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Three-Component Fermi Gas Lattice Experiment

Mid-Term Report Summary - 3FLEX (Three-Component Fermi Gas Lattice Experiment)

The ERC funded research project 3FLEX, Three-Component Fermi gas Lattice Experiment, has during its first half period realized a strongly interacting Fermi gas confined to two dimensions with a periodic potential. First experiments have been carried out with a homogeneous two-dimensional gas, for which an extremely high critical temperature for the gas to undergo a phase transition to a superfluid state has been determined. This might have important consequences for the understanding of High-Tc superconductors. The mechanism that leads to these high critical temperatures has not been understood, almost 30 years after their discovery.
In a separate effort, a double well potential was realized with exquisite control over all degrees of freedom of the atoms trapped in it.
Experience gained from these experiments will be essential for the second part of the project, during which a periodic confinement in the two-dimensional plane will be used to introduce additional degrees of freedom that will allow to introduce a third spin state, thereby creating a Fermi gas with properties that resemble qualitatively those of very dense quark matter. It is the vision of this project to contribute in this way to a better understanding of the phase diagram of QCD, which describes the properties of quark matter.