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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: Aug 18, 2014

Symmetries described by SU(N) group theory made it possible for physicists in the 1950s to explain how quarks combine to make protons and neutrons...

Published: Aug 01, 2014

The Raschke group recently came up with a clever way to detect folds and grain boundaries in graphene. a sheet made of a single layer of carbon...

Published: Jul 13, 2014

The spooky quantum property of entanglement is set to become a powerful tool in precision measurement, thanks to researchers in the Thompson group...

Published: Jun 26, 2014

Graduate student Adam Kaufman and his colleagues in the Regal and Rey groups have demonstrated a key first step in assembling quantum matter one...

Published: Jun 22, 2014

The Ye group has not only made two invisible rulers of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light, but also figured out how to observe them with ordinary...

Published: Jun 13, 2014

Imagine a network of multiple clocks orbiting the Earth, not only reporting down to us, but also collaborating quantum mechanically among...

Published: May 27, 2014

Mid-infrared (mid-IR) laser light is accomplishing some remarkable things at JILA. This relatively long-wavelength light (2–4 µm), when used to...

Published: May 22, 2014

Biomolecules may not always behave the same way in test tubes as they do in living cells, a fact underscored by important new work by former...

Published: May 07, 2014

The Markus Raschke group has come up with an innovative way that may one day allow it to peer inside superconductors, new materials for solar...

Published: Apr 23, 2014

Fellow Tom Perkins’ group is significantly closer to realizing its long-standing dream of using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study how...

Published: Apr 17, 2014

Graduate student Erik Holmstrom and Fellow David Nesbitt have applied their laboratory research on the rates of RNA folding and unfolding to the...

Published: Mar 19, 2014

The Regal-Lehnert collaboration has just taken a significant step towards the goal of one day building a quantum information network. Large-scale...

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