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M Squared Lasers endows the DAMOP Thesis Prize

Date Announced: 10 Jun 2015

M Squared Lasers is endowing the annual Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular or Optical Physics (the DAMOP Thesis Prize) in support of the exciting work being done by early career scientists in the field.

Established in 1992 by the American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP), the prize recognizes doctoral thesis research of outstanding quality and achievement. The winner is chosen from among four finalists invited to give oral presentations of their work at the annual DAMOP Meeting - one of the largest gatherings of AMO physicists in the world.

The winner receives a prize of $2,500, along with a certificate citing their outstanding research. All finalists also receive a $1,000 travel stipend. The endowment provided by M Squared Lasers gives the DAMOP Thesis Prize funding in perpetuity.

John Bollinger of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and chair of the thesis prize committee said, "The DAMOP Doctoral Thesis Prize is an important honor for young scientists. We’re delighted that a scientific laser business like M Squared with a significant presence in the AMO community is supporting young scientists in this way."

Graeme Malcolm OBE, CEO and Founder of M Squared Lasers, said, “M Squared Lasers is passionate about helping scientists advance the many exciting new areas of atomic, molecular, and optical physics. It’s a field that really pushes the boundaries of laser technology: high powers for trapping, ultra-narrow line-widths for atomic clocks and broad wavelength tunability for spectroscopy. We’re delighted to play a small part in recognizing the remarkable early career researchers who drive new discoveries in the field. It’s a real honor to be associated with this important prize.”

The four prize finalists invited to present their work at the DAMOP Meeting have each made exceptional contributions to the field of AMO physics, and are chosen from the many nominations received from senior scientists. This year, the finalists include: 

  • John Barry for his work on expanding laser trapping and cooling techniques beyond ions and atoms to molecules.
  • Ariel Sommer for a host of experiments on gases of strongly interacting fermionic Lithium atoms.
  • Vivek Tiwari for investigations into the mechanism responsible for the remarkably efficient collection of light in natural photosynthetic organisms.
  • Norman Yao for his study of the non-equilibrium dynamics of strongly-entangled systems, including many-body localization, and topological band structures and phases.

This year’s prize winner will be announced on Thursday 11 June, during the 46th DAMOP Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. More information on the DAMOP Thesis Prize can be found at: www.aps.org


The Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) was founded in 1943, and was the first division of the American Physical Society. Its central focus is fundamental research on atoms, simple molecules, electrons and light, and their interactions.

It plays an enabling role underlying many areas of science through the development of methods for the control and manipulation of atoms, molecules, charged particles and light, through precision measurements and calculations of their properties, and through the invention of new ways to generate light with specific properties. Students who graduate with a background in AMO physics acquire a broad range of knowledge and skills that enable them to contribute to many areas of science and technology.


  • M Squared Lasers Ltd.

    Venture Building
    1 Kelvin Campus
    West of Scotland Science Park
    Maryhill Rd
    Glasgow, G20 0SP

    T: +44 (0)141 945 0500
    F: +44 (0)141 945 0505

E-mail: debbie.brindley@m2lasers.com

Web Site: www.m2lasers.com

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