Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Ana Maria Rey

Second Advisor

Paul Romatschke

Third Advisor

Jun Ye

Fourth Advisor

Eric Cornell

Fifth Advisor

John Bohn

Abstract

The interplay between spin and motional degrees of freedom in interacting electron systems has been a long-standing research topic in condensed matter physics. Interactions can modify the behavior of individual electrons and give rise to emergent collective phenomena such as superconductivity and colossal magnetoresistance. Theoretical understanding of non-equilibrium dynamics in interacting fermionic matter is limited, however, and many open questions remain. Ultracold atomic Fermi gases, with precisely controllable parameters, offer an outstanding opportunity to investigate the emergence of collective behavior in out-of-equilibrium settings. In this thesis we will describe how an optical lattice clock operated with neutral Fermionic atoms can be turned into a quantum simulator of charged particles in a strong magnetic field. We will then discuss the counterintuitive notion that weak interactions in a Fermi gas can lead to large scale collective behavior and global correlations. These ideas are being tested experimentally at JILA and the University of Toronto. We also investigate in detail the so-called spin model approximation which is used extensively throughout this thesis.

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