Research in AMO physics has a long history--from building the foundations of quantum mechanics to continuing today at the cutting edge of science. The development of AMO physics is fueled by revolutionary advances in our ability to use light to manipulate, control and measure the properties of atoms and molecules.
As such, the signature scientific achievements in AMO physics are the developments of enabling experimental methodologies, and the application of these methodologies to Nobel-prize winning discoveries and to developing scientific knowledge in areas that extend across all of physics and other scientific disciplines including biology and chemistry.
Research opportunities in atomic, molecular and optical physics span a broad spectrum of topics, from the making of precision measurements of fundamental constants of nature to the measurements of parity violating effects in atoms. Other exciting areas in AMO physics are quantum optics; laser cooling and atom trapping; atom interferometers; the search for the electric dipole moment of the electron; the search for dark matter; studies of the consequences of Bose-Einstein condensation; generation and application of ultra-short pulses of x-rays; quantum computing and information processing; antimatter research; the exploration of the fundamental properties of gravity; and the spectroscopy novel molecules and solid state systems. Atomic physics techniques are also exploited in experiments focusing on fundamental issues in particle and nuclear physics, as well as condensed matter physics.