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- Three attractively interacting fermions in a harmonic trap: exact solution, ferromagnetism, and high-temperature thermodynamics
- Liu, Xia-Ji; Hu, Hui; Drummond, Peter D.
- Three fermions with strongly repulsive interactions in a spherical harmonic trap constitute the simplest nontrivial system that can exhibit the onset of itinerant ferromagnetism. Here, we present exact solutions for three trapped, attractively interacting fermions near a Feshbach resonance. We analyze energy levels on the upper branch of the resonance where the atomic interaction is effectively repulsive. When the s-wave scattering length a is sufficiently positive, three fully polarized fermions are energetically stable against a single spin-flip, indicating the possibility of itinerant ferromagnetism, as inferred in the recent experiment. We also investigate the high-temperature thermodynamics of a strongly repulsive or attractive Fermi gas using a quantum virial expansion. The second and third virial coefficients are calculated. The resulting equations of state can be tested in future quantitative experimental measurements at high temperatures and can provide a useful benchmark for quantum Monte Carlo simulations.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences. Centre for Atom Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy
- Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Vol. 82, no. 2 (Aug 2010), article no. 023619
- Publication year
- American Physical Society
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010 The American Physical Society. Published version of the paper reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher for noncommercial use only.