How does laser cooling work?


Laser hair removal video:

How can light be used to cool atoms and molecules ? Lasers are known to burn things, fix eyes, and dance on powerpoint presentations. But they can also be used to cool objects to some of the coldest temperatures in the universe.

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Creator: Dianna Cowern
Writer: Sophia Chen
Animations: Kyle Norby

More resources:

Stock visuals: and
Music: APM and YouTube

Laser Cooling animation: NOVA
Animations: Kyle Norby

10 Comments on "How does laser cooling work?"

  1. Can laser cooling solve the climate change issues ?

  2. Marcos Pimentel | January 25, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Reply

    But where does the energy go?

  3. I wonder if we can build a tractor beam using negative momentum of the laser….. hm………….

  4. It’s always super fun to watch Dianna and Derek together in a video!!

  5. Babajide Odusanya | February 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Reply

    Not as cold as Hitler’s Heart

  6. So, in theory, we could create a freeze ray gun that could freeze your enemies still on a battlefield.
    Dr.Freeze is actually possible.

  7. laser on a shark is cool. lol
    Heisenberg is sweating….
    Zero velocity….ahhhhh
    One thought ..when a particle vibrates jiggling from one direction to the opposite at one instant its velocity must be zero when direction change?

  8. Timothy Rohwer | February 24, 2019 at 4:16 am | Reply

    I had a thought the other day about this LASER cooling. I’m not a physicist, but a musician. Often in music, there are wavelengths of of pitches that are ratios of other pitches. The distance of those pitches we refer to as intervals. When we invert those intervals, we see similar ratios and relationships. I thought about the universal constant, and that perhaps the boundary of the speed of light might have an inversion similar to music: if there is an upper limit to how fast objects can move, could there be a lower limit, which might be defined by 1/C? And perhaps 0 degrees Kelvin is not possible in the same way that traveling faster than the speed of light is not possible?
    Again, I’m not a physicist, but I thought I’d throw that idea out there.

  9. monty shetye | March 6, 2019 at 9:28 am | Reply

    Are they dating?

  10. Hellstormangel | March 13, 2019 at 1:42 am | Reply

    Haven’t we gotten down to nano kelvin with laser cooling tricks, also, one of the most important applications of laser cooling would be in ion-trap quantum computing. I’m surprised that there was no mention of quantum information, given how popular the notion of quantum computers are becoming.

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