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Title: Universal sound diffusion in a strongly interacting Fermi gas

Transport of strongly interacting fermions is crucial for the properties of modern materials, nuclear fission, the merging of neutron stars, and the expansion of the early Universe. Here, we observe a universal quantum limit of diffusivity in a homogeneous, strongly interacting atomic Fermi gas by studying sound propagation and its attenuation through the coupled transport of momentum and heat. In the normal state, the sound diffusivity D monotonically decreases upon lowering the temperature, in contrast to the diverging behavior of weakly interacting Fermi liquids. Below the superfluid transition temperature, D attains a universal value set by the ratio of Planck’s constant and the particle mass. Our findings inform theories of fermion transport, with relevance for hydrodynamic flow of electrons, neutrons, and quarks.

Authors:
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Award ID(s):
1734011
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10204242
Journal Name:
Science
Volume:
370
Issue:
6521
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 1222-1226
ISSN:
0036-8075
Publisher:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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