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A degenerate Fermi gas of polar molecules

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Science  17 Jan 2019:
eaau7230
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau7230

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Abstract

Experimental realization of a quantum degenerate gas of molecules would provide access to a wide range of phenomena in molecular and quantum sciences. However, the very complexity that makes ultracold molecules so enticing has made reaching degeneracy an outstanding experimental challenge over the past decade. We now report the production of a degenerate Fermi gas of ultracold polar molecules of potassium–rubidium (KRb). Through coherent adiabatic association in a deeply degenerate mixture of a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate and a potassium Fermi gas, we produce molecules at temperatures below 0.3 times the Fermi temperature. We explore the properties of this reactive gas and demonstrate how degeneracy suppresses chemical reactions, making a long-lived degenerate gas of polar molecules a reality.

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