Collisional loss of one-dimensional fermions near a p-wave Feshbach resonance
Hulet, Randall G.
Doctor of Philosophy
The prospect of using Majorana fermions for application to fault-tolerant quantum computation has recently received much attention. Majorana fermions can be created in $p_x + ip_y$ topological superfluids or at the ends of a 1D $p$-wave superfluid. Exploring $p$-wave pairing in ultracold atomic gases has been difficult due to severe atom loss from three-body recombination near a $p$-wave Feshbach resonance. Three-body loss is predicted to be suppressed, however, in quasi-one-dimensional (quasi-1D), due to the extended wavefunctions of the open-channel dominant Feshbach dimers. In this work, we have experimentally studied collisional loss of a quasi-1D spin-polarized Fermi gas near a $p$-wave Feshbach resonance using ultracold $^6$Li atoms confined to a 2D optical lattice. We measured the atom loss as a function of time and extracted the three-body recombination rate, $L_3$. We also analyzed the atom loss as a two-step cascade three-body recombination model, in which weakly bound dimers are formed prior to their loss arising from atom-dimer collisions. In this thesis, the comparison of the experimental results and the theoretical predictions are presented. The implications of these measurements for observing $p$-wave pairing in quasi-1D are discussed in this thesis.
p-wave Feshbach resonance; three-body loss; fermions in quasi-1D