Cold and controlled chemical reaction dynamics
The prospect of studying state-to-state chemical reaction dynamics, with full control over all of the reaction parameters, is becoming a reality for a small number of systems. Thanks to the rapid development of new experimental techniques (alongside novel combinations of existing methods), an increasingly diverse range of reactants can be prepared under cold conditions and manipulated with external fields. These tools are enabling the study of reactions at previously inaccessible collision energies; the role of long-range forces and quantum effects are beginning to be experimentally probed—challenging the accuracy of theoretical predictions and fundamental models of reactivity. In this perspective article, we outline the key methodologies that are adopted for the study of cold and controlled reaction dynamics. We discuss the motivation for these studies, detail the progress made to date, and highlight the future prospects for the field.