Two electrons are better than one... In the Yb lab we produce Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate Fermi gases of ytterbium atoms. These atoms offer metastable electronic states, ultranarrow clock transitions, multicomponent fermions with SU(N) interactions: a whole range of experimental tools that allow new possibilities for quantum simulation and quantum information processing.

A new kind of Feshbach resonance

We report on the experimental observation of a strongly interacting gas of ultracold two-electron fermions with an orbital degree of freedom and magnetically tunable interactions. This realization has been enabled by the demonstration of a novel kind of Feshbach resonance occurring in the scattering of two 173Yb atoms in different nuclear and electronic states. The strongly interacting regime at resonance is evidenced by the observation of anisotropic hydrodynamic expansion of the two-orbital Fermi gas. These results pave the way towards the realization of new quantum states of matter with strongly correlated fermions with an orbital degree of freedom.

G. Pagano et al.,
Strongly Interacting Gas of Two-Electron Fermions at an Orbital Feshbach Resonance
Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 265301 (2015)

See also the Physics Viewpoint by S. Cornish:

S. Cornish
Controlling Collisions in a Two-Electron Atomic Gas
Physics 8, 125 (2015)

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