We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Ultracold chemistry.

Hutson, Jeremy M. (2010) 'Ultracold chemistry.', Science., 327 (5967). pp. 788-789.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher 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,
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:10 July 2013
Date of first online publication:February 2010
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar