Cooling Large Numbers of Molecules to Low Temperatures

August 29, 2018

Credit: L. Anderegg

Large interacting quantum systems—like ultracold atoms or molecules—are testbeds for fundamental physics. While robust techniques exist for cooling atoms, cooling molecules remains challenging because of their complex electronic structures and their additional rotational and vibrational degrees of freedom. Recently, Lawrence Cheuk [a postdoc in Prof. John Doyle's group] at Harvard University and colleagues [from the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms] demonstrated laser-based cooling of a dense gas of calcium monofluoride (CaF) molecules to 60 μK and achieved a density of of 8×107cm−3. Now the team has refined the technique and cooled an even denser molecular gas to 20 μK. The researchers say that their cooling protocol could also be used for nondestructive imaging of single molecules...

Continue reading "Synopsis: Cooling Large Numbers of Molecules to Low Temperatures" by Maria Longobardi in Physics, August 23, 2018.

Also read the research article:
Lawrence W. Cheuk, Loïc Anderegg, Benjamin L. Augenbraun, Yicheng Bao, Sean Burchesky, Wolfgang Ketterle, and John M. Doyle, "Λ-Enhanced Imaging of Molecules in an Optical Trap," Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 083201 (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.083201.