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Magnetic field modification of ultracold molecule-molecule collisions

TitleMagnetic field modification of ultracold molecule-molecule collisions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsTscherbul, TV, Suleimanov, YV, Aquilanti, V, Krems, RV
Date PublishedMAY 14

We present an accurate quantum mechanical study of molecule-molecule collisions in the presence of a magnetic field. The work focuses on the analysis of elastic scattering and spin relaxation in collisions of O-2((3)Sigma(-)(g)) molecules at cold (similar to 0.1 K) and ultracold (similar to 10(-6) K) temperatures. Our calculations show that magnetic spin relaxation in molecule-molecule collisions is extremely efficient except at magnetic fields below 1 mT. The rate constant for spin relaxation at T = 0.1 K and a magnetic field of 0.1 T is found to be as large as 6.1 x 10(-11) cm(-3) s(-1). The magnetic field dependence of elastic and inelastic scattering cross sections at ultracold temperatures is dominated by a manifold of Feshbach resonances with the density of similar to 100 resonances per Tesla for collisions of molecules in the absolute ground state. This suggests that the scattering length of ultracold molecules in the absolute ground state can be effectively tuned in a very wide range of magnetic fields. Our calculations demonstrate that the number and properties of the magnetic Feshbach resonances are dramatically different for molecules in the absolute ground and excited spin states. The density of Feshbach resonances for molecule-molecule scattering in the low-field-seeking Zeeman state is reduced by a factor of 10.