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New frontiers for quantum gases of polar molecules


Compared to atoms, molecules possess additional degrees of freedom that can be exploited in fundamental tests, ultracold chemistry, and engineering new quantum phases in many-body systems. Here, we review the recent progress in creating and manipulating ultracold bialkali molecules to study quantum gases of polar molecules.

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Figure 1: A survey of the applications of ultracold molecules.
Figure 2: Creating and manipulating ultracold bialkali molecules.
Figure 3: Controlling chemical reactions with optical lattices.
Figure 4: Recent experiments with polar molecules in optical lattices.


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This article is dedicated to the memory of Deborah. S. Jin, who passed away on 15 September 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. Debbie was a beloved friend, colleague, and teacher. She demonstrated an unparalleled combination of scientific vision, creativity, and detail-oriented experimental excellence. Among her many outstanding accomplishments, Debbie was a guiding force on the JILA KRb polar molecule collaboration for the past dozen years. Her vision is clearly manifest in the legacy of our work. Her ideas and sense of direction for our experiment will continue to influence our work for many years to come. Even when we progress sufficiently far on the experiment beyond anything we could have imagined during her time, we will continue to feel inspired by her creativity and enthusiasm. We, and the entire physics community, will deeply miss her.

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Correspondence to Jun Ye.

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Moses, S., Covey, J., Miecnikowski, M. et al. New frontiers for quantum gases of polar molecules. Nature Phys 13, 13–20 (2017).

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