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Trapped Ultracold Atoms with Tunable Interactions
In this dissertation, we analyze both many- and few-body systems under external
confinement with tunable interactions. First, we develop a density-renormalization ap-
proach for describing two-component fermionic systems with short-range interactions.
This renormalized zero-range interaction eliminates the instabilities produced by a bare
Fermi pseudopotential and provides a simple description of the interactions from the
weakly interacting BCS region up to unitarity.
In the second part of the thesis, we focus on few-body systems in the BCS-BEC
crossover. To obtain the solutions, we implement two different numerical techniques:
a correlated-Gaussian-basis-set expansion and a fixed-node diffusion Monte Carlo tech-
nique. We also develop an innovative numerical technique for obtaining solutions to the
four-body problem in the hyperspherical representation.
Our solutions provide an accurate description of few-body trapped systems. The
analysis of two-, three-, and four-body systems, for instance, provides a few-body per-
spective on the BCS-BEC crossover problem. The analysis of the spectrum of such
systems allows us to visualize important pathways for molecule formation. We then use
the four-body solutions to extract key properties of the system such as the dimer-dimer
scattering length and the effective range.
We also explore the qualitative change of behavior in the BCS-BEC crossover
by analyzing the spectrum and structural properties. We investigate the dynamics of
these few-body systems and analyze them using a Landau-Zener model. At unitarity, we
study the universal properties of few-body systems and verify the absence of many-body
bound states up to N=6.
Finally, we present preliminary results on the four-boson system. We analyze
the structure of the spectrum and find a family of four-body states attached to the
three-body thresholds. These four-body states follow the universal scaling properties
of the Efimov states. We explore the collisional implications of these four-body states
and find relations between the atom-dimer and dimer-dimer collisional properties. In
particular, we predict that these four-body states will produce resonances in the dimer-
dimer scattering length.