A Quantum Gas of Polar Molecules

Ultracold polar molecular gases promise new directions and exciting appli-cations in precision measurements, ultracold chemistry, electric-field controlled collisions, dipolar quantum gases, and quantum information sciences. This the-sis presents experimental realization of a near quantum degenerate gas of polar molecules, where the phase-space density of the gas achieved is more than 10 or-ders of magnitude higher than previous results. The near quantum degenerate gas of polar molecules is created using two coherent steps. First, atoms in an ul-tracold gas mixture are converted into extremely weakly bound molecules near a Fano-Feshbach resonance. Second, the weakly bound molecules are transferred to the ro-vibronic ground state using a coherent two-photon Raman technique. The fact that these ground-state molecules are polar is confirmed with a spectroscopic measurement of the permanent electric dipole moment. Finally, manipulation of the molecular hyperfine state is demonstrated; this allows molecules to be pop-ulated in a single quantum state, in particular, the lowest energy state. With an ultracold gas of molecules, full control of molecular internal state, and electric field as a new handle, ultracold molecular collisions, including ultracold chemical reactions and dipolar collisions, are studied.
Year of Publication
Academic Department
Department of Physics
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Date Published
University of Colorado Boulder
JILA PI Advisors
Publication Status