Cold fermions keep their distance
Scientists at LMU and MPQ observe “Pauli blocking” between fermionic lithium atoms in an optical lattice.
The microcosm is governed by its own laws – the rules of quantum mechanics. They describe, for instance, the statistical behaviour of elementary particles. Electrons and all the other constituents of atoms belong to the group of fermions that are never allowed to share identical quantum numbers. This “exclusion principle” was formulated by the Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli in 1925 in order to explain the structure and the stability of atoms. Today, quantum optical experiments provide methods to prove the rules that have been thought of and pressed into elegant mathematical equations in those days. In this regard, scientists led by Professor Immanuel Bloch, Professor of Experimental Physics at LMU Munich and director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have made a big step forward .
(Physical Review Letters 2015) MPQ/LMU