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Cold molecules : formation, trapping, and dynamics

Objective

Very recently groups in the present network have taken giant strides along several routes toward trapping molecules at submilliKelvin temperatures. In comparison, the coldest molecules obtained by supersonic beam expansion are at temperatures above l Kelvin. Laser cooling and trapping techniques have been intensively developed for atoms, but their generalization is difficult due to the more complex structure of a molecule. However, by photo association of laser-cooled alkali atoms, three groups (first Orsay in 1997) have demonstrated the formation of dimmer molecules at a translational temperature below 100 microKelvin. Using non-optical cooling techniques, two routes (deceleration of polar molecules in a time-dependent electric field -pioneered by the FOM-Rijnh group- and sympathetic cooling by buffer gas) are capable of bringing state-selected molecules down to subKelvin temperatures. The aim of the present network is to organize an efficient and creative collaboration between all the European experimental groups in the field of cold and ultra cold molecules, joined by two groups from Croatia and the US, together with leading theoretical groups. The main tasks, enhanced by shared expertise, are to create more efficiently ultra cold molecules by photo association, and cold molecules by non-optical cooling techniques, to achieve different kinds of traps, and to develop the theoretical tools necessary to study the dynamics of the trapped molecules. Once dense samples of cold molecules in well-selected rovibrational states are available, collective effects will be considered, with the goal of a Bose-Einstein condensate of molecules. Super-high precision measurements will be achieved, in particular the determination of the electric dipole moment of the electron, which is important for non-standard particle physics. In conclusion, it is expected that before the end of this network, it will be possible to prepare a wide variety of molecules in dense clouds,

Funding Scheme

NET - Research network contracts

Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
Address
Campus D'orsay, Bètiment 505
91405 Orsay
France

Participants (11)

GRAZ UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Austria
Address
Petergasse 16
8010 Graz
HEINRICH-HEINE-UNIVERSITAET DUESSELDORF
Germany
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 1
40225 Duesseldorf
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
Address
Prince Consort Road
SW7 2BW London
INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS
Croatia
Address
Bijenickja Cesta 46
10000 Zagreb
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
Germany
Address
Faradayweg 4-6
14195 Berlin
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Area Della Ricerca, Via G. Moruzzi 1
56124 Pisa
THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM - THE AUTHORITY FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Israel
Address
Givat-ram Campus
91904 Jerusalem
UNIVERSITAET HANNOVER
Germany
Address
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
United States
Address
Hillside Road 2152
06269-2048 Storrs, Connecticut
UNIVERSITY OF ROME "LA SAPIENZA"
Italy
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Roma
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
Address
Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht