Cool it!

A new method of laser cooling molecules to close to absolute zero has been developed by scientists at Yale University. The technique represents another step towards using individual molecules, or collections of molecules as information bits in quantum computing. Laser cooling of atoms is relatively commonplace, but this is the first demonstration of applying the technique successfully to molecules, specifically strontium monofluoride. Team leader David DeMille suggests that the technique could be used for other molecular entities and opens up a range of possibilities in this chilly field.