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Singapore selected to host major physics conference in 2015

18 June 2013

The prestigious ICOLS series attracts eminent scientists. Pictured here is Charles Townes, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 for work leading to the development of the laser, delivering an after-dinner talk at ICOLS 2013.

Conference-goers can enjoy Singapore's local attractions spanning food, museums and the beach – as did attendees of the 2012 QCrypt conference, shown here at a reception on Singapore's Sentosa island.

CQT will bring the International Conference on Laser Spectroscopy (ICOLS) to Singapore in 2015. The decision was announced at this year's ICOLS meeting in Berkeley, United States on 14 June. The conference will see between 200 and 300 scientific experts converging on the country two years from now.

ICOLS meetings have been held biannually since 1973. As the field of laser-enabled physics has grown, so has the scope of the meetings. Today ICOLS meetings cover a broad range of topics in atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, from applications of frequency combs in astronomy, via precision laser-sensing of temperature in living cells, to quantum information and simulation with laser-cooled atoms, ions, and molecules.

"This biannual conference is the most prestigious meeting in AMO physics," says Kai Dieckmann, the CQT Principal Investigator who led Singapore's bid. The speakers at this year's meeting included a clutch of Nobel Prize winners, with 2012 Physics Laureates Serge Haroche and David Wineland among them.

Strong overlaps with the research carried out in CQT's experimental quantum physics labs make this an exciting meeting for CQTians to bring to their neighbourhood. International attendees to ICOLS 2015 will have the opportunity to sample Singapore's greenery and glorious food as well as take in the conference's scientific updates.

Kai was in Berkeley this week to receive the verdict with CQT Admin Executive Evon Tan, who worked with him on the bid. Their success follows many months of planning and meetings. Kai will chair the Organizing Committee, with Evon overseeing conference management. They will be supported by other CQTians including Murray Barrett as co-chair.

The conference website can be found at icols2015.quantumlah.org

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