Atomic and molecular collision processes

Atomic and molecular collision processes are the physical interactions of atoms and molecules when they are brought into close contact with each other and with electrons, protons, neutrons or ions. This includes energy-conserving elastic scattering and inelastic scattering. Such collisions are an important probe of the structure and properties of matter.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Spin-changing atomic collisions are important for thermally robust entanglement generation with applications in quantum information. Here the authors demonstrate record high spin state correlations and long spin relaxation times in the collision of two Rb atoms at relatively warm temperatures.

    • Pimonpan Sompet
    • , Stuart S. Szigeti
    • , Eyal Schwartz
    • , Ashton S. Bradley
    •  & Mikkel F. Andersen
  • Research | | open

    The localisation of ionized electrons is a general phenomenon which occurs in hot dense plasma and has a far-reaching consequence on a variety of fields. By demonstrating the role of electron localisation in the mechanisms of photoionisation in a hot dense plasma the authors provide a route to quantitatively understand recent experimental results.

    • Pengfei Liu
    • , Cheng Gao
    • , Yong Hou
    • , Jiaolong Zeng
    •  & Jianmin Yuan
  • Research | | open

    Chemical few-body reactions at ultralow temperatures exhibit scaling laws which are directly linked to the nature of the involved particles and their interactions. Here, the authors investigate the kinetics of four-body collision processes where diatomic molecules which are composed of ultracold fermionic atoms are either formed or dissociated.

    • Daniel K. Hoffmann
    • , Thomas Paintner
    • , Wolfgang Limmer
    • , Dmitry S. Petrov
    •  & Johannes Hecker Denschlag
  • Research |

    Improved techniques allow the measurement of a frequency difference with an uncertainty of the order of 10–19 between two independent atomic optical lattice clocks, suggesting that they may be able to improve state-of-the-art geodetic techniques.

    • W. F. McGrew
    • , X. Zhang
    • , R. J. Fasano
    • , S. A. Schäffer
    • , K. Beloy
    • , D. Nicolodi
    • , R. C. Brown
    • , N. Hinkley
    • , G. Milani
    • , M. Schioppo
    • , T. H. Yoon
    •  & A. D. Ludlow
    Nature 564, 87-90
  • Research | | open

    Self-interaction of a bound state through its coupling to the continuum is a phenomenon that is very difficult to observe. Here, the authors optically collide atomic clouds of rubidium and potassium to observe the self-interaction energy through precise measurements of magnetically tunable Feshbach resonances.

    • Ryan Thomas
    • , Matthew Chilcott
    • , Eite Tiesinga
    • , Amita B. Deb
    •  & Niels Kjærgaard

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Dissociating hydrogen gas seems like it should be as easy as pulling apart two identical atoms. But resonant electron-impact experiments reveal that quantum interference induces a fundamental asymmetry in the process.

    • Daniel S. Slaughter
    •  & Thomas N. Rescigno
    Nature Physics 14, 109-110
  • News and Views |

    Three papers published in Nature Physics in 2009 revealed the intriguing three- and four-body bound states arising from the predictions by Vitaly Efimov nearly half a century ago. But some of these findings continue to puzzle the few-body physics community.

    • Cheng Chin
    •  & Yujun Wang
    Nature Physics 11, 449-451
  • News and Views |

    Solitons in attractive Bose–Einstein condensates are mesoscopic quantum objects that may prove useful as tools for precision measurement. A new experiment shows that collisions of matter-wave bright solitons depend crucially on their relative phase.

    • Thomas P. Billam
    •  & Christoph Weiss
    Nature Physics 10, 902-903