2020-05-18 Research News

Understanding of physical properties for quantum many-body systems with strong interparticle interactions is one of key issues common to various subfields of physics. Such systems range from high-Tc superconductors in solid-state physics to neutron star interiors in nuclear physics. Among these systems, ultracold atoms are very pure atomic gases whose interactions can be tuned by optical and/or magnetic fields. The ultracold atoms thus provide an ideal platform to simulate the strongly interacting systems.

Recently, quantum transport of ultracold atoms have been actively investigated in order to clarify how strong interactions affect their nonequilibrium properties. Motivated by this experimental situation, we theoretically study spin transport for strongly interacting Fermi gases in two-terminal setup where the gases in left and right reservoirs are connected via a narrow construction (see Figure). In particular, the spin current for normal Fermi gases in two situations are focused on. The first situation is the pseudogap region, where both gases have small spin polarizations and are above the superfluid transition temperature. In this case, spin-up and spin-down fermions in each reservoir prefer to form pairs (so-called preformed Cooper pairs) due to the strong attractive interaction. Because of this pairing effect, the spin degrees of freedom tend to be frozen and thus the spin current is largely suppressed. The other situation is a region where the gases in the left and right reservoirs have large spin polarizations with opposite sign. In this case, minority-spin particles behave as the “Fermi polarons,” which are quasiparticles consisting of minority-spin particles dressed by majority-spin ones. The appearance of the Fermi polarons results in the increase of the minority densities of states, leading to the enhancement of the spin current. Our results suggest that the spin transport measurement becomes a sensitive probe to experimentally examine pseudogap and polaron phenomena, which have attracted much attention not only in atomic physics but also in solid-state physics.

Yuta Sekino, Hiroyuki Tajima, and Shun Uchino
“Mesoscopic spin transport between strongly interacting Fermi gases”
Phys. Rev. Research 2, 023152 (2020)

Related Link