Inelastic collisions of a Fermi gas in the BEC-BCS crossover.
We measure inelastic three-body and two-body collisional decay rates for a two-component Fermi gas of 6Li, which are highly suppressed by the Pauli exclusion principle. Our measurements are made in the BEC-BCS crossover regime, near the two-body collisional (Feshbach) resonance. At high temperature (energy) the data show a dominant three-body decay process, which is studied as a function of bias magnetic field. At low energy, the data show a coexistence of two-body and three-body decay processes near and below the Feshbach resonance. Below resonance, the observed two-body inelastic decay can arise from molecule-atom and molecule-molecule collisions. We suggest that at and above resonance, an effective two-body decay rate arises from collisions between atoms and correlated (Cooper) pairs that can exist at sufficiently low temperature.
Du, X; Zhang, Y; Thomas, JE
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