Quantum Degeneracy in Lithium Gases

Part of the NATO Science Series book series (NAII, volume 51)


Lithium is an attractive atom for studies of quantum degenerate gases because its two naturally occurring isotopes, 6Li and 7Li, have opposite exchange symmetry and have stable nuclei. Since 6Li is composed of an odd number of spin-1/2 particles (3 electrons, 3 protons, 3 neutrons), it is itself a half-integer composite particle obeying Fermi-Dirac statistics. On the other hand, 7Li with its extra neutron is a composite boson. The phenomena exhibited by each isotope, therefore, should be vastly different at ultra-low temperatures, where effects of quantum degeneracy are manifested. For example, we have shown that 7Li undergoes Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) [1], the paradigm of all quantum statistical phase transitions. A gas of 6Li, conversely, cannot directly Bose condense, although they can undergo a BEC-like phase transition in which particles form ‘Cooper pairs’. This effect is responsible for electronic superconductivity and for superfluidity of 3He.


Attractive Interaction Evaporative Cool Magnetic Trap Trap Atom Nonlinear Schrodinger Equation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyRice UniversityMS61 HoustonUSA

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