Although many types of matter exist, there are two fundamental types of particles: fermions (half-integer spin) and bosons (integer spin). At sufficiently large temperatures, both fermions and bosons behave classically. For this reason, both Li-6 (a fermion) and Li-7 (a boson) have similar properties at room temperature. At low enough temperatures, as particles settle into ground state energy levels and the quantum degenerate phase is achieved, these two types of matter behave very differently. In this talk, I present a brief history of quantum degenerate gases and superfluids. This will take us from the original conception of the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) at the start of the 20th century, to modern day research where the gas is probed in detail with theory and experiment. Along the way, we'll encounter superfluid fermion systems like neutron stars and cold atomic gases, and the celebrated BCS theory of superconductivity developed by Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer. Among the modern research discussed will be my own work with the nuclear theory group, where quantum Monte Carlo methods are used to study 2D Fermi gases.
The talk is from 3-4 pm (snacks at 2:30!). Make sure to follow the Graduate Seminar Series on Facebook.