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State-to-state chemistry for three-body recombination in an ultracold rubidium gas

TitleState-to-state chemistry for three-body recombination in an ultracold rubidium gas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsWolf, J, Deiß, M, Krükow, A, Tiemann, E, Ruzic, BP, Wang, Y, D’Incao, J, Julienne, PS, Denschlag, JHecker
Pagination921 - 924
Date Published2017-11

Experimental investigation of chemical reactions with full quantum state resolution for all reactants and products has been a long-term challenge. Here we prepare an ultracold few-body quantum state of reactants and demonstrate state-to-state chemistry for the recombination of three spin-polarized ultracold rubidium (Rb) atoms to form a weakly bound Rb2 molecule. The measured product distribution covers about 90% of the final products, and we are able to discriminate between product states with a level splitting as small as 20 megahertz multiplied by Planck's constant. Furthermore, we formulate propensity rules for the distribution of products, and we develop a theoretical model that predicts many of our experimental observations. The scheme can readily be adapted to other species and opens a door to detailed investigations of inelastic or reactive processes.

Short TitleScience