The Lewandowski Group studies collisions and reactions of simple cold molecules and ions. Our ultimate goal is to understand the quantum mechanical processes involved in making and breaking a chemical bond. We aim to control the reacting molecules external and internal degrees of freedom in the quantum regime. To accomplish this control, we slow down a supersonically cooled molecular beam using time-varying inhomogeneous electric fields (Stark deceleration). The cold (~100 mK) molecules are then loaded into an electrostatic trap to allow for interactions to be studied for several seconds.
Physics Education Research
The Lewandowski Group studies how students obtain experimental research skills in the context of upper-divison instructional labs and undergraduate research experiences. In addition, we work to transform these classroom experiences to help students better transition into the research lab environment.