Metastability in Spin-Polarized Fermi Gases
We study the role of particle transport and evaporation on the phase separation of an ultracold, spin-polarized atomic Fermi gas. We show that the previously observed deformation of the superfluid paired core is a result of evaporative depolarization of the superfluid due to a combination of enhanced evaporation at the center of the trap and the inhibition of spin transport at the normal-superfluid phase boundary. These factors contribute to a nonequilibrium jump in the chemical potentials at the phase boundary. Once formed, the deformed state is highly metastable, persisting for times of up to 2ﾠs.