Physics Colloquium, "Watching Chemical Reactions Happen One Molecule at a Time"

Presented by: Heather Lewandowski

Abstract: Reactions between ions and radical molecules play an important role in the chemistry that drives dynamics in the interstellar medium and during combustion of hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, experimental measurements of these reactions are very challenging, and thus very rare. We use tools borrowed from the cold atom community to measure ion-molecule reactions in a well-controlled environment. Here, we can study reactions between atoms and molecules in single quantum states at low temperatures. Our high sensitivity allows us to study reactions where the reaction rate can be as low as one reaction per minute. I will present the capabilities of this cold ion-molecule reaction apparatus and some example reactions we have been able to study using this new system.

Colloquium Host: John Cumalat

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be available starting at 3:45 p.m., in DUAN G1B31.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Duane Physics and Astrophysics, G1B20
2000 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type



Science & Technology


Students, Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdoc

College, School & Unit

Engineering & Applied Science, Arts & Sciences


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