Ultracold gases as a new tool in condensed matter physics

TYPEDistinguished Lecture Series
Speaker:Lev Pitaevskii
Affiliation:University of Trento, Italy
Date:27.11.2010
Time:All Day
Location:Physics Department Technion
Abstract:Recent progress in experimental techniques has enabled the preparation of liquids with properties independent of any quantities that characterize the interaction. This situation emerges because the interatomic interaction in these bodies is, in a sense, infinitely strong. The case which exemplifies this point is of ultracold Fermi gases near the so-called Feshbach resonances. Atom-atom interactions in such gases are characterized by one parameter, the scattering length "a", which near the Feshbach resonance depends on magnetic field. When the scattering length becomes of the order of interatomic distances, the system behaves as a strongly interacting liquid. At the resonance where "a" is infinite, one gets a universal liquid, whose properties do not depend on any parameter. Professor Pitaevskii is a leader in the field of low temperature physics, where much of the physics is described by the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. For his work he was awarded several prizes which include the Landau Prize (USSR Academy, 1980), Landau Gold Medal (Russian Academy, 2008) and the Feenberg Memorial Award in Many body Physics (1997). Professor Pitaevskii is an Academician (USSR/Russia). It was our great privilege to have Professor Pitaevskii as a visiting Professor at the Technion (1994-98). This year he received an Honorary Doctorate of the Technion.