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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: Jun 17, 2006

There's only one way to prove you've invented a better atomic clock: Come out on top of a comparison of your clock with one of the world's best...

Published: Jun 07, 2006

Imagine trying to describe the intricate motions of a single atom as it interacts with a laser. Then suppose you could generalize this...

Published: Jun 05, 2006

Juri Toomre and his group concentrate their stellar research close to home – just 93 million miles away, to be precise. They want to...

Published: May 17, 2006

Our lives depend on heme. As part of hemoglobin, it carries oxygen to our tissues. As part of cytochrome c, it helps transform the energy in...

Published: Apr 26, 2006

Science sleuths have a new and powerful method for identifying (and investigating) atoms and molecules, thanks to Graduate Student Mike Thorpe,...

Published: Apr 11, 2006

Gamma-ray bursts signal the birth of a new black hole, whether it's created during the collapse of a massive star or via a merger between...

Published: Apr 10, 2006

Galaxy clusters contain enormous clouds of gas whose cooling should result in the formation of a multitude of new stars. But that's not what...

Published: Apr 10, 2006

Black holes are pretty strange, sucking in not only nearby matter but also the space around it. These cosmic vacuum cleaners are powered by thin...

Published: Apr 10, 2006

One fun thing theorists do is undertake creative projects that predict phenomena that haven't yet been observed experimentally. In fact,...

Published: Apr 03, 2006

JILA physicists are collaborating to explore the link between superconductivity and Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) of fermions at ultracold...

Published: Feb 25, 2006

When molecules smash into each other, things happen on the quantum level. Electrons get shoved around. They may even jump from one atom to...

Published: Feb 19, 2006

We know a lot about cool stars because our Sun is one of them. However, we can't know for sure if cool stars produce winds (like the Sun...

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