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J Chem Phys. 2010 Mar 21;132(11):110901. doi: 10.1063/1.3357286.

Cold and ultracold molecules: spotlight on orbiting resonances.

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Sandia National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.


There is great interest in the production of cold molecules, at temperatures below 1 K, and ultracold molecules, at temperatures below 1 mK. Such molecules have potential applications in areas ranging from precision measurement to quantum information storage and processing, and quantum gases of ultracold polar molecules are expected to exhibit novel quantum phases. In addition, cold molecules open up a new domain for collision physics, dominated by long-range forces and scattering resonances. There have been major recent advances both in cooling molecules from room temperature and in forming molecules in ultracold atomic gases. As these techniques mature, and cold and ultracold samples are more accessible, collision studies at previously unavailable energies will be possible. This spotlight article will highlight some of the background and motivation for studying collisions at low energies and will direct readers to recent articles on the recent experimental advancements.


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