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News & Highlights

Research Highlights

Published: Thu, 10/04/2018 - 9:15am

JILA researchers are using lasers to control chemical reactions at the quantum level. This control brings new insights to our understanding of reaction pathways, and serves as a proof-of-principle that similar techniques could revolutionize our study of chemical processes.

In the vast stretches between solar systems, heat does not flow and sound does not exist. Action seems to stop, but only if you don’t look long enough.

Violent and chaotic actions occur in the long stretches of outer space. These chemical reactions between radicals and ions are the same reactions underlying the burn of a flame and floating the ozone above our planet. But they’re easy to miss in outer space because they’re very rare.

“It’s very low density in the interstellar medium, so the probability of seeing another atom or molecule is very low,” said JILA Fellow Dr. Heather Lewandowski. “They could go for kilometers before seeing another particle.”

And when meetings are that rare, the particles must be reactive. “If you do run into another particle, you want to have a high probability of reaction if you are ever going to react,” said Lewandowski.

Radicals and ions are...

Published: Apr 10, 2007

Small changes in the quantum fluctuations of free space are responsible for a variety of curious phenomena: a gecko’s ability to walk across...

Published: Apr 09, 2007

JILA Fellow Dana Z. Anderson, JILA visiting scientist Alex Zozulya, and a colleague from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute postulate that the...

Published: Mar 02, 2007

A key challenge in developing new nanotechnologies is figuring out a fast, low-noise technique for translating small mechanical motions into...

Published: Feb 22, 2007

If you wanted to see a new planet forming, the first thing you'd think of is looking in an accretion disk with a star forming in its center...

Published: Feb 10, 2007

Researchers are investigating a new kind of microelectronics called spintronics. These devices will rely on the spindependent behavior of...

Published: Feb 10, 2007

Our Sun and its eight planets were born in a rough neighborhood nearly 5 billion years ago. Since then our star has traveled countless light...

Published: Feb 07, 2007

Scientists anticipate that cold molecules will allow them to explore all kinds of exciting new cold-matter physics. For instance, cold molecules...

Published: Feb 01, 2007

JILA physicists are investigating complex and interesting materials, circuits, and devices based on ultracold atoms instead of electrons....

Published: Oct 28, 2006

If you want to "see" physical objects whose dimensions are measured in nanometers and simultaneously probe the electronic structure of...

Published: Oct 02, 2006

Does the electron have an electric dipole moment (eEDM)? If it does, the standard model of elementary particle physics says this dipole moment is...

Published: Oct 01, 2006

When illuminated by X-ray and infrared light beams in tandem, electrons can tap dance off a platinum surface because they've actually grabbed a...

Published: Oct 01, 2006

There is an enormous black hole at the center of every galaxy, gobbling up matter over eons of time - some for as long as 13 billion years. One...

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