Enlarge / Atoms are always up to something. (credit: Jurgen Appelo / Flickr)
I love all aspects of quantum physics, but the quantum mechanics of ultra-cold atoms and molecules has a special place in my heart.

Cooling and controlling molecules is really, really hard work, but you can do some impressive things with the results.
In a recent publication, a team of physicists has outlined a general procedure to cool and control the quantum state of a molecule.

The physicists claim that their procedure will (probably) work on any molecule.
If true, this is important because molecular spectroscopy is probably going to be one of the keys to finding out where our current theories of quantum physics fail.
Breaking the Standard Model
The Standard Model of physics has come to rule to the roost.
It describes how the most basic building blocks of the Universe—fundamental particles and forces—talk to each other.

From these building blocks, atoms, molecules, and, eventually, French villas are built.

Every experiment and observation has confirmed the Standard Model’s awesomeness.

But with the Large Hadron Collider spraying data, we are beginning to see a few more hints that it might be wrong.
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