What’s Interesting In Molecular Physics?

In just under two weeks, I’ll be giving an invited talk at DAMOP (that is, the annual meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society) that is intended to serve as an introduction to the meeting for new students or physicists from other fields. My plan is to pick 3-4 areas and give a quick summary of those subfields, highlgihting a few invited talks in that area from the full program.

My background is in cold-atom physics, so obviously I have a good idea of what’s what in those areas, and I follow things like quantum information and precision measurements closely enough to be fairly comfortable assessing those. I’m not as good on the molecular side of things, though– if it involves molecules more complicated than the diatomics people talk about in cold-molecule experiments, I’m not that clear on what’s really important.

So, if you’re reading this and know about molecules– for example, if COLTRIMS is a term you know and love– leave a comment or send me an email telling me what’s particularly hot in that area of AMO physics. What are the latest and greatest experiments, and what talks should I steer people to at DAMOP? If you don’t know the details of this sort of thing, but know somebody else who might, please point them in my direction.

I can’t promise any suggestions will definitely make it in, but I do want to be fair to as much of the field as possible, even the bits that I don’t know much about myself.

3 thoughts on “What’s Interesting In Molecular Physics?

  1. Will you be discussing/covering electromagnetism? My particular curiosity is in a gyroscope that may create electricity by placing a polar opposite pyramid inside of a magnetic sphere. I’ve been told its possible but lack the expertise.

  2. My interests/expertise probably align with yours, so I’m probably not gonna tell you anything you don’t know, but just for kicks:

    To address the elephant in the room, there’s Ed Hind’s EDM stuff on Friday – which should be no effort for you to introduce thanks to your recent work.

    DeMille should give a good explanation of his laser cooling of molecules, which should be accessible to new students.

    It would probably be worth talking a little bit about the dipolar interactions between molecules (as something that’s different from most atoms) since there’s a whole section on dipolar gases and Matthias Weidemuller is giving an invited talk on dipolar interactions.

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