Detecting π-phase superfluids with p-wave symmetry in a quasi-one-dimensional optical lattice
Hulet, Randall G.
Liu, W. Vincent
We propose an experimental protocol to study p-wave superfluidity in a spin-polarized cold Fermi gas tuned by an s-wave Feshbach resonance. A crucial ingredient is to add a quasi-one-dimensional optical lattice and tune the fillings of two spins to the s and p band, respectively. The pairing order parameter is confirmed to inherit p-wave symmetry in its center-of-mass motion. We find that it can further develop into a state of unexpected π-phase modulation in a broad parameter regime. Experimental signatures are predicted in the momentum distributions, density of states, and spatial densities for a realistic experimental setup with a shallow trap. The π-phase p-wave superfluid is reminiscent of the π state in superconductor-ferromagnet heterostructures but differs in symmetry and physical origin. The spatially varying phases of the superfluid gap provide an approach to synthetic magnetic fields for neutral atoms. It would represent another example of p-wave pairing, first discovered in He3 liquids.