Cold Fermi Gas or Neutron Star? -- Universal Mean Field Interactions in anStrongly-Interacting Fermi Gas

Staci Hemmer


Following the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in 1995, cold gases composed of Fermionic atoms have become the newest focus of laser cooling and trapping techniques.  Fermi gases show unique advantage and promise as experimental systems of study because they allow investigations of fundamental fermion interactions in a precisely controlled system.  We have detailed control over relevant parameters in a trapped Fermi gas, i.e. temperature, density, spin composition, and interaction strength, allowing studies of unique fermion phenomena such as BCS-type superfluid phase transitions, Josephson oscillations, and Pauli blocking effects.  I will discuss our method for creating an ultra-cold, degenerate Fermi gas and our studies of strong interactions in the gas.  In a particular regime, known as the intermediate density region (IDR), the interaction energy is predicted to take a form universal to all strongly interacting Fermi systems, including nuclear and neutron star matter.  I will present our measurement of this interaction energy and compare it to theoretical predictions for strongly-interacting Fermi systems.
 
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