Observation of superfluidity in a strongly correlated two-dimensional Fermi gas

A superfluid can flow without viscosity but only if the speed of the flow is lower than the so-called critical velocity. Sobirey et al. measured the critical velocity of a system of uacold fermionic atoms confined to two dimensions. The researchers trapped a gas of lithium-6 atoms in a box-shaped potential and then moved another, periodic potential through the trap. The response of the gas to this perturbation showed a sudden increase when the speed of the periodic potential reached the critical velocity. Science , abc8793, this issue p. [844][1] Understanding how strongly correlated two-dimensional (2D) systems can give rise to unconventional superconductivity with high critical temperatures is one of the major unsolved problems in condensed matter physics. Uacold 2D Fermi gases have emerged as clean and controllable model systems to study the interplay of strong correlations and reduced dimensionality, but direct evidence of superfluidity in these systems has been missing. We demonstrate superfluidity in an uacold 2D Fermi gas by moving a periodic potential through the system and observing no dissipation below a critical velocity v c. We measure v c as a function of interaction strength and find a maximum in the crossover regime between bosonic and fermionic superfluidity. Our measurements enable systematic studies of the influence of reduced dimensionality on fermionic superfluidity. [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abc8793

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