Realizing analogues of color superconductivity with ultracold alkali atoms

K. M. O'Hara

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

A degenerate three-component Fermi gas of atoms with identical attractive interactions is expected to exhibit superfluidity and magnetic order at low temperature and, for sufficiently strong pairwise interactions, become a Fermi liquid of weakly interacting trimers. The phase diagram of this system is analogous to that of quark matter at low temperature, motivating strong interest in its investigation. We describe how a three-component gas below the superfluid critical temperature can be prepared in an optical lattice. To realize an SU(3)-symmetric system, we show how pairwise interactions in the threecomponent atomic system can be made equal by applying radiofrequency and microwave radiation. Finally, motivated by the aim to make more accurate models of quark matter, which have color, flavor and spin degrees of freedom, we discuss how an atomic system with SU(2) ⊗ SU(3) symmetry can be achieved by confining a three-component Fermi gas in the p-orbital band of an optical lattice potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065011
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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