D. DEMILLE, Physics Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.
There is a growing interest in producing gases of ultracold molecules, particularly polar species. Such samples have novel potential applications in a broad range of fields including quantum chemistry, astrophysics, condensed matter, quantum information, and particle physics. This talk will focus on the ``assembly'' of ultracold polar molecules from laser-cooled atoms. Our group has recently demonstrated a multi-step technique for production of RbCs molecules in their vibronic ground state, at a translational temperature of \!\! 100~µK. Understanding and control of each step in the process (photoassociation; radiative stabilization into metastable vibrational levels; and stimulated emission pumping into the ground state) required spectroscopic investigations across the wide range of electronic and vibrational states involved in the process. I will discuss the techniques and results of our experiments, as well as specific ideas for applications using the resulting ultracold molecules.