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JILA Discoveries

Since 1962, JILA scientists have made major contributions to experimental and theoretical research in the physical sciences. They have helped to open up whole new frontiers of research such as the exploration of the behavior of atoms and molecules at temperatures just a tiny fraction above the coldest possible temperature in our Universe. They have investigated and characterized the optical frequency combs produced by extremely stable ultrafast lasers, revolutionizing the precision measurement of light and spawning remarkable new technologies such as optical atomic clocks. They have figured out ways in which physics can deepen our understanding of chemistry, biology, and important materials such as semiconductors. They have developed powerful computer simulations that model the dynamic behavior of the raging inferno inside the Sun, illuminate the processes taking place inside black holes, and explain the formation of planets around stars. They've even evaluated the effect of humidity on the aerodynamics of baseballs at Coors Field in Denver.

Many of these accomplishments have set the stage for future research at JILA. Because they are so important for understanding what our scientists are currently working on, we’ve prepared a series of "JILA Discoveries" that both recap seminal work at JILA and lay a foundation for understanding research described elsewhere on our website.