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Trimers,Tetramers and molecular BEC

Project description

Research explores complex quantum systems at ultracold temperatures

Preparing and controlling complex physical systems down to the quantum level is one of the greatest challenges in modern atomic and molecular physics. This control is mostly achieved by preparing physical systems at temperatures close to absolute zero. The EU-funded TRITRAMO project aims to realise the next milestone on the way to increasingly complex quantum systems at ultracold temperatures. Researchers will cool down diatomic molecules by precisely controlling their collisions. If efforts are successful, a Bose-Einstein condensate can be produced from these diatomic molecules, which can be used to analyse new quantum phases. Moreover, researchers will produce and control small polyatomic molecules – trimers and tetramers – from diatomic molecules under controlled conditions to further understand their properties.


"A major challenge in physics is to prepare and control increasingly complex physical systems at ultracold temperatures down to the quantum level. Precise control allows analyzing the universal features of the system and, at the same time, enables tackling more complex systems. This development has led from atomic control to few- and many-body quantum systems. Similarly, atomic control has enabled the preparation and study of diatomic molecules - a development the PI of this proposal has significantly contributed to.

Our aim is to drive the next milestone on the path to increasingly complex quantum systems in the ultracold. We will make use of collisional processes and photoassociation in ""chemically stable"" atom-molecule and molecular quantum gases to progress beyond diatomic molecules to weakly bound trimers and tetramers. We will feedback the developed understanding of these small polyatomic molecules to controlling atom-molecule and molecule-molecule collisions - currently a hot topic in itself - and possibly enable the realization of the first BEC of diatomic ground-state molecules.

The experiments will start from atom-molecule quantum gas mixtures of 39K and 23Na39K and pure molecular quantum gases of 23Na39K as available in the PI’s laboratory and enable studies of weakly bound NaK2 and Na2K2. We will detect trimers and tetramers and information about their quantum state by ion spectrometry – a method from physical chemistry.

If successful, the proposal will extend significantly beyond the state of the art. It will extend the world of ultracold gases to small, weakly bound polyatomic molecules, provide insight into the building of simple molecular systems, and how few-body systems change with increasing number of atoms. It might enable precision control of diatomic molecule collisions, the longed-for BEC of polar molecules, and might unlock the full potential of polar molecules for dipolar quantum many-body physics."



Net EU contribution
€ 1 822 724,00
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover

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Niedersachsen Hannover Region Hannover
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00