Absence of heating in a uniform Fermi gas created by periodic driving

18 Feb 2021  ·  Constantine Shkedrov, Meny Menashes, Gal Ness, Anastasiya Vainbaum, Ehud Altman, Yoav Sagi ·

Ultracold atomic gas provides a useful tool to explore many-body physics. One of the recent additions to this experimental toolbox is the Floquet engineering, where periodic modulation of the Hamiltonian allows the creation of effective potentials that do not exist otherwise. When subject to external modulations, however, generic interacting many-body systems absorb energy, thus posing a heating problem that may impair the usefulness of this method. For discrete systems with bounded local energy, an exponentially suppressed heating rate with the driving frequency has been observed previously, leaving the system in a prethermal state for exceedingly long durations. But for systems in continuous space, the situation remains unclear. Here we show that Floquet engineering can be employed to a strongly interacting degenerate Fermi gas held in a flat box-like potential without inducing excessive heating on experimentally relevant timescales. The driving eliminates the effect of a spin-dependent potential originating from a simultaneous magnetic levitation of two different spin states. We calculate the heating rate and obtain a power-law suppression with the drive frequency. To further test the many-body behavior of the driven gas, we measure both the pair-condensation fraction at unitarity and the contact parameter across the BEC-BCS crossover. At low driving frequencies, the condensate fraction is reduced by the time-dependent force, but at higher frequencies, it revives and attains an even higher value than without driving. Our results are promising for future exploration of exotic many-body phases of a bulk strongly-interacting Fermi gas with dynamically engineered Hamiltonians.

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Quantum Gases Statistical Mechanics Quantum Physics