Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications. More...
Published: Jan 9, 2014 3:48:33 PM
UCL is hosting a conference on Free Electron Laser and Attosecond-Strong Field Science from June 30 to July 2 2014 at UCL. The preliminary web-page for the conference is now live at
Published: Oct 1, 2013 2:24:13 PM
Our present understanding of thermodynamics is fundamentally incorrect if applied to small systems and needs to be modified, according to new research from University College London (UCL) and the University of Gdańsk. The work establishes new laws in the rapidly emerging field of quantum thermodynamics. More...
Published: Jun 27, 2013 9:40:58 AM
Theoretical Physics of Molecules and Quantum Systems
The AMOPP group has a number of theoretical research programs including:
- Theoretical molecular physics (Prof Jonathan Tennyson)
- Quantum dynamics and quantum chaos (Prof Tania Monteiro)
- Ultracold molecules and collisions (Prof Jonathan Tennyson)
- Atoms and molecules in intense laser fields (Dr Carla Figueira de Morisson Faria and Prof Jonathan Tennyson)
Please read below for more details.
Theoretical molecular physics
The molecular theory group
develops methods based on first principles quantum mechanics for
studying the structure, spectra and collision properties of molecules.
Research in the group is a mixture of studying fundamental problems
such as ultra cold molecular collisions and electron and positron molecule collisions, and application of theoretical methods to key areas such as astrophysics and atmospheric physics, where as part of the CAVIAR consortium
we are trying to determine the physical basis of the so-called water
The image on the left shows an artists impression of extra solar planet HD189733b. Calculations by the molecular theory group led directly to the detection of water in the atmosphere of the hot Jupiter-like planet in 2007, the first molecule detected on an extra solar planet, see here for more details.
The molecular theory group also works alongside the Quantemol company producing software model electron polyatomic molecule interactions for a variety of applications including plasma physics.
More information about our theoretical molecular physics reseach can be found on the molecular theory group webpages.
Quantum Dynamics and Quantum Chaos
We have a program of work studying how
a quantum system behaves if the corresponding classical dynamics is chaotic:
'quantum chaos' is
important in a wide range of systems in atomic, molecular, optical, nuclear and mesoscopic
systems. At present we are working on three main projects:
For more information please see the Quantum Dynamics and Quantum Chaos group webpages.
Ultracold molecules and collisions
The formation of ultracold molecules is a new and rapidly developing area in the physics of quantum degenerate gases. The aim of our research is to theoretically understand the dynamics of the association of molecules and its interplay with the bulk motion in trapped Bose-Einstein condensates and quantum degenerate two component Fermi gases. The applications of our research are far reaching; they range from precise studies of two- and few-body ultracold collisions to the many-body physics of Cooper pairing of Fermions.
Our ongoing research includes topics such as:
Atoms and molecules in intense laser fields
When atoms and molecules are exposed to extremely strong laser fields
novel and exciting processes can take place. At UCL we have an ongoing
program of experimental and theoretical work studying these processes
such as above threshold ionization, high-order harmonic generation,
electron recollision, and non-sequential double ionization. In recent
years, understanding these processes has led to the possibility of
using ultrashort laser pulses to image molecular processes on the
attosecond timescale and the angstrom length scale simultaneously. The
theory underpinning our understanding of these processes is being
actively developed by Carla Faria, and Jonathan Tennyson is extending R-matrix methods to apply to these problems.