Laser Science

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The Division of Laser Science


The Division of Laser Science (DLS) of the American Physical Society announces the continuance of its sponsorship of a lecture program in Laser Science. Lecturers will visit selected academic institutions for two days, during which time they will give a public lecture open to the entire academic community and meet informally with students and faculty. They may also give guest lectures in classes related to Laser Science. The purpose of the program is to bring distinguished scientists to predominantly undergraduate colleges and universities in order to convey the excitement of Laser Science to undergraduate students.

Guidelines: DLS will be responsible for the travel expenses and honorarium of the lecturer. The host institution will be responsible for the local expenses of the lecturer and for advertising the public lecture. Recommendations to the DLS chair for host institutions will be made by the Selection Committee after consulting with the lecturers. Priority will be given to those institutions that are not located in major metropolitan centers and do not have extensive resources for similar programs. Applications should be submitted by members of DLS. Membership application can easily be made at the internet www home page for APS-- http://aps.org/

Lecturers for the 2000-2001 Academic Year:

  • Mara Prentiss, Physics Department, Harvard University. Atom Optics.
  • Jim Kafka, Spectra Physics. Laser Development.
  • Carlos Stroud, The Institue of Optics, University of Rochester. Wave packets.
  • Lee W. Casperson, Department of Electrical Engineering, Portland State University. Lasers and Optical Systems.
  • Wolfgang Ketterle, Dept. of Physics, MIT. Atom cooling and trapping.

Please note that we cannot guarantee an applicant's first choice of speaker and time, since there is competition within the program. Ordinarily, DTL visits to an institution should be three years apart.

Please send your application to Rainer Grobe, the DTL Committee chair (grobe@ilstu.edu) and also to Richard Freeman (rrfree@ucdavis.edu), the DLS Secretary-Treasurer.

The application deadlines occur twice a year: April 30 and November 30, for proposed visits roughly six-twelve months in the future.

In your application:

1. Please provide details on your geographical location and on your normal seminar schedule and budget, and explain whether these are limiting factors in your ability to bring in top level speakers on your own.

2. Please clarify that there will be a public lecture to a lay audience and a separate talk of some type in the department. Please explain ways by which you will advertise the lectures to a wide audience.

3. Please provide details on the size and nature of your institution and your undergraduate major's program and the number of faculty and students who are likely to interact in different ways with the visitor.

4. Please provide a tentative (model) 2-day schedule, showing intended visits with faculty, students or student groups, classes, receptions, dinners, lunches with students (these are only examples of possible activites, but ones which we believe are useful). There needs to be a "full" schedule of intense interactions planned out for their visits, so that the DTLs will be productive during their visit.

5. If your application involves more than one department or institution, please provide name and email address of a contact person at the other unit, and details of the interaction.

6. Please indicate whether your department has had a DTL visitor before.

7. Please provide a rank-ordered list of all DTLs that are of interest for your institution.


The public lecture should be given a flashy, popular title. It should be identified in advertisements as "for the General Public," or similar. Visual aides (eg. photos, professional quality slides or viewgraphs, etc.) and analogies, stories, etc., should be used effectively by the DTL.

Optional-- have the lecturer send a reading list of accessible papers for students to look at ahead of time.

Optional-- have a session for students called "What is it like to be a research scientist?" or "Graduate School and Beyond, the Future for Physics," etc.

A past lecturer (Ron Shen) presented a special talk for undergrads titled "The Simple Ideas behind the Nobel Prizes in Laser Science."

Free-form discussions with groups of undergrads might be difficult to pull off. It is better to have structured topics. Example-- a guest lecture in a class related to Laser Science.

Lunch with students might be a good idea to provide an informal meeting without pressure.

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Last Updated April 22, 1998. Webmaster