Thursday, Jan 19: Precision Spectroscopy, Chirality, & Quantum Manipulation of Polyatomic Molecules

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • 1003 Kohn Hall (= KITP Main Seminar Room)
  • Special Physics Colloquium

Cold polyatomic molecules offer rich possibilities for precision measurement, quantum control, and tests of fundamental symmetries. Polyatomic molecules exhibit far richer internal dynamics than atoms or diatomic molecules, and molecules with 4 or more atoms can be chiral.  While manipulating, cooling, and detecting atoms and certain diatomic molecules at the single quantum state level is now possible, analogous tools for controlling polyatomic molecules lag far behind.  Buffer gas cooling has emerged as a versatile tool for cooling such molecules.  We will present recent demonstrations of state-specific and enantiomer-specific preparation of chiral molecules, and novel sensitive and ultra-specific chemical analysis techniques enabled by the combination of modern microwave spectroscopy techniques and the broad applicability of cryogenically buffered molecular samples. Future extensions of these methods, allowing for ultraspecific chiral and chemical analysis at the single molecule level and direct observation of cold chemistry, will be discussed.