Evaporative Cooling of Dipolar Radical Molecules – OH – Hydroxylby Tommy on 27/09/2012
Evaporative cooling of the dipolar radical OH, Benjamin K. Stuhl, Matthew T. Hummon, Mark Yeo, Goulven Quéméner, John L. Bohn and Jun Ye
Atomic physics was revolutionized by the development of forced evaporative cooling: it led directly to the observation of Bose-Einstein condensation, quantum-degenerate Fermi gases, and ultracold optical lattice simulations of condensed matter phenomena. More recently, great progress has been made in the production of cold molecular gases, whose permanent electric dipole moment is expected to generate rich, novel, and controllable phases, dynamics, and chemistry in these ultracold systems. However, while many strides have been made in both direct cooling and cold-association techniques, evaporative cooling has not yet been achieved due to unfavorable elastic-to-inelastic ratios and impractically slow thermalization rates in the available trapped species. We now report the observation of microwave-forced evaporative cooling of hydroxyl (OH) molecules loaded from a Stark-decelerated beam into an extremely high-gradient magnetic quadrupole trap. We demonstrate cooling by at least an order of magnitude in temperature and three orders in phase-space density, limited only by the low-temperature sensitivity of our spectroscopic thermometry technique. With evaporative cooling and sufficiently large initial populations, much colder temperatures are possible, and even a quantum-degenerate gas of this dipolar radical — or anything else it can sympathetically cool — may now be in reach.
Ok, this is great, now we can simulate superconducting water in a quantum simulator!
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