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Title: Three-component Fermi gases in quasi-two-dimensional geometries
Author: Kirk, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 1007
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis concerns quasi-two-dimensional (quasi-2D) ultracold Fermi systems with short range interactions. Here, quasi-2D geometries are those that lie between two- and three-dimensions. We study few- and many-body systems composed of two or three distinguishable species of fermions. Of principle interest are the bound states that form in these systems and how these bound states are affected by the quasi-2D geometries. In the first research chapter, we focus on the two-dimensional (2D) regime of quasi- 2D. We begin by developing an effective 2D model of this 2D-like geometry. We use this model to analyse a Fermi system consisting of three fermionic species with equal interactions between all distinguishable pairs. Starting with the few-body problem, we show that there is always a three-body bound state (trimer) in the effective 2D model and that these 2D trimers are stable. This is notably different from the extremely unstable ‘Efimov’ trimers found in three-dimensional (3D) systems. Using a low-density expansion and a variational approach, we investigate the fate of the 2D trimers as the system’s density is increased from the three-body limit to the many-body limit. We find that remnants of trimers can persist in the form of strong three-body correlations in the many-body system. In the second research chapter, we analyse a realistic experimental system of three distinguishable fermions confined to quasi-2D. We develop a model that goes beyond the previous chapter in two regards. Firstly, we allow for unequal interactions between the pairs of fermions. Secondly, we use a full quasi-2D model that is not specific to the 2D-like regime. With this general model, we use the scattering and confinement parameters from experiments on ultracold 6Li atoms to calculate the trimer spectrum across the dimensional crossover from 2D to 3D. We show that one state smoothly evolves from an unstable 3D-like trimer to a 2D-like trimer as the attractive interactions are decreased. We furthermore compute the trimer wave function and quantify the stability of the trimer with respect to three-body recombination by determining the probability that three fermions approach each other at short distances. Our results indicate that the lifetime of the trimer can be enhanced by at least an order of magnitude in the quasi-2D geometry. This opens the door to realising long-lifetime trimers in ultracold gas experiments and furthermore, the many-body state of trimers predicted in the preceding chapter. vii In the final research chapter, we examine an alternative approach to accessing quasi-2D geometries by using a system of coupled 2D planes. We study the two-component Fermi gas in this geometry, as a preliminary to studying the three-component gas. We find that the interplanar coupling can be tuned to drive a dimensional crossover from 2D to 3D. We study the effect of this dimensional crossover on the two- and many-body systems. In general, we find that two-body correlations are strengthened by weakening the coupling between 2D planes. In the many-body system, we use mean-field theory to find that the critical temperature of pairing is increased by weakening the coupling between 2D planes. This represents a first step towards a more general representation of quasi-2D geometries, namely: A system of coupled quasi-2D planes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available