Correlated fermions in nuclei and ultracold atomic gases

O. Hen, L. B. Weinstein, E. Piasetzky, G. A. Miller, M. M. Sargsian, Y. Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The high-momentum distribution of atoms in two spin-state ultracold atomic gases with strong short-range interactions between atoms with different spins, which can be described by using Tan's contact, are dominated by short-range pairs of different fermions and decreases as k-4. In atomic nuclei the momentum distribution of nucleons above the Fermi momentum (k>kF≈250 MeV/c) is also dominated by short-range-correlated different-fermion (neutron-proton) pairs. Purpose: Compare high-momentum unlike-fermion momentum distributions in atomic and nuclear systems. Methods: We show that, for k>kF MeV/c, nuclear momentum distributions are proportional to that of the deuteron. We then examine the deuteron momentum distributions derived from a wide variety of modern nucleon-nucleon potentials that are consistent with NN-scattering data. Results: The high-momentum tail of the deuteron momentum distribution, and hence of the nuclear momentum distributions, appears to decrease as k-4. This behavior is shown to arise from the effects of the tensor part of the nucleon-nucleon potential. In addition, when the dimensionless interaction strength for the atomic system is chosen to be similar to that of atomic nuclei, the probability for finding a short-range different-fermion pair in both systems is the same. Conclusions: Although nuclei do not satisfy all of the conditions for Tan's contact, the observed similarity of the magnitude and k-4 shape of nuclear and atomic momentum distributions is remarkable because these systems differ by about 20 orders of magnitude in density. This similarity may lead to a greater understanding of nuclei and the density dependence of nuclear systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045205
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 23 Oct 2015


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