An improved system for creating ultracold Fermi gases of lithium-6
Partridge, Guthrie Bran
Hulet, Randall G.
Master of Arts
An apparatus has been developed to create spin mixtures of ultracold fermionic 6Li in order to investigate the behavior of strongly interacting Fermi gases, and in particular, search for a superconducting phase transition. 6Li atoms are initially confined in a dual species magneto-optical trap (MOT) along with bosonic 7Li. Due to an overlap between spectral features of the two species, a D2/D1 trap/repump scheme is used for the 6Li. The atoms are subsequently cooled to quantum degeneracy in a magnetic trap through optimized dual forced evaporation and transferred to an all optical trap where spin mixtures are created with RF sweeps and pulses. The atomic interactions are controlled through the use of magnetic Feshbach resonances and an externally applied bias magnetic field of up to 1000 G. This thesis details the construction, operation, and performance of the 6Li portion of the apparatus, as well as current results.