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Ultracold Chemistry

Hutson, Jeremy M.

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Chemists usually study reactions at temperatures of tens or hundreds of kelvin, where reaction rates are averaged over many different energies and initial conditions for collision. But new techniques are now making it possible to produce molecules and trap them at temperatures within one-millionth of a degree of absolute zero. Here, all the thermal averaging is removed; the molecules occupy the lowest possible quantum translational states, and all their motions are completely controllable. On page 853 of this issue, Ospelkaus et al. (1) describe chemical reactions between molecules in this new regime and find that tiny changes, such as flipping the orientation of a single nuclear spin, can have profound consequences for how (and whether) chemical reactions occur.


Hutson, J. M. (2010). Ultracold Chemistry. Science, 327(5967), 788-789.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2010
Deposit Date Jun 19, 2013
Publicly Available Date Jul 10, 2013
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 327
Issue 5967
Pages 788-789


Accepted Journal Article (58 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science 327, 2010,

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