Cold Molecules (2016)

ECTS credits: 5

Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: Q2 2016
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 5 contact hours  / 16-18
Capacity limits: No limits


Objectives of the course:
To provide the participants with an overview and an insight into a range of contemporary, yet fundamental, topics in the field of Cold Molecules.


Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand and explain various methods to produce cold molecules including Stark deceleration, supersonic expansions, and photoassociation of laser-cooled molecules
  • Understand and explain various applications of cold molecules notably spectroscopy, collisions, and reactions.

Compulsory programme:
Attendance of all lectures and summary sessions is mandatory. Exemption only by sickness or similar.


Course contents:
We are offering a unique PhD course in Q2, 2016 aimed at students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Chemistry and iNANO. The overall theme of the course is cold molecules and will cover exciting topics in one of the most vibrant, active and rapidly evolving research fields in molecular science. The course will be based on lectures by 6 invited speakers that are not only internationally leading scientists but also excellent lecturers. 

The course will discuss some of the many ways to produce cold and even ultracold molecules including supersonic expansions, quantum-state selection, photoassociation of laser-cooled atoms, Stark deceleration, buffer gas cooling, trapping for macroscopic times and embedding inside helium nanodroplets. Also, applications of cold molecules will be discussed including elastic and inelastic collisions, recognition of chirality by microwave radiation, quantum information, molecular spectroscopy and chemical reaction dynamics.


Quantum mechanics  corresponding to 'Quantum Mechanics' or 'Microscopic Physical Chemistry', 'Chemical Bonding (Molecular Structure)' and 'Spectroscopy and Structure (Molecular Dynamics)'. Basic knowledge of lasers, corresponding to 'Laser Chemistry and optics' or 'Laserphysics'


Name of lecturer:
No information


Preliminary program
The lectures will be given on Tuesdays: 10-12 and 13-15.
As an evaluation the participants on the course will provide, taking turns, an oral summary of the lectures. This summary session is scheduled to Thursdays from 13-14.

Week 45

Michael Drewsen and Henrik Stapelfeldt

“Intro to Cold Molecules at AU”


Week 46

Silke Ospelkaus, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

“Ultracold Molecules”


Week 47

Alkwin Sclenzka, University of Regensburg, Germany

“Superfluid Helium Nanodroplets: A Great Tool for Molecular Spectroscopy”


Week 48

Bas van de Meerakker, University of Nijmegen, Holland

“Taming Molecular Beams”


Week 49

Stefan Willitch, University of Basel, Switzerland

 “Cold Molecular Ions: Methods and Applications”.


Week 50

Melanie Schnell, University of Hamburg, Germany

"Investigating and Controlling Neutral Polar Molecules".


Week 51

Gerhard Rempe, Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany

“A Quantum Opticians View on Molecules”

 Type of course/teaching methods:

Notes and articles will be provided at the beginning of the course

 Course homepage:

 Course assessment:
Passed or failed based on active participation during the lectures

Department of Chemistry and Department of Physics and Astronomy

Some lecture room at Physics or Chemistry, Aarhus Campus, 8000 Aarhus C

 For registration:
Please send an email to Michael Drewsen, or Henrik Stapelfeldt,

Deadline for registration is Monday, 24 October 2016.



Comments on content: 
Revised 19.10.2016