University of Connecticut

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Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Seminar

Monday, October 13, 2014
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Room PB-121

Valery Milner, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia

“Molecular Superrotors: Controlled Generation, Direct Observation and Unique Properties”

It has been speculated that extremely fast rotating molecules, known as “superrotors”, may exhibit a number of unique properties, from rotation-induced nano-scale magnetism to formation of macroscopic gas vortices. Orchestrating molecular spinning in a broad range of angular frequencies is appealing from the perspectives of controlling molecular dynamics. Yet in sharp contrast to an optical excitation of molecular vibration, laser control of molecular rotation is rather challenging. In this talk, I will report on our recent progress in generating and controlling molecular superrotors (e.g. oxygen molecules occupying ultrahigh rotational states, J > 120) with a specially designed intense laser pulses, known as an “optical centrifuge”. I will discuss the results of our study of collisional, optical and magnetic properties of molecular superrotors, as well as our recent observation of the molecular cogwheel states.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

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