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News & Highlights

Research Highlights

Published: Thu, 10/04/2018 - 9:15am

JILA researchers are using lasers to control chemical reactions at the quantum level. This control brings new insights to our understanding of reaction pathways, and serves as a proof-of-principle that similar techniques could revolutionize our study of chemical processes.

In the vast stretches between solar systems, heat does not flow and sound does not exist. Action seems to stop, but only if you don’t look long enough.

Violent and chaotic actions occur in the long stretches of outer space. These chemical reactions between radicals and ions are the same reactions underlying the burn of a flame and floating the ozone above our planet. But they’re easy to miss in outer space because they’re very rare.

“It’s very low density in the interstellar medium, so the probability of seeing another atom or molecule is very low,” said JILA Fellow Dr. Heather Lewandowski. “They could go for kilometers before seeing another particle.”

And when meetings are that rare, the particles must be reactive. “If you do run into another particle, you want to have a high probability of reaction if you are ever going to react,” said Lewandowski.

Radicals and ions are...

Published: Jun 02, 2016

The Kapteyn/Murnane group has measured how long it takes an electron born into an excited state inside a piece of nickel to escape from its...

Published: May 04, 2016

The Ye group just solved a major problem for using molecular...

Published: Apr 21, 2016

Move over, single-atom laser cooling! The Holland theory group has just come up with a stunning idea for a new kind of laser cooling for use with...

Published: Apr 20, 2016

The old JILA molecule factory (built in 2002) produced the world’s first ultracold polar molecules [potassium-rubidium (KRb)] in 2008. The old...

Published: Mar 31, 2016

The Ye and Rey groups have discovered the strange rules of quantum baseball in which strontium (Sr) atoms are the players, and photons of light...

Published: Feb 10, 2016

Cong Chen and his colleagues in the Kapteyn/Murnane group have generated one of the most complex coherent light fields ever produced using...

Published: Jan 28, 2016

The Rey and Ye groups are in the midst of an extended collaboration on using the Ye group’s strontium (Sr) lattice clock for studies of spin-orbit...

Published: Dec 08, 2015

In 2008, Fellow Jeff Linsky and his colleague Seth Redfield of Wesleyan University used spectral information gathered by the Hubble Space...

Published: Dec 03, 2015

Imagine laser-like x-ray beams that can “see” through materials––all the way into the heart of atoms. Or, envision an exquisitely controlled four-...

Published: Nov 30, 2015

In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical fibers or microwave cables. The evolution of a...

Published: Nov 06, 2015

JILA’s cold molecule collaboration (Jin and Ye Groups, with theory support from the Rey Group) recently made a breakthrough in its efforts to use...

Published: Nov 02, 2015

The Regal and Rey groups have come up with a novel way to generate and propagate quantum entanglement [1], a key feature required for quantum...

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