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About PQE

The Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics, known as “PQE”, is an annual physics conference that attracts the world's experts in laser physics, quantum physics, and many other areas. The meeting is now in its 42nd year and is held annually in early January in Snowbird, UT.

Help Wanted! This document is a work in progress. If you have any information about early PQE meetings, especially dates or locations, or if you have corrections for the information here, please contact us:
[ pqe (at) pqeconference (dot) com ]

History

The inventions of the maser and laser in the late 1950s and 1960 brought a flood of new developments in the area that came to be known as Quantum Electronics. By the late 1960s there was still much to be learned, but very few formal courses. In the summers of 1966 and 1967, David Edwards of Colorado State University organized summer meetings under the name “Physics of Quantum Electronics.” It was here that Steve Jacobs of the University of Arizona and Marlan Scully, then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met and formulated the idea for continuing the PQE meetings.

Marlan Scully and Steve Jacobs went on to organize a series of 2-week summer schools, which evolved into advanced workshops and technical progress reports. With the blessing of Dave Edwards, they continued to use the name Physics of Quantum Electronics. Much of this history was provided by Steve Jacobs. Prof.\ Jacobs maintains a nice set of photographs from early PQE meetings on his web site.

Below is a list of all the meetings and workshops under the masthead of PQE.

•  PQE Winter Colloquia The Winter Colloquia on the Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE) have continued annually for over 40 years.

•  Other meetings Below is a list all the other meetings including recent summer workshops and those in the early days of PQE.

•  PQE publications




Winter Colloquia on the Physics of Quantum Electronics

Historically, there have been many meetings under the masthead of PQE. However, it is the Winter Colloquium that has the largest number of attendees, and although there are still occaisional summer meetings, only the Winter Colloquium continues each and every year.

The Winter Colloquium is now held each year at the Snowbird ski resort near Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States. However, the original meetings were at other places. The table below shows the locations of the meetings.

Year Location Sponsor
1971 Sun Valley, ID Air Force
1972 Steamboat Springs, CO Air Force
1973 Snowbird, UT Air Force
1974 Snowmass, CO Air Force
1975 Snowmass, CO Air Force
1976 Steamboat Springs, CO Air Force
1976 Steamboat Springs, CO ERDA/NRA
(Laser Isotope Separation)
1977 Park City, UT ERDA/NRA
(Laser Isotope Separation)
1977 Park City, UT for ERDA Laser Fusion Div
(High Power Lasers)
1978
to present
Snowbird, UT No Sponsor
(supported by registration fees)

Please refer to the main PQE web site for information on the next meeting.

Financing the first few meetings went through several stages. In the early years, the two-week summer school registration fees could be justified by private industry, government, and universities. Eventually, formal courses supplanted the need for special summer schools, and PQE commenced instead to run topical meetings and workshops funded by government contracts.

The first such contract was to obtain consulting for the Air Force Weapons Lab (AFWL) in New Mexico. AFWL found that their consultants much preferred skiing locations to Kirtland Air Force Base, and the Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics was born. These meetings have been held in the winter near down-hill ski areas since 1971.

Originally funding was arranged through an existing research contract with the University of Arizona's Optical Sciences Center (OSC.) After the 5-year AFWL contract ended, several other government contracts supported the winter meeting. Since 1978, the meetings have been supported only by registration fees paid by the atendees.

Steve Jacobs ended his involvement around 1995, but Marlan Scully has continued his role as scientific organizer from the beginning. In 1992, George Welch joined the faculty of Texas A&M University, met Marlan for the first time, and started attending the Winter Colloquium regularly. In 2000, George began to help with the organization of the meeting. He is now point-man for contacting the speakers and session organizers, arranges the sessions and technical program, and coordinates the local logistics at the meeting.

There is an interesting anecdote concerning the early Winter Colloquia. After the initial 5-year AFWL contract ended, several other government contracts supported the winter meeting, each with a special consulting motivation. Such contracts came to an end when the appearance of impropriety brought this “ski resort boondoggle” to the attention of Senator Proxmire’s committee. After close examination, the “Golden Fleece Award” was not made to PQE, but this ended the prospect for government funding. This almost put an end to the winter meetings, but it was agreed that the combination of high level technical exchange, contract hunting, and fun was worthwhile and might be supportable through individual registration fees. This system has indeed proven successful, and has continued from 1977 to the present.

The organizers of PQE sincerely believe the technical content of this conference is second to none, and that the amount of work done during the meetings — typically 200 talks in four days, meeting for nearly 9 hours per day — dispels any conceivable notion that this meeting is merely a ski trip. Proxmire, eat your heart out.




Other PQE meetings

In addition to the Winter Colloquia, there have been many other meetings:

Original PQE summer meetings

The first two PQE summer meetings were organized by Dave Edwards of Colorado state university.

Readers with any information about these meetings such as location, dates, pictures, etc., are cordially asked to contact us:
[ pqe (at) pqeconference
(dot) com ]

PQE Two-Week Summer Tutorial

After the first two summer meetings organized by David Edwards, Marlan Scully and Steve Jacobs continued organizing these meetings.

year location/topic
1968 Flagstaff, Arizon
1969 Flagstaff, Arizona
1970 Prescott, Arizon
1973 Crystal Mountain, Washing
1974 Santa Fe, New Mexico
1977 Telluride, Colorado / FEL Workshop for ONR
1979 Telluride, Colorado / FEL Workshop for ONR
1981 Telluride, Colorado / FEL Workshop for ONR

PQE Special Workshops

year location topic
1972 Key Largo, Florida –?–
1973 –?– 3 day symposium on New Laser Concepts
1976 Las Cruces, New Mexico Five-day tutorial on Modern Optics for White Sands Missile Range
1981 Keystone, Colorado Topical meeting on Tunable Lasers for ARO
1983 Orcas Island, Washington FEL Generators of Coherent Radiation
1984 Snowbird, Utah Physics of Optical Ring Gyros

PQE Summer Workshops

After the first decade or so of PQE special meetings, only the Winter Colloquium continued, and there were no more summer activites. In the 1990s, Summer Workshops again commenced under the guidance of Marlan Scully. These meetings were in much the same style of the Winter Colloquia, but were generally much smaller, more focussed, and less formal.

year (date) location topic
1996 —???— Crested Butte, CO Coherence effects, and lasing without inversion
1997 —???— Crested Butte, CO Coherence effects, and lasing without inversion
1998 —???— Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY Coherence effects, and lasing without inversion
1999 —???— Taos, NM Coherence effects, and lasing without inversion
2000 (July 30 — August 4, 2000) Jackson Hole Resort, Teton Village, WY Festive Workshops on Quantum Optics
2001 (July 29 — August 3, 2001) Snow King resort, Jackson Hole, WY Workshop on Laser Physics and Quantum Optics: RAMSEY FEST
2003 (June 9 — July 11, 2003) Grand Targhee, WY Workshop on Quantum Optics, and concluding activities for Research for Undergraduates (RUG) program
2005 (August 14 – August 20, 2005) Casper College, Casper, WY Quantum Optics Summer Workshop
2007 (July 15 – July 21, 2007) Casper College, Casper, WY TAMU/Princeton Summer School on Quantum Optics and Molecular Physics
2009 (August 3 – August 7, 2009) Snow King resort, Jackson Hole, WY TAMU/Princeton Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering Summer School



PQE Publications

PQE published technical reports, proceedings, and books until 1984, but none were published after that until 2001. Since 2001, the Journal of Modern Optics has dedicated a special issue to papers originating from this conference.

JMO has been very supportive in this, and we greatly appreciate their efforts. Taylor and Francis, the publisher of JMO, has worked very hard to cut time to publication. We encourage optical scientists to consider JMO for publication of their high quality results.

Year Publication Editors
1968 Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 1, OSC Technical Report #31 S. F. Jacobs and J. Mandelbaum
1969 Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 2, OSC Technical Report #45 S. F. Jacobs and J. Mandelbaum
1970 Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 3, OSC Technical Report #66 S. F. Jacobs
1973 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 1, “High Energy Lasers and Their Applications” S. F. Jacobs, M. O. Scully, M. Sargent III
1974 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 2, “Laser Applications to Optics and Spectroscopy” S. F. Jacobs, M. Sargent III, J. F. Scott, and M. O. Scully
1975 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 3, “Laser Induced Fusion and X-Ray Laser Studies” S. F. Jacobs, M. O. Scully, M. Sargent III, C. D. Cantrell III
1976 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 4, “Laser Photochemistry, Tunable Lasers, and Other Topics” S. F. Jacobs, M. Sargent III, M. O. Scully, C. T. Walker
1977 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 5, “Novel Sources of Coherent Radiation” S. F. Jacobs, M. Sargent III, M. O. Scully
1978 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 6, “Adaptive Optics and Short Wavelength Sources” S. F. Jacobs, M. Sargent III, M. O. Scully
1979 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 7, “Free-Electron Generators of Coherent Radiation” S. F. Jacobs, H. S. Pilloff, M. Sargent III, and R. Spitzer
1980 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 8, “Free-Electron Generators of Coherent Radiation” S. F. Jacobs, G. T. Moore, H. S. Pilloff, M. Sargent III, M. O. Scully, and R. Spitzer
1981 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 9, “Free-Electron Generators of Coherent Radiation” S. F. Jacobs, G. T. Moore, H. S. Pilloff, M. Sargent III, M. O. Scully, and R. Spitzer
1983 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, “Free-Electron Generators of Coherent Radiation,” Proceedings of SPIE, Volume 483, 440, (1984) C. A. Brau, S. F. Jacobs, and M. O. Scully
1984 The Physics of Quantum Electronics, “Physics of Optical Ring Gyros,” Proceedings of SPIE, Volume 487 Stephen F. Jacobs, Murray Sargent III, Marlan O. Scully, James Simpson, Virgil Sanders, Joseph E. Killpatrick
2001   31st Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 49, Issues 3 and 4, 2002
Robert W. Boyd and Marlan O. Scully
2002   32nd Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 49, Issues 14 and 15, 2002
Robert W. Boyd and Marlan O. Scully
2003   33rd Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 50, Issues 15-17, 2003
Robert W. Boyd and Marlan O. Scully
2004   34th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 51, Issues 16-18, 2004
Robert W. Boyd and Marlan O. Scully
2005   35th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 52, Issue 16, 2005
Robert W. Boyd and Marlan O. Scully
2006   36th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 53, Issues 16 and 17, 2006
Robert W. Boyd, Frank A. Narducci, and George R. Welch
2007   37th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 54, Issues 16 and 17, 2007
Frank A. Narducci and George R. Welch
2008   38th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 55, Issues 19 and 20, 2008
Frank A. Narducci and George R. Welch
2009   39th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 56, Issues 18 and 19, 2009
George R. Welch and Frank A. Narducci
2010   40th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 57, Issue 19, 2010
George R. Welch and Frank A. Narducci
2011   41st Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics,
J. Modern Optics, Volume 58, Issue 21, 2011
Frank A. Narducci and George R. Welch




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