Evidence for Bosonization in a Three-Dimensional Gas of SU(N) Fermions

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A multi-component Fermi gas with SU(N) symmetry is expected to behave like spinless bosons in the large N limit, where the large number of internal states weakens constraints from the Pauli exclusion principle [1]. Whereas blurring the boundary between bosons and fermions lies at the heart of multiple disciplines [2–5], bosonization of SU(N) fermions has been experimentally tested only in a one-dimensional (1D) system so far [6]. Here, we report evidence for bosonization in a three-dimensional (3D) SU(N) fermionic Ytterbium gas with tunable N. Using the column integrated momentum distribution, we measure contacts, the central quantity controlling dilute quantum gases [7–9], with a high signal-to-noise ratio in our system. We find that the contact per spin approaches a constant with a 1/N scaling in the low fugacity regime. This scaling signifies the vanishing role of the fermionic statistics in thermodynamics, and unfolds the intriguing nature of bosonization in 3D SU(N) fermions. Our work suggests a new route of using contacts to explore multi-component quantum systems and their underlying symmetries.

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