Degenerate Fermi gases
The main topic of these lectures is the physics of quantum degenerate atomic Fermi gases both under uniform confinement and in harmonic traps. To begin with, a general introduction on ideal Fermi gases is proposed. This "academic" limit is relevant in experiments where ultracold fermionic atoms are all polarized in a single spin state: the low atom momenta together with the fermionic nature of the atoms forbid atomic s-wave scattering and the atoms can be considered as free. Interactions are then introduced for the case of a gas with two spin components. Interactions can be tuned via Feshbach resonances and control the microscopic features of the superfluid phase, ranging from the BCS limit (formation of Cooper pairs) to the BEC limit (Bose-Einstein condensation of dimers). Various theoretical approaches for the description of the BCS-BEC crossover and their predictions in comparison with the experimental results are discussed.
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