Tunable interaction in quantum degenerate lithium
Strecker, Kevin Edwin
Hulet, Randall G.
Doctor of Philosophy
We have designed and constructed an apparatus capable of simultaneously creating both a quantum degenerate Bose and Fermi gas of the two stable isotopes of lithium, 7Li and 6Li, respectively. This apparatus has the capability of optically confining pre-cooled samples of atoms, and applying an arbitrary magnetic bias field between zero and 1000 G. The optical confinement allows us to work with any spin state or mixture, of 6Li or 7Li. The applied external field can tune the atoms through atom-atom scattering resonances, known as Feshbach resonances. These resonance change the effective coupling between atoms, allowing us to study the behavior of the atoms in both the weak and strong coupling limits. With this tool we have been able to produce large lithium Bose-Einstein condensates, stable attractive Bose-Einstein condensates in one dimension, coherent Fermi mixtures, strongly interacting Fermi mixtures, and have induced the formation of bosonic molecules from an interacting Fermi mixture.