Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The coldest chemistry

Date:
October 21, 2010
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
Chemical reactions tend to slow down as temperature is lowered, but this isn't always true. Researchers have shown that chemical reactions can continue even at temperatures just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. In recent experiments, they took diatomic potassium and rubidium molecules, each in their ground states (lowest-possible energy), and found that when mixed, the molecules dissociated and combined into KRb -- molecules with one potassium and one rubidium atom.

Chemical reactions tend to slow down as temperature is lowered, but this isn't always true. Deborah Jin,Jun Ye, and their colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado have shown that chemical reactions can continue even at temperatures just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero.

Related Articles


In recent experiments, they took diatomic potassium and rubidium molecules, each in their ground states (lowest-possible energy), and found that when mixed, the molecules dissociated and combined into KRb -- molecules with one potassium and one rubidium atom.

Furthermore, the reaction rates could be slowed considerably by applying an electric field, which orients the molecules in such a way as to suppress chemical reactions. The reason for this is that the KRb molecules are fermions and obey the Pauli Exclusion Principle, just like where two electrons of the same quantum energy and spin are forbidden to lie in a single quantum state -- just operated at the level of whole molecules. When applied electric fields oriented the KRb molecules so as to have the same spin state (they would already have the same energy state, being in the ground state to start with) chemical reactions were greatly suppressed.

NIST physicist John Bohn has now provided the theoretical underpinnings for the ultracold chemical behavior. He will describe how spin-dependent chemistry, or "stereodynamics," will operate in future experiments.

The Presentation, "Manipulation of Ultracold Chemistry," takes place on Oct. 28 at the Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2010/Laser Science XXVI -- the 94th annual meeting of the Optical Society (OSA), which is being held together with the annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Laser Science at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, N.Y., from Oct. 24-28.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "The coldest chemistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195516.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2010, October 21). The coldest chemistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195516.htm
Optical Society of America. "The coldest chemistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020195516.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins