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News & Highlights

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: Nov 08, 2016

Fellow Mitch Begelman’s new theory says it’s possible to form stars while a supermassive black hole consumes massive amounts of stellar debris and...

Published: Oct 31, 2016

Far-red fluorescent light emitted from proteins could one day illuminate the inner workings of life. But before that happens, scientists like...

Published: Oct 27, 2016

Using frequency comb spectroscopy, the Ye group has directly observed transient intermediate steps in a chemical reaction that plays a key role in...

Published: Sep 26, 2016

The Nesbitt group has invented a nifty technique for exploring the physics and chemistry of a gas interacting with molecules on the surface of a...

Published: Sep 26, 2016

Exciting new theory from the Rey group reveals the profound effects of electron interactions on the flow of electric currents in metals....

Published: Aug 11, 2016

Graduate student Greg Salvesen, JILA Collaborator Jake Simon (Southwest Research Institute), and Fellows Phil Armitage and Mitch Begelman decided...

Published: Jul 28, 2016

Physics education researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maine recently showed that students troubleshooting a...

Published: Jul 28, 2016

Newly minted Ph.D. Ming-Guang Hu and his colleagues in the Jin and Cornell groups recently investigated...

Published: Jul 27, 2016

Fellow Phil Armitage and group collaborator Jacob Simon of the Southwest Research Institute are leading work to answer a central question about...

Published: Jul 21, 2016

The Raschke group has created an ultrafast optical nanoscope based on a unique way of “nano” focusing the light to image the behavior of electrons...

Published: Jul 20, 2016

Bob Peterson and his colleagues in the Lehnert-Regal lab recently set out to try something that had never been done before: use laser cooling to...

Published: Jun 28, 2016

Fellow Judah Levine recently presented a discussion of our understanding of time from antiquity to the present day in an insightful paper...

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