Recent development of the technology of ultrashort-pulsed lasers has enabled us to generate extremely intense laser light fields, and its magnitude could even exceed that of Coulomb fields within atoms and molecules. From pioneering studies in the last decade, it has been revealed that molecules and clusters behave in a very exotic way in such intense laser fields, and researchers in the fields of chemistry, physics, and laser-engineering have realized that dynamical processes of molecules and clusters could be controlled by ideally-designed intense laser fields. On the other hand, quantum emission phenomena induced by a strong-laser matter interaction such as generation of soft- and hard-X rays as well as high-energy electrons and ions have attracted researchers to the development of new pulsed high-energy light and particle sources for time-resolved probing of ultrafast dynamics within solid materials as well as on solid surfaces.
A new interdisciplinary field called "Science and Technology in Intense Laser Fields" is now being opened on a worldwide scale. Considering this exciting situation, it should be worthwhile and timely to establish an international committee formed by scientists active in this field to promote information exchange among the researchers on the globe, to stimulate research communities in respective countries along this direction, and to expand the frontier further towards a new horizon. For this purpose, we decided to organize International Committee on Intense Laser Sciences (ICILS) and launch two projects, i.e. (i) Information exchange through ICILS Website and (ii) Annual Meeting of ICILS.
Through the ICILS website, we will be able to exchange latest information on various aspects of the research scene such as international symposia and conferences on related topics scheduled or being planed in the near future, current research activities and national projects on the related issues in respective countries, available open positions in institutes and universities, new development of experimental and theoretical approaches, and development of new laser light sources. The web pages will be renewed regularly upon receiving new information submitted from the committee members as well as from researchers who are interested in the research areas. In the column called Column of Month, latest information on the research fields will be introduced by the committee members.
In addition to the communication through this website, we will hold an interdisciplinary symposium on intense laser sciences once in every year. The direct discussion among active scientists about updated issues is especially important to stimulate this new and interdisciplinary research fields. In September this year, JST symposium on Control of Molecules in Intense Laser Fields was held in Tokyo. The idea of ICILS was born from the enthusiasm which was shared among the attendees of the symposium. Therefore, the JST symposium can be regarded as the first trial of such an interdisciplinary effort.
We all hope that the activities of ICILS will grow further so that this new emerging research field gains worldwide recognition as an important and promising fundamental field, leading to the frontiers of science and technology in the 21st century. Such recognition will improve funding situation of this interdisciplinary field in respective countries, and promote information exchange among researchers as well as their research activities, and establish a positive feedback for the flourishing international research community.
November 1, 2002