Atomic and molecular interactions with photons

Atomic and molecular interactions with photons is the study of the way in which the basic elements of matter interact with packets of electromagnetic energy. This interaction is determined largely by the electronic structure of atoms and molecules; photon absorption or emission is associated with an electron moving from one energy level to another.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Antihydrogen was first produced in the lab in 1995 and in 2011 it was successfully trapped for longer periods. From there, one step at a time, physicists have been overcoming technical challenges to recently achieve a milestone: the laser cooling of antihydrogen.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • News & Views |

    Manipulating weakly bound helium dimers with ultrafast laser pulses reveals their quantum behaviour. This method opens a route towards studying the low-energy dynamics of other exotic and fragile quantum states.

    • Daniel Rolles
    Nature Physics 17, 165-166
  • News & Views |

    When molecular model systems, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are ionized by ultrashort extreme ultraviolet pulses, their relaxation path proceeds via electron–phonon scattering, linking molecules to typical solid-state matter behaviour.

    • Laura Cattaneo
    Nature Physics 17, 303-304
  • Research Highlights |

    Twenty-five years ago, a paper by Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller turned quantum computing from a bold theoretical idea to an experimental race to build an actual device. Today, engineering challenges remain, but first-generation practical quantum computers seem tangible.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • News & Views |

    A generalization of the Kapitza–Dirac effect enables new ways of controlling free electrons with ultrashort light pulses.

    • Benoit Chalopin
    •  & Arnaud Arbouet
    Nature Physics 14, 110-111