Chilly polar gas

The first high-density gas of ultracold molecules, that are both stable and capable of strong interactions has been created by scientists at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder). The long-sought milestone in physics has potential applications in quantum computing, precision measurement and designer chemistry, the researchers say. "Ultracold polar molecules really represent now one of the hottest frontiers in physics," says NIST/JILA Fellow Jun Ye, an author of the paper. "They are potentially a new form of matter, a quantum gas with strong interactions that vary by direction and that you can control using external tools such as electric fields."