Cold and Ultracold Molecules for Quantum Information and Particle Physics

Date: 
Monday, October 1, 2018 - 4:15pm
Location: 
Room #1 LeConte Hall
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
Harvard University
Public Lecture: 
Yes
Webcast: 

Wide-ranging scientific applications have created growing interest in ultracold molecules. Heteronuclear bialkali molecules, assembled from ultracold atoms, enabled the study of long-range dipolar interactions and quantum-state-controlled chemistry, and recently have been brought to quantum degeneracy. There are currently several approaches to producing ultracold molecules: atom association, magnetic, electrical, centrifugal, off-resonant optical deceleration, and laser cooling. Recently, laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping of diatomic OCCMs, first with SrF and then with CaF, were reported. Building on this, magnetic and optical confinement of these OCCMs have also been accomplished. This is an important step as the confinement of molecules in a conservative trap is needed for many envisioned future works in precision spectroscopy, EDM and dark matter searches, molecular degenerate quantum gases, quantum information, and fundamental studies of ultracold collisions and chemistry. I will talk about our recent results on optical trapping and Λ-enhanced laser cooling and imaging of CaF molecules, the laser cooling of SrOH molecules, and the prospects for laser cooling of larger polyatomic molecules. I will also briefly preset recent progress in the field of electric dipole moment searches using heavy diatomic molecules and future prospects, including the use of polyatomic molecules.