This profile area spans many fields, from studies of single isolated atoms to fundamental molecular processes in bulk water. The fundamental characteristics of atoms and molecules are studied in advanced facilities, where they are accelerated to very high speeds and made to collide with for examples electrons. With the world-unique facility, DESIREE, it is possible to accelerate and study atoms in extremely cold environments of just a few degrees Kelvin. This national infrastructure offers new possibilities for fundamental studies of atomic and molecular processes with applications in astrophysics, atmospheric science etcetera. Another successful field in this area is the study of reactions using very short laser pulses. The researchers in the Department of Physics are also involved in developing a new powerful so-called X-ray laser in collaboration with leading laboratories in the U.S. and Germany. With this technology, it is possible to study materials and biomolecules on timescales down to one millionth of a second, and with a resolution that can discern individual atoms and molecules.