Volume 3 Issue 2, February 2007

Volume 3 Issue 2

A comprehensive toolbox has been developed over the past few years for electrostatically manipulating the motion of molecules and for storing them. One advance was the construction of a storage ring for neutral polar molecules. Confining particles in rings rather than traps (as is common in atomic physics) is useful because, for example, circulating particles can be made to interact repeatedly with electric fields and with other particles at well-defined times and locations. However, keeping the molecules in bunches as they circulate — rather than allowing them to occupy the entire ring — remained a challenge, hindering the full exploitation of the approach. Cynthia Heiner et al. now report the construction and operation of a molecular synchrotron in which bunches are maintained — the first synchrotron for neutral particles.

Letter p115 | News and Views p77



Books and Arts

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Ideas of high-energy particle physics have been borrowed for a device that might bring insight into fundamental questions of chemical physics — the molecular synchrotron. A whole number of applications may benefit.

    • Roman V. Krems
  • News & Views |

    Physicists have long debated whether the 'hidden order' in URu2Si2 is itinerant or localized, and it remains inaccessible to direct external probes. The observation of an overdamped collective mode seems to resolve this outstanding issue.

    • V. Tripathi
    • , P. Chandra
    •  & P. Coleman
  • News & Views |

    The first, long-sought evidence for the production of single top quarks, by the weak interaction, has been reported from a sophisticated analysis of a large number of proton–antiproton collisions at the Tevatron.

    • Thomas Junk
  • News & Views |

    Spacetime might seem smooth, but it could, at very short length scales, be quantized. Energetic neutrinos from gamma-ray bursts could provide a useful means to investigate further, and probe the nature of quantum gravity.

    • Giovanni Amelino-Camelia
  • News & Views |

    In 1845, Faraday noted that the plane of polarization of light is rotated when a light beam travels through a material in a magnetic field. Now, Faraday rotation due to one single electron spin has been observed.

    • Lieven M. K. Vandersypen
  • News & Views |

    Evidence for the superradiant behaviour of quantum dots — behaviour first described in the context of atoms in a gas over 50 years ago — suggests they can radiatively interact over distances of at least 150 nm.

    • Galina Khitrova
    •  & Hyatt M. Gibbs




  • Futures |

    Run faster and remember everything.

    • Jess H. Brewer