Abstract:
In a combined experimental and theoretical effort, we demonstrate a novel type of dipolar system made of ultracold bosonic dipolar molecules with large magnetic dipole moments. Our dipolar molecules are formed in weakly bound Feshbach molecular states from a sample of strongly magnetic bosonic erbium atoms. We show that the ultracold magnetic molecules can carry very large dipole moments and we demonstrate how to create and characterize them, and how to change their orientation. Finally, we confirm that the relaxation rates of molecules in a quasi-two dimensional geometry can be reduced by using the anisotropy of the dipole-dipole interaction and that this reduction follows a universal dipolar behavior.

Abstract:
We present quantum dynamics of collisions between two para-H2 molecules from low (1 mK) to high collision energies (1 eV). The calculations are carried out using a quantum scattering code that solves the time-independent Schrodinger equation in its full dimensionality without any decoupling approximations. The six-dimensional potential energy surface for the H4 system developed by Boothroyd et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 116, 666 (2002)] is used in the calculations. Elastic, inelastic and state-to-state cross sections as well as rate coefficients from T = 1 K to 400 K obtained from our calculations are compared with available experimental and theoretical results. Overall, good agreement is obtained with previous studies.

Abstract:
We consider ultracold collisions of polar molecules confined in a one dimensional optical lattice. Using a quantum scattering formalism and a frame transformation method, we calculate elastic and chemical quenching rate constants for fermionic molecules. Taking KRb molecules as a prototype, we find that the rate of quenching collisions is enhanced at zero electric field as the confinement is increased, but that this rate is suppressed when the electric field is turned on. For molecules with 500 nK of collision energy, for realistic molecular densities, and for achievable experimental electric fields and trap confinements, we predict lifetimes of KRb molecules of 1 s. We find a ratio of elastic to quenching collision rates of about 100, which may be sufficient to achieve efficient experimental evaporative cooling of polar KRb molecules.

Abstract:
We use the quantum threshold laws combined with a classical capture model to provide an analytical estimate of the chemical quenching cross sections and rate coefficients of two colliding particles at ultralow temperatures. We apply this quantum threshold model (QT model) to indistinguishable fermionic polar molecules in an electric field. At ultracold temperatures and in weak electric fields, the cross sections and rate coefficients depend only weakly on the electric dipole moment d induced by the electric field. In stronger electric fields, the quenching processes scale as d^{4(L+1/2)} where L>0 is the orbital angular momentum quantum number between the two colliding particles. For p-wave collisions (L=1) of indistinguishable fermionic polar molecules at ultracold temperatures, the quenching rate thus scales as d^6. We also apply this model to pure two dimensional collisions and find that chemical rates vanish as d^{-4} for ultracold indistinguishable fermions. This model provides a quick and intuitive way to estimate chemical rate coefficients of reactions occuring with high probability.

Abstract:
We consider collisions of electric and magnetic polar molecules, taking the OH radical as an example, subject to combined electric and magnetic static fields. We show that the relative orientation of the fields has an important effect on the collision processes for different fields magnitude at different collision energies. This is due to the way the molecules polarize in the combined electric and magnetic fields and hence the way the electric dipole-dipole interaction rises. If OH molecules are confined in magnetic quadrupole traps and if an electric field is applied, molecular collisions will strongly depend on the position as well as the velocity of the molecules, and consequences on the molecular dynamics are discussed.

Abstract:
We present a time-independent quantum formalism to describe the dynamics of molecules with permanent electric dipole moments in a two-dimensional confined geometry such as a one-dimensional optical lattice, in the presence of an electric field. Bose/Fermi statistics and selection rules play a crucial role in the dynamics. As examples, we compare the dynamics of confined fermionic and bosonic polar KRb molecules under different confinements and electric fields. We show how chemical reactions can be suppressed, either by a "statistical suppression" which applies for fermions at small electric fields and confinements, or by a "potential energy suppression", which applies for both fermions and bosons at high electric fields and confinements. We also explore collisions that transfer molecules from one state of the confining potential to another. Although these collisions can be significant, we show that they do not play a role in the loss of the total number of molecules in the gas.

Abstract:
Paramagnetic, dipolar Hund's case-a radicals are considered in the presence of arbitrary, non-collinear combinations of electric and magnetic fields. The field-dependent part of the Hamiltonian is found to be exactly diagonalizable, and described by quantum numbers given by the projection of the molecule's total angular momentum along a space-fixed axis that is determined by both the fields and the electric and magnetic dipole moments of the molecule. In cases of strong fields, this procedure identifies a set of quantum numbers for the molecule in crossed fields. We dub this set a "Hund's case-X" basis.

Abstract:
We investigate the ultracold collisions of rotationally excited dipolar molecules in free-space, taking the hetero-nuclear bi-alkali molecule of KRb as an example. We show that we can sharply tune the elastic, inelastic and reactive rate coefficients of lossy molecular collisions when a second rotationally excited colliding channel crosses the threshold of the initial colliding channel, with the help of an applied electric field, as found by Avdeenkov et al. for non-lossy molecules [Phys. Rev. A 73, 022707 (2006)]. We can increase or decrease the loss processes whether the second channel is above or below the initial channel. This is seen for both bosonic and fermionic molecules. Additionally, we include the electric quadrupole and octopole moment to the dipole moment in the expression of the long-range multipole-multipole interaction. We found that for processes mediated by the incident channel like elastic and loss collisions, the inclusion of quadrupole and octopole moments are not important at ultralow energies. They are important for processes mediated by state-to-state transitions like inelastic collisions.

Abstract:
The prospects for shielding ultracold, paramagnetic, dipolar molecules from inelastic and chemical collisions are investigated. Molecules placed in their first rotationally excited states are found to exhibit effective long-range repulsion for applied electric fields above a certain critical value, as previously shown for non-paramagnetic molecules. This repulsion can safely allow the molecules to scatter while reducing the risk of inelastic or chemically reactive collisions. Several molecular species of $^2\Sigma$ molecules of experimental interest -- RbSr, SrF, BaF, and YO -- are considered, and all are shown to exhibit orders of magnitude suppression in quenching rates in a sufficiently strong laboratory electric field. It is further shown that, for these molecules described by Hund's coupling case b, electronic and nuclear spins play the role of spectator with respect to the shielding.

Abstract:
How does a chemical reaction proceed at ultralow temperatures? Can simple quantum mechanical rules such as quantum statistics, single scattering partial waves, and quantum threshold laws provide a clear understanding for the molecular reactivity under a vanishing collision energy? Starting with an optically trapped near quantum degenerate gas of polar $^{40}$K$^{87}$Rb molecules prepared in their absolute ground state, we report experimental evidence for exothermic atom-exchange chemical reactions. When these fermionic molecules are prepared in a single quantum state at a temperature of a few hundreds of nanoKelvins, we observe p-wave-dominated quantum threshold collisions arising from tunneling through an angular momentum barrier followed by a near-unity probability short-range chemical reaction. When these molecules are prepared in two different internal states or when molecules and atoms are brought together, the reaction rates are enhanced by a factor of 10 to 100 due to s-wave scattering, which does not have a centrifugal barrier. The measured rates agree with predicted universal loss rates related to the two-body van der Waals length.