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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 03, 2005

A high-powered JILA collaboration led by JILA Fellows Jun Ye and Chris Greene is making important progress toward developing an ultrastable, high-...

Published: Apr 03, 2005

Three years ago Jun Ye decided to apply an old idea for amplifying and stabilizing continuous-wave (cw) lasers to state-of-the-art ultrafast...

Published: Mar 31, 2005

Pete Roos, Tara Fortier, Xiaoqin Li, Ryan Smith, Jessica Pipis, and Steve Cundiff are using a phase-controlled mode-locked laser to control...

Triatomic hydrogen ion (H3+) has many talents. In interstellar clouds, it can be blown apart by free low-energy free...

Left to their own devices, deuterium atoms would attach themselves to cold specks of soot floating in interstellar gas clouds and remain there...

The race is on! Two mice chase one another around a curvy, roughly elliptical white stripe. But, the goal can't be the finish line –...

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