We have created quantum degenerate Fermi gases of atoms at unprecedented high densities exceeding (where is the wavelength of resonant light). In this regime, new optical properties are predicted. Spin-polarized Fermi gases are usually regarded as noninteracting due to the weakness of -wave interactions. Here we study the properties of “-wave matter,” where elastic and inelastic -wave collisions determine the dynamics of the system. We characterize thermalization, evaporative cooling, and inelastic two-body and three-body collisions. -wave dipolar relaxation creates a metastable mixture of the lowest and highest hyperfine states.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics