July 14, 2009--Because of Kansas State University's (Manhattan, KS) world-renowned physics research with ultrafast intense lasers at the J. R. MacDonald Laboratory, Kansas State was chosen to host the Second International Conference on Attosecond Physics at its campus in Manhattan, KS. The conference is so far drawing more than 200 top researchers from 25 countries. In 2008, 80 as pulses were demonstrated (see "Light to reveal electrons interacting within atoms").
Dean Zollman, K-State University distinguished professor and head of K-State's department of physics, said that despite the global recession, more than 200 scientists are expected to attend the meeting, and more than half of them are coming from abroad, including almost all of the leading research groups from Europe, Asia, and Canada. He said that this conference series is the new forum for the advancement of attosecond technology and science.
Chii-Dong Lin, K-State University distinguished professor of physics and conference co-chair, said that attosecond physics aims at measuring the motion of electrons in atoms, molecules and matter in their own time scale. An attosecond is one billion-billionth of a second. Look for a 'Photonics Applied: Advanced Spectroscopy' feature on attosecond spectroscopy from Laser Focus World in an upcoming issue.
Today there are only a handful of laboratories in the world capable of making attosecond light pulses. At K-State, Zenghu Chang, professor of physics and a conference co-chair, is a member of this group. Under the guidance of 10 teaching faculty at the J.R. MacDonald Laboratory, more than 60 graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, research faculty and laboratory staff are engaged in research using ultrafast lasers, with funding support from U.S. Department of Energy, Army Research and the National Science Foundation.
Pioneers of the field are coming to K-State and are serving as the conference honorary chairs. They include Ferenc Krausz of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany, Paul Corkum of National Research Council of Canada and University of Ottawa, and Katsumi Midorikawa from RIKEN in Japan. Several K-State scholars will speak at the conference. Ahn-Thu Le, research assistant professor at the J.R. MacDonald Laboratory, will discuss using high harmonic generation to probe fixed-in-space molecular structures. Hiroki Mashiko, research associate in physics, will discuss the fast laser technique of double optical gating. Pedrag Ranitovic, former K-State research associate in physics, will discuss how using attosecond ultraviolet and femtosecond infrared radiation can probe the time dependence of the molecular dissociation process.
For more information, go to jrm.phys.k-state.edu/Atto-09/.