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Laser Cooling and Control of Polyatomic Radicals


The rich internal structure of polyatomic molecules has inspired a number of theoretical proposals exploring a myriad of unique applications including new platforms for quantum simulation and next-generation searches for physics beyond the standard model. Establishing full control over these complex quantum objects is necessary to harness their full potential; however, the same rich internal structure that gives rise to the immense potential of polyatomic molecules also makes manipulating them a daunting task. In the past decade there has been considerable progress in the production, cooling, and control of diatomic species using direct laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping. In light of this success, we have identified a broad class of polyatomic molecules that are well suited to direct laser cooling. Our work has extended laser cooling and optical control to polyatomic molecules including recent results demonstrating a 1D magneto-optical trap of triatomic CaOH.