As I noted a while ago, I'm giving a talk at DAMOP a week from Tuesday with the title "What's So Interesting About AMO Physics?". This is intended as an introduction to the meeting as a whole, for new students or people coming in from other fields. The reason? I found a copy of the 2001 DAMOP program, which featured 270 talks and 293 posters. This year's meeting is almost twice as big: 477 talks and 548 posters. That's awfully daunting, so I'm going to try to provide an introduction/ guide to the meeting as a whole.
This, of course, requires me to know a little bit about a wide range of topics, so I can explain why they're interesting. I think I have a decent sense of this for four of the five rough categories of invited talk sessions (my background is in cold atoms and BEC, I follow quantum information and precision measurement fairly closely, and I've seen a lot of ultrafast laser talks), but the last one I'm not especially comfortable with. I made a vague request for information a little while ago, but having gone through the program in a little more detail, I can be more specific about what I want to know about.
The following list of seven sessions is the set of things that I'm hazy enough about that I'm not confident I can speak intelligently about them, or even avoid accidentally saying something stupid about them. If you know anything about these areas (who's likely to be an especially good speaker, what the absolute must-see discoveries of the year are, etc.), please leave a comment or send me an email. If you don't know anything personally, but know somebody who might, please forward this on to them. I want to be as fair as possible to all the subfields, but I need a little help to do this loose collection of topics justice.
The list of sessions, with links to the program:
Session B1 The X-ray Universe
Chair: Phillip Stancil, University of Georgia Room: A601
Invited Speakers: Greg Brown, Alfred Mueller, Enrico Landi, Jose R. Crespo Lopez-Urrutia
Session C1 Positron-matter Interactions and Antihydrogen
Chair: Robert McConnell, Harvard University Room: A601
Invited Speakers: Paul D. Bowe, Yasunori Yamazaki, David Cassidy, J.R. Danielson
Session H6 Advances in Gaseous Electronics
Chair: Michael Brunger, Flinders University Room: A706
Invited Speakers: Thomas M. Miller, T. Kirchner, Amy Wendt, James Sullivan
Session K1 Focus Session: Recent Advances in Collision Studies
Chair: Daniel Wolf Savin, Columbia University Room: A601
Invited Speakers: F. Robicheaux, Oldrich Novotny
Session M1 Focus Session: Photoionization Spectroscopy
Chair: Thomas Gorczyca, Western Michigan University Room: A601
Invited Speakers: R.C. Mancini, J. Colgan
Session N1 AMO Science for Laboratory and Astrophysical Environments
Chair: Arati Dasgupta, Naval Research Laboratory Room: A601
Invited Speakers: Phillip Stancil, Jurij Simcic, Randall Smith, Elizabeth McCormack
Session T1 Focus Session: Electronic, Atomic, and Molecular Collision Studies
Chair: Steven Manson, Georgia State University Room: A601
Invited Speakers: Timothy Gay, Paul Johnson
Pointers to review articles or really good online resources about this stuff would me most welcome. I can Google all these speakers myself, if it comes to that, but a little more direction would make my life easier, and produce a better summary next Tuesday.
(Complaints that these really aren't that closely related are less welcome, unless they provide a more sensible grouping of these sessions. It should be noted, though, that I've lumped an awful lot of material into "Ultracold Atoms/ BEC," so it's not just this category that is really coarse.)
1) You might provide a VERY good example to impressionable young physicists by admitting you don't know much at all about one of those 5 subjects. A common error made by very smart people is to pretend they know something about everything.
2) I don't know ANYTHING about anything at DAMOP, but if I was nearby I would attend the meeting just to see session C1.
Observation #2 means there could be people in your audience with all sorts of special interests in CPT and QED in positronium, which reinforces observation #1.
Why would I attend C1? I still remember a talk by Gerald Gabrielse from decades ago about what turned out to be a quarter century plus attack on the problem of trapping antihydrogen. Now it has been done, and similarly crazy people are talking about making a bose-einstein condensate of positronium.
Nice blog provideing.