Nov 9 – 11, 2022
Europe/Zurich timezone


Atomic, molecular and optical physics

Nov 9, 2022, 3:40 PM


Prof. Dr. Christiane Koch (Free University of Berlin), "What chiral molecules can teach us about quantum control"

Molecular chirality -- the fact that a chiral molecule cannot be
superimposed with its mirror image by rotations and translations -- is as
ubiquitous as it is intriguing. The left-handed and right-handed versions
of a chiral molecule share almost all of their physical properties. Yet,
the chemical and biological behavior of the two enantiomers typically
differs dramatically. Detection of chirality and the ability to separate
enantiomers, therefore, play a central role across the natural sciences.
As physicists, we would ideally like to use electromagnetic fields to this
end. When exciting chiral molecules with electric fields, chirality can
be detected via vector observables. I will discuss how quantum control,
i.e., the constructive and destructive interference between different
excitation pathways, allows for enhancing chiral vector observables, all
the way to complete enanantiomer-selective excitation.

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