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Department Colloquium | Fermion Pairing with Ultracold Atoms

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
4:00 AM
340 West Hall

Speaker: Randy Hulet (Rice University)

Ultracold atomic fermions have the potential for simulating unsolved models of condensed matter physics, and perhaps, to uncover unexpected new physics. These systems are clean and well-characterized, and physical parameters such as interaction strength, temperature, density, and dimensionality are readily tunable. I will discuss experiments on the pairing of 6 Li, a composite fermion, where tunable interactions enable the realization of the BEC-BCS crossover. We have investigated two-component Fermi gases with unequal spin populations, and find phase separation between a fully paired core and the surrounding unpaired atoms (shown below). Finally, I will present data from a new experiment on a spin-imbalanced Fermi gas in 1D, which is predicted to exhibit the elusive FFLO modulated superfluid state.