Molecular interactions control everything from making new materials to generation of energy. However, the complexity of molecular structure and interactions has challenged accurate study and precise control of dynamics. A new scientific frontier is emerging in recent years with the work of cooling molecules to low temperatures, aiming to achieve precise control of molecular interaction processes. This is motivated by new scientific opportunities where fundamental insights of how molecule interact and evolve will allow us to design and control chemistry and quantum materials.
The capability of tracking how molecules approach each other, form short-lived intermediates, and then reemerge with final products can help illuminate the most fundamental aspects of reaction processes. When a quantum gas of molecule is produced, we can arrange molecules in particular spatial configurations and precisely manipulate their interactions via external electromagnetic fields. The long-range dipolar interaction between trapped molecules presents an interconnected spin system where correlated many-body dynamics can be explored.