Laser cooling and trapping techniques developed for atoms cannot easily be generalized to molecules, due to the more complex structure. Since 1997, the group in Laboratoire Aime Cotton followed by other groups in the world has succeeded in forming long-lived ultracold alkali dimers through photo-association of laser-cooled atoms. The temperature associated to the translational motion of the molecules is as low as twenty micro-Kelvins. The field of coherent control has advanced to a stage where impressive manipulations of molecular dynamics has been demonstrated.
Coherent control has demonstrated the ability to transfer the coherent properties of light to matter and then to interfere the matter waves to direct the chemical system.
The aim of the proposed series of EuroConferences is to organize two major events in this rapidly growing field of formation and application of ultracold molecules, bringing together participants from various communities:
i) laser cooling, trapping and Bose-Einstein condensation;
ii) molecular spectroscopy;
iii) coherent control and physical chemistry.
Most aspects of the research field will then be covered, and major advances are expected on cooling of both external and internal motions of the molecules, spectroscopic characterization of cold molecules, control and enhancement of the formation process through laser interaction, trapping of large samples of molecules, molecular Bose-Einstein condensation, and possible applications of cold molecules.
Many applied research fields will certainly benefit from such events, and are already investigated in various groups: ultracold photochemistry and control of chemical reactions can be enhanced significantly through low temperature achievement. The reduction of quantum dissipation and the use of shaped laser pulses will allow to test ideas in quantum computation. Other topics are surface deposition, surface NMR and metrology. The two organizing groups of the proposed events are leaders in cold molecule formation (Orsay) and in coherent control (Jerusalem), from both the experimental and theoretical points of view, which will facilitate the achievements of the above objectives.