Pairing Up But Not Condensing

Science  11 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5826, pp. 793
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5826.793b

When equal populations of fermions of opposite spin states come together, they can be expected to pair and condense into a macroscopically coherent state, such as a superfluid. What happens when the initial populations are unequal? Schunck et al. (p. 867; see the news story by Cho) look at conditions of strong population imbalance using clouds of fermionic gases. Pairing of the atoms occurs, but condensation of the pairs into the superfluid state is suppressed by the imbalance, even down to the lowest temperatures.

Related Content

Navigate This Article