National Institute of Standards & Technology
METHOD & MADNESS IN QUANTUM GASES
Tuesday, May 3, 2005
AMO physics techniques have made possible the exploration of numerous "holy grail" problems of condensed matter physics - the BCS-BEC crossover, Bose-Hubbard model, Anderson localization, the relationship between Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity, superconductivity in the strong-coupling limit - the list has been growing daily during the past few years. The crazy thing is that these problems are being addressed in media whose pressure is 10(-10) Pascal, a realm which is usually called "ultrahigh vacuum" by condensed matter physicists. I will give a simple overview of recent developments in the field, with particular emphasis on recent work on Fermi gases whose interactions are widely tunable by use of a Feshbach resonance. These are systems which are leading to deep exploration of the BCS-BEC crossover, and much about them can be understood in terms of simple concepts of atomic collision physics and statistical thermodynamics.