Reshaped three-body interactions and the observation of an Efimov state in the continuum

Yaakov Yudkin, Roy Elbaz, José P. D’Incao, Paul S. Julienne, Lev Khaykovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Efimov trimers are exotic three-body quantum states that emerge from the different types of three-body continua in the vicinity of two-atom Feshbach resonances. In particular, as the strength of the interaction is decreased to a critical point, an Efimov state merges into the atom-dimer threshold and eventually dissociates into an unbound atom-dimer pair. Here we explore the Efimov state in the vicinity of this critical point using coherent few-body spectroscopy in 7Li atoms using a narrow two-body Feshbach resonance. Contrary to the expectation, we find that the 7Li Efimov trimer does not immediately dissociate when passing the threshold, and survives as a metastable state embedded in the atom-dimer continuum. We identify this behavior with a universal phenomenon related to the emergence of a repulsive interaction in the atom-dimer channel which reshapes the three-body interactions in any system characterized by a narrow Feshbach resonance. Specifically, our results shed light on the nature of 7Li Efimov states and provide a path to understand various puzzling phenomena associated with them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2127
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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