We study the sudden expansion of spin-imbalanced ultracold lattice fermions with attractive interactions in one dimension after turning off the longitudinal confining potential. We show that the momentum distribution functions of majority and minority fermions quickly approach stationary values due to a quantum distillation mechanism that results in a spatial separation of pairs and majority fermions. As a consequence, Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov (FFLO) correlations are lost during the expansion. Furthermore, we argue that the shape of the stationary momentum distribution functions can be understood by relating them to the integrals of motion in this integrable quantum system. We discuss our results in the context of proposals to observe FFLO correlations, related to recent experiments by Liao, Nature (London) 467, 567 (2010).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy