMO science include the Geophysics and Astronautics divisions of the Phillips Laboratory and the Aeropropulsion Division of the Wright Laboratory. Table 4.1 does not include the approximately $5M per year in molecular science and approximately $2M per year in optical science provided by AFOSR for basic research at Air Force laboratories. A large amount of basic and applied AMO science is carried out at the Naval Research Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Naval Research. The support for basic research in AMO science at NRL amounts to about $10M per year ($0.5M for atomic, $3.5M for molecular, and $6M for optical science). Applied AMO science is pursued at other non-ONR Navy laboratories. INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES The success of any field of science depends on an infrastructure within which new knowledge can be created. The achievements of AMO science noted elsewhere in this report reveal that AMO science indeed has had an effective supporting infrastructure and that the field is generally robust and healthy. The purpose of this section is to briefly examine that infrastructure and to discuss the future directions of its evolution. The Single Investigator There is no substitute for individual creativity and the ability to follow creative ideas to realization. This statement captures much of the spirit of ''single-investigator science," which dominates the manner in which AMO science is conducted and is believed by most people in the field to be the most effective system. Most of the recent conceptual breakthroughs discussed in this report have resulted from this approach. This approach is tempered, however, by the realization that synergistic interchange with colleagues of like interest is beneficial and that many experiments can be undertaken only by using large, costly facilities. Furthermore, given the diversity of AMO science, development beyond an original idea often needs cross-disciplinary input and targeted research. Thus, AMO science is carried out in a balanced environment, where single-investigator, small science is the most prevalent, but centers and institutes, special facilities, mission-oriented research groups, and expensive instrument clusters fill important roles in bringing about the success that AMO enjoys. The term "single investigator in the university setting" means a single senior investigator who leads and trains a group of graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral research associates. The senior investigator is typically the
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future principal investigator on one or more grants or contracts with the supporting agencies in the federal government. In the national laboratory and industrial setting, the term "single investigator" usually refers to one to three senior scientists working together on a project, where again one of them may be the principal investigator on the funds obtained internally or through external contracts. Letters received from about 100 leaders in the AMO science community, in response to a solicitation of their comments, overwhelmingly emphasized the importance of the single investigator, while expressing the need for the balanced approach present now in the field. As shown in Figure D.21 in Appendix D, respondents to the FAMOS questionnaire from industry, academe, and the national laboratories all believe that if only a limited amount of additional funding is available for the field, single-investigator, small-scale programs should receive the highest priority. However, it is clear from the responses that a balanced approach is important. Almost 75% of questionnaire respondents (see Appendix D, Figure D.8) are involved in collaborative research, and of those so involved, about 60% said their work is cross-disciplinary. The single-investigator approach is not without its perceived problems, however. Among those pointed out by letter respondents was the observation that some single-investigator AMO academic groups may be too large, raising concern about whether the students could receive optimal education and training. Of course, whether the resources of the field allocated to such groups was optimally or fairly spent also received comment. Suggestions were made that group size limitations (e.g., to four or five students) might be imposed by the agencies. About 20% of university groups reporting in this survey indicated group sizes of more than five students. The small-scale nature of AMO projects may place additional burdens on the AMO community for carrying out proper merit (peer) review of proposals. Nevertheless, opinions expressed in the survey and letters and by members of the panel all support strong, effective, and universally applied merit review for all proposed projects. Centers and Institutes Complementing the single-investigator approach to research in AMO science, a number of centers and institutes have been established. Most numerous of these are collections of individuals and departmental subgroups at various universities that have formed "centers" to promote communication, synergistic interactions across and within disciplinary and departmental lines, and visibility both within and without the university and to boost economies in infrastructure. Generally, these centers do not receive central funding from any source, save perhaps some infrastructure funds from their home institutions, but rather operate as a collection of single-investigator groups. Because new centers are being formed frequently, it is not sensible to list these entities individually.
