The study of collisions of neutral atoms and molecules at ultralow collision energies is made possible by advances in techniques for cooling and trapping such species. Excellent reviews of laser cooling of atoms are given in the Nobel Lectures of Chu2, Cohen-Tannoudji1 and Phillips3. Temperatures in the mK to K range are possible using laser cooling. Ketterle and van Druten4 review the process of evaporative cooling, which can be used to cool to even lower temperatures in the quantum degenerate limit where Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) occurs.5 These reviews discuss many applications of cold atoms, including atomic clocks, precision measurements, linear and nonlinear atom optics, optical lattices, quantum degenerate bosonic and fermionic gases, and collision studies. There has also been rapid progress recently in the cooling and trapping of molecules, but this area is currently much less developed than atom cooling and trapping.
Scattering: Scattering and Inverse Scattering in Pure and Applied Science
Academic Press, St. Louis, MT
atoms and molecules, Bose-Einstein condensation, photo-association, potential energy curve, scattering length, scattering resonances, threshold laws, ultra-cold collisions