Physics at Virginia

"Field Theory Studies of a Unitary Fermi Gas"

Matthew Wingate , University of Washington
[Host: Hank Thacker]
Fermion pairing leads to interesting phenomena in many physical systems, whether the constituents are atoms, nucleons, electrons, or quarks. The newfound ability to trap and cool fermionic atoms has provided a versatile avenue for experimental exploration of fermion pairing. I have been working on using field theory techniques to describe and calculate properties of these gases. In this talk, I focus on a dilute gas of 2-component, nonrelativistic fermions whose scattering length is much larger than the average interparticle spacing. This is a setup which describes atomic gases tuned to a Feshbach resonance, as well as neutron matter. I discuss how Monte Carlo methods constitute an ab initio method for theoretical study of this gas. As an example, I show an exploratory calculation of the critical temperature separating the normal and superfluid phases. Next, I outline how effective field theory enables one to study the low temperature properties of the gas beyond superfluid hydrodynamics. It turns out that this system possesses a great deal of symmetry which tightly constrains the form of next-to-leading order behavior.
Condensed Matter Seminar
Thursday, March 16, 2006
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
Note special room.

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