Skip to Main Content
  Contact Us
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences

This committee will stand down due to the decadal survey.


The Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) is a standing activity of the BPA. The committee’s membership covers the full breadth of the atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) sciences and forms a multidisciplinary group with experts from universities, industry, and government laboratories.

After a period of dormancy during the writing of the AMO 2010 volume of the next Physics 2010 Decadal Survey Controlling the Quantum World, CAMOS has been reestablished with the following objectives:

  • To provide active stewardship of the agenda laid out in Controlling the Quantum World;
  • To provide a means for dialog with federal agencies on AMO science and related fields;
  • To initiate case studies on important timely topics in AMO science and/or its multidisciplinary connections with other fields of science and technology.
  • To provide a venue for discussion among AMO scientists and thereby provide a unifying force in this diverse and varied field.

Several mechanisms have been developed to achieve these objectives. CAMOS periodically proposes and oversees special technical studies, science surveys, workshops, and other meetings. It provides oversight for study panels that are formed to prepare reports on specific scientific or policy issues. From time to time it holds symposia to focus attention on facilities, programs, or other matters of concern to the AMO science community. From its position within the NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy, CAMOS also generally monitors advances in the physical sciences, technology, and engineering in order to identify important synergies with traditional AMO activities.

Project Information

Upcoming Meetings


Past Meetings

April 15-16, 2015
Keck Center
Washington, DC
Agenda and Presentations

April 7-8, 2014
Keck Center
Washington, DC

April 2-3, 2013
Kect Center or the National Academies
Washington, DC
Agenda - Presentations

April 3-4, 2012
Keck Center
Washington, DC
Agenda -- Presentations
Focus Session: Quantum Control


October 1-2, 2012
Beckman Center of the National Academies
Irvine, CA
Agenda --Presentations

April 5-6, 2011
Keck Center
Washington, DC
Agenda -- Presentations
Focus Session PDF: Extreme Light


October 3-4, 2011
Keck Center
Washington, DC
Agenda -- Presentations
Focus Session PDF: Nanoscale Science

April 6-7, 2010
Keck Center
Washington, DC
Agenda --Presentations


October 16-17, 2010
The University of Arizona-Biosphere 2
Tucson, AZ
Agenda -- Presentations List
Focus Session PDF: Precision Measurements

May 15-16, 2009
Keck Center
Washington, DC 


December 12-13, 2009
Beckman Center
Irvine, CA

NRC Staff


James Lancaster, Board Director
Neeraj Gorkhaly, Associate Program Officer
Linda Walker, Program Coordinator

Current Activities

To follow up the 2006 report, Controlling the Quantum World: The Science of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons, the committee is holding focus sessions on science highlights in the field and producing one-page handouts, which will be made available here as they are produced.  Current handouts include:

  • Precision Measurements, focus session held at the October 2010 meeting
  • Extreme Light, focus session held at the April 2011 meeting
  • Nanoscale Science, focus session held at the October 2011 meeting
  • Quantum Control Focus session conducted at the April, 2012 meeting
  • Quantum Foundations focus session conducted at the April, 2013 meeting

Past Report-writing Activities

Since its foundation in 1970, CAMOS has originated numerous NRC studies, workshops, and other activities. Selected NRC reports include the following



The Committee is pleased to acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.