Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
Summer Project
Supervisor(s): 
Professor Matthew Davis

Suitable for:  Students interested in theoretical and computational quantum physics.

Project:  In the 1970s there was speculation that the cause of superfluidity in helium-4 was not due to Bose-Einstein condensation, but a form of Cooper pairing between attractive bosons, similar to that which occurs for electrons in superconductors.  More recent calculations for the homogeneous system suggest that the temperature for the pairing transition is higher than for BEC - but that both are preceded by the mechanical collapse of the gas.  This collapse is however prevented in finite systems.  This project will use the classical field method to determine whether a pairing phase is possible for degenerate Bose gas with attractive interactions, and compare the results to the predictions of the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov method.

Expected outcomes:  The Summer Research Scholar will learn how to apply analytical and computational quantum-many body methods to Bose-Einstein condensates.  The hope is to uncover a new possible phase of matter, and to describe how to observe it in the laboratory.

Duration:  8 weeks; start and finish times flexible.

Contact:  Professor Matt Davis, mdavis@physics.uq.edu.au or phone +61 7 334 69824; room 309, Physics Annexe (6), UQ St Lucia campus.