Deformation of a Trapped Fermi Gas with Unequal Spin Populations
The real-space densities of a polarized strongly interacting two-component Fermi gas of Li6 atoms reveal two low-temperature regimes, both with a fully paired core. At the lowest temperatures, the unpolarized core deforms with increasing polarization. Sharp boundaries between the core and the excess unpaired atoms are consistent with a phase separation driven by a first-order phase transition. In contrast, at higher temperatures the core does not deform but remains unpolarized up to a critical polarization. The boundaries are not sharp in this case, indicating a partially polarized shell between the core and the unpaired atoms. The temperature dependence is consistent with a tricritical point in the phase diagram.