Optimally Designed Fields for Controlling Molecular Dynamics
Final rept. Jul 1988-Jun 1991,
PRINCETON UNIV NJ DEPT OF CHEMISTRY
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This research concerns the development of molecular control theory techniques for designing optical fields capable of manipulating molecular dynamic phenomena. Although is has been long recognized that lasers should be capable of manipulating dynamic events, many frustrating years of intuitively driven laboratory studies only serve to illustrate the point that the task is complex and defies intuition. The principal new component in the present research is the recognition that this problem falls into the category of control theory and its inherent complexities require the use of modern control theory tools largely developed in the engineering disciplines. Thus, the research has initiated a transfer of the control theory concepts to the molecular scale. Although much contained effort will be needed to fully develop these concepts, the research in this grant set forth the basic components of the theory and carried out illustrative studies involving the design of optical fields capable of controlling rotational, vibrational and electronic degrees of freedom. Optimal control within the quantum mechanical molecular realm represents a frontier area with many possible ultimate applications. At this stage, the theoretical tools need to be joined with merging laboratory optical pulse shaping capabilities to illustrate the power of the concepts.
- Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy