A mixture of Bose and Fermi superfluids

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Science  17 Jul 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1255380

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Superconductivity and superfluidity of fermionic and bosonic systems are remarkable many-body quantum phenomena. In liquid helium and dilute gases, Bose and Fermi superfluidity has been observed separately, but producing a mixture in which both the fermionic and the bosonic components are superfluid is challenging. Here, we report on the observation of such a mixture with dilute gases of two Lithium isotopes, 6Li and 7Li. We probe the collective dynamics of this system by exciting center-of-mass oscillations that exhibit extremely low damping below a certain critical velocity. Using high precision spectroscopy of these modes we observe coherent energy exchange and measure the coupling between the two superfluids. Our observations can be captured theoretically using a sum-rule approach that we interpret in terms of two coupled oscillators.

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