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Two major institutes have been established especially for optics, the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester and the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. Both were established to meet a recognized national need for optical research and training in optical sciences. Both are degree-granting departments at their respective universities, and together they account for a major portion of the degrees in optics granted in this country. Centrally funded cross-disciplinary institutes have taken a prominent position in the field as well. One of the first of these (founded in 1962), which has served as a prototype for others, is the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) in Boulder, Colorado. Important to the AMO community as a whole is the institute's competitive Visiting Fellows Program, which supports about 10 senior visitors each year for a period of 6 months to 1 year, stimulating extensive cross fertilization within the field. With experimental and theoretical programs in atomic physics, molecular physics, and optical physics, and also in precision measurement, the institute represents a fusion of all the disciplines of AMO science discussed in this report, including a number of the applied areas. Another centrally funded institute that bridges many of the boundaries between different specialties is the recently formed Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard University. Responding to the AMO community's call for strengthening theory and theoretical training in the field, the institute was formed as a Harvard-Smithsonian partnership in 1989. The institute provides an intellectual center and meeting place where scientific interactions take place. The institute runs two or three workshops per year on topics of current interest and has programs for short- and long-term visits. In conjunction with the establishment of ITAMP, Harvard University created a new faculty position in its Department of Physics for a researcher in theoretical AMO science; that position has recently been filled at the rank of full professor. Recently, in an effort to produce stronger coupling of the sciences to national goals and needs, the federal government, NSF and DOD in particular, has established a number of centers featuring cross-disciplinary approaches to the attainment of target goals. While recognizing the value of centers, letter responses from leaders in the field and respondents to the questionnaire (see Figure D.21) do not place a high priority on the establishment of new centers. User Facilities While AMO science is typified by small-scale, single-investigator research programs, responses to the questionnaire suggest that about 20% of experimental work and 29% of theoretical and computational work in the field are carried out at "user facilities" (see Figure D.9). However, respondents did not accord new user facilities high priority, though support for upkeep and use of existing facilities rated relatively high within the community (see Figure D.21). User facilities employed for AMO research include synchrotrons, accelerators, and storage
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future rings. A discussion and listing of many of the facilities can be found in a recent report, Future Research Opportunities in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (PUB-5305, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), Berkeley, California, 1991). User facilities also include special high-power lasers, plasma machines, and high-speed computers. The research value of synchrotron radiation was in large part explored and demonstrated in atomic physics studies in the 1960s, thus leading the way for other research communities to adopt synchrotrons in their work. The synchrotrons built recently or under construction in the United States have been primarily motivated by work in the condensed-matter and biological sciences. Nevertheless, synchrotrons continue to be a valuable tool for the study of atoms and molecules, because they provide a source of radiation continuously tunable from the infrared to the hard X-ray regime and their brightness allows the study of targets in the gas phase. In addition to the facilities listed in the LBL report, new facilities, including the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley and the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory, are coming on-line soon, and both will support some AMO science. A major issue concerning synchrotrons is that while construction of the basic facility is funded at a high level, funds for the building of beam lines are generally not included in the initial facility budgets, and these facilities may thus be underutilized. To use the machines, it is often necessary to raise substantial funds (costs may range from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars) to develop a beam line. This situation is a source of intense concern to AMO scientists who wish to use synchrotrons in their work, especially because funds for such relatively expensive new facilities are afforded a relatively low priority within the AMO community as a whole. However, two beam lines for AMO physics are funded and are currently under construction at the Advanced Light Source: an undulator beam for AMO gas-phase experiments with low-energy photons and a bend-magnet beam line for soft-X-ray experiments in AMO physics. Accelerator facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and at Kansas State University are dedicated to atomic collision studies at high energies. Other accelerators, such as the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (now under threat of closure), are maintained for other purposes but are also used for atomic physics. Again, the reader is referred to the 1991 LBL report for discussion of the facilities and the physics at these facilities. Ion storage rings have become an important tool for studies of both highly charged atomic ions and molecular ions. These high-energy machines have recently been used for unique and sophisticated low-energy AMO experiments. Neither of two proposals for building storage rings in the United States that could accommodate AMO experiments managed to gain the necessary funding support. Thus, at this time there is no storage ring facility for AMO physics in the United States, and it is necessary for U.S. scientists to collaborate in experiments
