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Molecule formation in ultracold atomic gases

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This review describes recent experimental and theoretical advances in forming molecules in ultracold gases of trapped alkali metal atoms, both by magnetic tuning through Feshbach resonances and by photoassociation. Molecular Bose–Einstein condensation of long-range states of both boson dimers and fermion dimers was achieved in 2002–2003. Condensates of boson dimers were found to be short-lived, but long-lived condensates of fermion dimers have been produced. Signatures of triatomic and tetraatomic molecules have recently been observed. Both homonuclear and heteronuclear molecules have been formed by photoassociation, mostly in very high vibrational levels. Recent attempts to produce ultracold molecules in short-range states (low vibrational levels) are described. Experimental and theoretical work on collisions of ultracold molecules is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, England 2: Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Department of Physics, Doppler Institute, Czech Technical University, Břehová 7, 115 19 Praha 1, Czech Republic

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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