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    We present a cooling method for a cold Fermi gas by parametrically driving atomic motions in a crossed-beam optical dipole trap (ODT). Our method employs the anharmonicity of the ODT, in which the hotter atoms at the edge of the trap feel the anharmonic components of the trapping potential, while the colder atoms in the center of the trap feel the harmonic one. By modulating the trap depth with frequencies that are resonant with the anharmonic components, we selectively excite the hotter atoms out of the trap while keeping the colder atoms in the trap, generating parametric cooling. This experimental protocol starts with a magneto-optical trap (MOT) that is loaded by a Zeeman slower. The precooled atoms in the MOT are then transferred to an ODT, and a bias magnetic field is applied to create an interacting Fermi gas. We then lower the trapping potential to prepare a cold Fermi gas near the degenerate temperature. After that, we sweep the magnetic field to the noninteracting regime of the Fermi gas, in which the parametric cooling can be manifested by modulating the intensity of the optical trapping beams. We find that the parametric cooling effect strongly depends on the modulation frequencies and amplitudes. With the optimized frequency and amplitude, we measure the dependence of the cloud energy on the modulation time. We observe that the cloud energy is changed in an anisotropic way, where the energy of the axial direction is significantly reduced by parametric driving. The cooling effect is limited to the axial direction because the dominant anharmonicity of the crossed-beam ODT is along the axial direction. Finally, we propose to extend this protocol for the trapping potentials of large anharmonicity in all directions, which provides a promising scheme for cooling quantum gases using external driving.


    Jiaming Li, Leonardo F de Melo, Le Luo. Cooling an Optically Trapped Ultracold Fermi Gas by Periodical Driving. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2017 Mar 30(121)

    PMID: 28448037

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