As quantum science moves beyond controlling atoms, diatomic molecules can be created and optically trapped at ultracold temperatures. This allows exquisite control over the quantum states of the molecules. Using this platform, we can generate long-lived coherent superpositions of far-separated molecular quantum states. The capability to create these superpositions results in a precise clock that is based on molecular vibrations. The vibrational molecular clock allows interatomic force measurements with resolution exceeding a part per trillion, with a potential to improve the constraints on new short-range mass-dependent forces. The full control of the molecular quantum states also helps to shed light on ultracold chemical reactions that proceed as matter waves, and to enable a range of new experiments in fundamental physics and chemistry.
Tanya Zelevinsky / Columbia University
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