Ultracold Polar Molecules as Quantum Tools
Over the past 3 decades, ultracold atomic gases have enabled remarkable breakthroughs in areas as diverse as precision measurements, quantum few- and many-body physics, and quantum information science. Over the past decade, it has increasingly become possible to create ultracold gases of simple polar molecules, and to manipulate and measure them with the powerful methods of atomic physics. These molecules have several key features that are quantitatively different from those of atoms, which promise to enable a similarly broad range of advances in quantum science. For example, electric dipole-dipole interactions between molecules are much stronger and longer range than the van der Waals interactions between atoms. Hence, molecular quantum gases can make new types of strongly-correlated quantum many body systems accessible. In addition, the large polarizability of molecules makes them orders of magnitude more sensitive than atoms to tiny perturbations such as those due to CP-violating particle electric dipole moments. I will describe recent progress in this field and highlight exciting prospects for the near future.