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future at European and Japanese facilities, where there are now five operative machines accommodating AMO experiments. Research on the combustion process is one of the important areas outlined in this report. To facilitate this work, DOE maintains a user facility, the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California ($4.3M annually). Current activities at the laboratory emphasize the development and application of new diagnostic techniques to the study of basic flame processes, research in fundamental chemistry in combustion, and analytical studies of reacting turbulent flow. The most ambitious new facility currently being proposed is the Chemical Dynamics Research Laboratory at Berkeley, which would be built in connection with the Advanced Light Source. The proposed project currently is envisioned as an undulator beam line at the Advanced Light Source and conventional lasers, and, with necessary building and laboratory facilities, the cost is estimated to be approximately $66M. The laboratory would be dedicated to research programs in chemical dynamics, chemical kinetics, and spectroscopy of processes that are fundamental to the combustion of fossil fuels, goals that complement programs of the Sandia facility. National Laboratories Several studies are in progress to provide guidance on the future of the national laboratories, and it would not be productive for this panel to enter into this process. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that there are AMO scientists in national laboratories who rank among the best in the world. Outstanding AMO theoretical and experimental groups have been established in these laboratories to address various national goals arising from defense and energy requirements. As these goals are shifted from defense-oriented to other priorities, care should be taken to ensure that these resources, the AMO scientists and infrastructure, are not lost to the nation. Other Infrastructure Issues Gathered here are a number of issues concerned with the infrastructure that have been called to the attention of the panel in town meetings, letters, and telephone calls and through other contacts with the panel. Evolution of Subfields Because AMO is an enabling science, a need may continue for data from a given subfield long past the time that the subfield is in the intellectual vanguard. Those doing the work may typically have been trained sometime in the past, but it is difficult to attract, support, and train new researchers in a subfield that might
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future be considered "important but pedestrian." Thus, the health of valuable subfields may be neglected. For example, the astrophysics community is strongly enabled by AMO science through data on atomic energy levels, wavelengths, lifetimes, and collision strengths. NASA supports some work in this area to obtain data that it directly needs, but there is little attention paid to the fact that essentially no new people are being trained in these areas. Quoting one letter respondent, "The training of students in this subfield has come to an end. The future is indeed bleak. We have discussed the possibility of hiring a young scientist to help carry on work in this area in our laboratory but have been unable to think of a single person with suitable training." The 1991 NRC report on astronomy, The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.), also articulates this issue, especially in the second volume, Working Papers. Hence, the health of an enabling field can decline by benign neglect. Another area where benign neglect has resulted in a community with aging experts and few newly trained practitioners is that of gaseous electronics. No agency accepts responsibility for this subfield, yet today it has renewed importance in the areas of plasma etching and manufacture. An interagency committee charged to help coordinate research within and among the several agencies that depend on and are responsible for AMO science may alleviate recurrence of similar problems and may be able to redress some of the problems that have already occurred. Theory Independent of employment sector, field, or whether experimentalist or theoretician, nearly 70% of respondents to the questionnaire felt that the balance between theoretical and experimental work was about right, and among the remaining 30% there was a slight bias indicating too little theory. A 1987 NRC assessment of theoretical atomic physics in the United States, The State of Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences in the U.S. (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.), found an unhealthy situation in terms of training of new people in the field and lack of practitioners in the top universities in the country. NSF responded with additional support, especially with respect to the establishment of ITAMP at Harvard, as mentioned above, and of a "minicenter" at JILA for theory. DOE also increased support somewhat. In the meantime, AMO theorists have participated in two summer institutes at the NSF Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara. The theoretical AMO community formed an independent organization, Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Community (TAMOC), to promote communication. The response to the survey, the response of agencies that support AMO science, and broader participation in the theoretical community at large are all positive signs that the health of the discipline has improved. The panel would be remiss, however, not to point out
