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Quantum control of molecular rotation
Reviews of Modern Physics ( IF 38.296 ) Pub Date : 2019-09-18
Christiane P. Koch, Mikhail Lemeshko, and Dominique Sugny

The angular momentum of molecules, or, equivalently, their rotation in three-dimensional space, is ideally suited for quantum control. Molecular angular momentum is naturally quantized, time evolution is governed by a well-known Hamiltonian with only a few accurately known parameters, and transitions between rotational levels can be driven by external fields from various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Control over the rotational motion can be exerted in one-, two-, and many-body scenarios, thereby allowing one to probe Anderson localization, target stereoselectivity of bimolecular reactions, or encode quantum information to name just a few examples. The corresponding approaches to quantum control are pursued within separate, and typically disjoint, subfields of physics, including ultrafast science, cold collisions, ultracold gases, quantum information science, and condensed-matter physics. It is the purpose of this review to present the various control phenomena, which all rely on the same underlying physics, within a unified framework. To this end, recall the Hamiltonian for free rotations, assuming the rigid rotor approximation to be valid, and summarize the different ways for a rotor to interact with external electromagnetic fields. These interactions can be exploited for control—from achieving alignment, orientation, or laser cooling in a one-body framework, steering bimolecular collisions, or realizing a quantum computer or quantum simulator in the many-body setting.
更新日期:2019-11-18

 

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