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Coherent Control of Atoms and Molecules

TitleCoherent Control of Atoms and Molecules
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsBartels, RA

From a practical point of view, atoms are the basic building blocks that we can use to manipulate our natural world. Molecules are collections of atoms with behavior drastically different from that of the atoms of which they are composed. The ability to control these atoms and molecules has driven the creation of materials that has revolutionized every aspect of technology that impacts our daily lives. Furthermore, the synthesis of chemicals (including life-saving drugs) also relies on our ability to control atoms and molecules. Current methods used to control the atoms and molecules that drive much of our technology are based on thermodynamics. An understanding of those laws allows us to exploit the predicted behavior of atoms and molecules for the synthesis of materials. Improvements in our ability to control atoms and molecules beyond what is allowed by thermodynamics will usher in a new era of technologies based on the control and not just the observation of nature.