Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Quo vadis now, cold molecules?


Cooling molecules down to their ground state is an ongoing challenge for atomic and molecular physicists. Further steps in this journey have recently been made, with promising implications.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: A cold gas of Sr (blue) and Rb (yellow) atoms.


  1. Balakrishnan, N. J. Chem. Phys. 145, 150901 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Bohn, J. L., Rey, A. M. & Ye, J. Science 357, 1002–1010 (2017).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  3. DeMille, D., Doyle, J. M. & Sushkov, A. O. Science 357, 990–994 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Gross, C. & Bloch, I. Science 357, 995–1001 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Karra, M., Sharma, K., Friedrich, B., Kais, S. & Herschbach, D. J. Chem. Phys. 144, 094301 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Barbé, V. et al. Nat. Phys. (2018).

  7. van de Meerakker, S. Y. T., Bethlem, H. L., Vanhaecke, N. & Meijer, G. Chem. Rev. 112, 4828–4878 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Wu, X. et al. Science 358, 645–648 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Truppe, S. et al. Nat. Phys. 13, 1173–1176 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Anderegg, L. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 103201 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Kozyryev, I. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 173201 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Stuhl, B. K. et al. Nature 492, 396–400 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. Hodby, E. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 120402 (2005).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. Chin, C., Grimm, R., Julienne, P. S. & Tiesinga, E. Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 1225–1286 (2010).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. Ni, K.-K. et al. Science 322, 231–235 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul S. Julienne.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Julienne, P.S. Quo vadis now, cold molecules?. Nature Phys 14, 873–874 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing