About David Patterson's Work
I propose to prepare and measure chemically relevant molecules in single quantum states for the first time. The ability to nondestructively measure the state of an individual molecule will provide an unambiguous single molecule chemical analyzer, and is a crucial prerequisite for meaningful quantum information processing with trapped polyatomic molecules. The system will further provide a general tool which can for the first time identify and measure the handedness of individual molecules. This technology could play a pivotal role in the search for chemical evidence of life beyond Earth. The research is a natural extension of my research to date, which centers on developing novel chemical analyzers based on agile manipulation of ensembles of molecules at the single quantum state level.