Harvard team uses laser to cool polyatomic molecule

Friday, September 11, 2020 - 12:20 in Physics & Chemistry

After firing the lasers and bombarding the ultracold molecule with light, the scientists gathered around the camera to check the results. By seeing how far the molecule expanded they would know almost instantly whether they were on the right track to chart new paths in quantum science by being the first to cool — aka, slow down — a particularly complex, six-atom molecule using nothing but light. “When we started out on the project we were optimistic but were not sure that we would see something that would show a very dramatic effect,” said Debayan Mitra, a postdoctoral researcher in Harvard’s Doyle Research Group. “We thought that we would need more evidence to prove that we were actually cooling the molecule, but then when we saw the signal, it was like, ‘Yeah, nobody will doubt that.’ It was big and it was right there.” The study led by Mitra and graduate student...

Read the whole article on Harvard Science

More from Harvard Science

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net