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Mobile ion in a Fermi sea

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The remarkable single-particle control of individual ions combined with the versatility of ultracold atomic gases makes hybrid ion-atom systems an exciting new platform for quantum simulation of few- and many-body quantum physics. Here, we study theoretically the properties of a mobile ion immersed in a quantum degenerate gas of fermionic atoms. Using an effective low-energy atom-ion interaction together with a well-established approach that includes exactly two-body correlations, we calculate the full spectral response of the ion and demonstrate the existence of several quasiparticle branches, which are charged analogs of the Fermi polaron observed in neutral atomic gases. Due to the long-range nature of the atom-ion interaction, these ionic Fermi polarons have several properties distinct from their neutral counterparts such as the simultaneous presence of several stable states and smooth transitions from repulsive to attractive polarons with increasing interaction strength. Surprisingly, the residue of the ionic polaron is shown to increase with the Fermi density for fixed interaction strength, which is in marked contrast with the neutral polaron. The properties of the ionic polaron approach that of the neutral polaron only in the low-density limit where the average interparticle spacing is larger than the characteristic length of the atom-ion interaction. We finally analyze the effects of the Fermi gas on the molecular ions, which are bound atom-dimer states.

Original languageEnglish
Article number 023309
JournalPhysical Review A
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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