Mechanical stability of a strongly interacting Fermi gas of atoms

M. E. Gehm, S. L. Hemmer, S. R. Granade, K. M. O’Hara, J. E. Thomas

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5 Scopus citations


A strongly attractive, two-component Fermi gas of atoms exhibits universal behavior and should be mechanically stable as a consequence of the quantum-mechanical requirement of unitarity. This requirement limits the maximum attractive force to a value smaller than that of the outward Fermi pressure. To experimentally demonstrate this stability, we use all-optical methods to produce a highly degenerate, two-component gas of [Formula Presented] atoms in an applied magnetic field near a Feshbach resonance, where strong interactions are observed. We find that gas is stable at densities far exceeding that predicted previously for the onset of mechanical instability. Further, we provide a temperature-corrected measurement of an important, universal, many-body parameter, which determines the stability—the mean-field contribution to the chemical potential in units of the local Fermi energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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