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future that a number of leaders in the field continue to express, in their letters, concern about the long-term health of theoretical AMO science. Instrumentation Instrumentation continues to be a concern. Responses to the questionnaire (see Figure D.21) indicate that given a modest increase in funding, capital equipment would be among the highest priorities for its use. Letter respondents decried the state of equipment, citing much of it as significantly outdated—this for a field that leads in development of new measurement techniques and methods. In addition to the need to redress the overall situation vis-à-vis instrumentation, two serious issues that need to be recognized and addressed deal with decreasing resources in the universities. The main opportunity a young scientist has to become established with equipment and apparatus for his or her research is through "start-up" monies received at the time of hiring. In universities, start-up funds range from the order of $100K to $1M, depending on the level of the person and the project(s). Agencies for some years have not generally made major start-up funds available, and the sciences have benefited enormously from the additional funds provided by university start-up packages. However, universities are under financial stress and are now less able and willing to allocate funds for this purpose. Where will the funding come from? There is a strong possibility that young people will have to rely more and more on existing setups and, thus, on old lines of research, if they are to have anything at all. A second-ary effect of the "start-up" problem is that it is extremely difficult for people to change research directions in mid-career even if they have excellent ideas. Several of the agencies (NSF, DOD, and DOE) have sponsored programs specifically for upgrading equipment in universities. This support has helped enormously. However, the agency programs understandably have tried to increase the pool of money available for the upgrade by requiring matching funds from the operating institutions. Again, the declining financial situation in most universities has made matching funds more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. AMO science is spread across a broad spectrum of universities, but researchers at many of these institutions express the opinion that those in the "wealthier" institutions benefit most from these matching programs. The upgrade of instrumentation remains a serious need in AMO science. Academic Culture The diversity of AMO science and its relevance and importance to many national goals make it naturally suited for interdisciplinary collaborations. Many university personnel complain that such collaborations are frowned upon in their academic departments, and activity in this direction often enters the ledger on
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future the negative side in tenure decisions. It is to be hoped that such a narrow view of science and its role in the world will change in the future. Postdoctoral Associates/Researchers and PhD Employment In Chapter 3, it was noted that universities are producing more PhDs than the labor market is now employing. Inevitably, this means that the movement of AMO scientists into other areas will increase (which the panel views as a positive benefit), and the ratio of postdoctoral to graduate students in university research groups may increase. In the short term the mismatch between supply and demand creates great stress within the community and a serious morale problem. The nature of postdoctoral employment is a concern: it ranges from status as an advanced graduate student to that of an individual who conceives and executes research projects and directs graduate students in much the same capacity as a faculty member. As the pool of postdoctoral researchers grows, it is sensible to ask whether the infrastructure in AMO and other sciences creates and uses too many PhDs. The PhD salary level, in comparison with that in other professions requiring comparable educational preparation, suggests an oversupply. The composition and nature of the AMO science work force (that is, students, postdoctoral researchers/associates, professional scientists, technicians, and so on) is an important infrastructure issue affecting both the production of PhDs and their subsequent function in society. Communication and Organization The communication that is a vital part of any science endeavor is facilitated in AMO science by a number of professional organizations, in particular the American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, Optical Society of America, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Society of Photographic and Instrumentation Engineers. The service of these societies and their AMO-related divisions should be emphasized. They provide the journals that are the primary vehicles for communicating research results. They sponsor meetings where face-to-face communications often spawn new ideas. They provide a forum and a means for recognition of accomplishment and thus help provide some of the motivation that drives scientists. The journals, the meetings, and the personal contacts are often taken for granted, and seldom are their economic value and importance to the infrastructure accounted for. The executive bodies of the divisions help provide a community voice to articulate achievements, needs, and problems to larger bodies. The panel believes that these organizations are an essential part of the AMO science culture in the United States. The National Research Council's Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) provides a vital communications link between the
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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future community and the government agencies that have a vested interest in AMO science and provides a forum for discussing issues of mutual concern. It also provides an important communications link within and a voice for this diverse field, bringing together persons from the different areas, which tend to drift apart into their own divisions and societies. It provides a forum where problems and needs transcending individual subfields can be addressed. Through this committee, the AMO science community also has important ties to the Plasma Science Committee and the Solid State Sciences Committee of the NRC's Board on Physics and Astronomy, to the NRC's Board on Chemical Science and Technology, and to the NRC's National Materials Advisory Board.
Representative terms from entire chapter: