Tuesday, Oct 30th: Quantum Control of Chiral Molecules

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 3:45pm

Event Date Details: 

Refreshments will be served at 4:45pm (in outside corridor)

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640
  • Physics Dept. Colloquium/ Whited Chair Lecture

The tools of modern physics allow us to prepare and measure atoms with high fidelity.  Our ability to control and measure molecules lags far behind, and the task of identifying the structure of a single trapped molecule lies far beyond today’s state of the art. A polyatomic molecule has never been prepared in a single internal and motional quantum state.  

Our group has developed the techniques of buffer gas cooling and microwave three wave mixing, which allow us to definitively identify the isomer, conformer, and chirality of macroscopic samples of molecules.  We are working now to extend these techniques to the single-particle level. The new methods will allow us to identify a broad class of compounds from a single trapped molecule, and prepare chiral, polyatomic molecules in single states for the first time.  I will present these techniques and their potential applications, including their utility in the search for chemical evidence of life beyond earth.