Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Applied Mathematics

First Advisor

Paul Romatschke

Second Advisor

Anna Maria Rey

Third Advisor

Anne Dougherty


Unitary fermi gases have been widely studied as they provide a tabletop archetype for research on strongly coupled many body systems and perfect fluids. Research into unitary fermi gases can provide insight into may other strongly interacting systems including high temperature superconductor, quark-gluon plasmas, and neutron stars. Within the unitary regime, the equilibrium transport coefficients and thermodynamic properties are universal functions of density and temperature. Thus, unitary fermi gases provide a archetype to study nonperturbative many-body physics, which is of fundamental significance and crosses several fields.

This thesis reports on two topics regarding unitary fermi gases. A recent string theory conjecture gives a lower bound for the dimensionless ratio of shear viscosity of entropy, η=s ≥ 4πℏ =kb. Unitary fermi gases are a candidate for prefect fluids, yet η=s is well above the string theory bound. Using a stochastic formulation of hydrodynamics, we calculate a lower bound for this ratio accounting for the momentum dissipation from fluctuations. This lower bound is in good agreement with both theoretical and experimental results.

The second question addressed is the simulation of elliptic flow. Elliptic flow, first observed in 2002, is a characteristic of strongly coupled systems and has been studied in both quark-gluon plasmas and unitary fermi gases. As such, simulations of these systems are of interest. We test a variety of lattice Boltzmann models and compare the simulation results to the theoretical and experimental findings.