Heat Capacity of a Strongly Interacting Fermi Gas

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Science  25 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5713, pp. 1296-1299
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109220

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We have measured the heat capacity of an optically trapped, strongly interacting Fermi gas of atoms. A precise addition of energy to the gas is followed by single-parameter thermometry, which determines the empirical temperature parameter of the gas cloud. Our measurements reveal a clear transition in the heat capacity. The energy and the spatial profile of the gas are computed using a theory of the crossover from Fermi to Bose superfluids at finite temperatures. The theory calibrates the empirical temperature parameter, yields excellent agreement with the data, and predicts the onset of superfluidity at the observed transition point.

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