Weekly Colloquium

Most weeks during the semester, we host a scholar for a one-day visit. The visit culminates with a public talk on a topic of contemporary physics or astronomy. Students are welcome to these talks, and seniors are required to attend at least nine over the course of a year. Near the end of each semester, honors thesis students give public lectures on their work.  We gather before the talks for tea, coffee, and cookies at 3:45, Ground Lobby of Science Center followed by the talk at 4:00 pm in A011.

Our Astronomy program is part of the Five College Astronomy Department, which hosts its own colloquium series Thursdays at 3:45 pm at UMass in LGRT 1033. 

  • If you would like to be mailed seminar announcements, please send an email to physics@amherst.edu.
  • Contact colloquium organizer Alice Simmoneau (asimmoneau@amherst.edu) with any questions about colloquia.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tue, Nov 13, 2018

Assistant Professor Daniel McCarron, University Of Connecticut: "Taming Molecules with Light"

Laser cooling and trapping have revolutionized atomic physics, enabling a wide range of advances in science and technology. In recent years, it has become clear that general methods to produce ultracold molecules would have a similarly broad scientific impact. The rich internal structures of molecules make them versatile tools for a variety of experiments in ultracold chemistry, precision measurement and quantum simulation. However, this same structure poses challenges once believed to be fatal to any attempt at laser cooling. Over the past several years, several groups have devised and implemented methods to overcome these difficulties. Now the standard tools of atomic laser cooling-- including magneto-optical trapping --can work with specific molecular species in a manner similar to the familiar cases for atoms. In this talk, I will review progress in this emerging field and present our experimental effort designed to laser-cool new molecular species with favorable properties for both laser cooling and a range of proposed applications.