From laser cooling to quantum chemistry

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 12:30 pm - 12:30 pm EST

Phys10 Undergraduate Seminar Series

Alan Jamison, Department of Physics & Astronomy and IQC

I will begin by describing how we use a collection of high power lasers to cool a hot atomic beam from 1000K to 1nK. At such ultracold temperatures all thermal motion has ceased, making quantum mechanical effects dominate. One example of this behavior is the Bose-Einstein condensation transition, which sees thousands or even millions of atoms occupy the same quantum state, bringing quantum behavior to relatively large scales where it may be directly observed. We have recently moved beyond atomic systems to produce ultracold molecules. I will briefly describe how this is accomplished and some first results on studying chemistry in the ultracold limit, where quantum effects can be studied with unique precision and control.

This talk is geared toward an upper year audience; as always, everyone is welcome to attend.