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We study a one-dimensional gas of fermionic atoms interacting via an s-wave molecular Feshbach resonance. At low energies the system is characterized by two Josephson-coupled Luttinger liquids, corresponding to paired atomic and molecular superfluids. We show that, in contrast to higher dimensions, the system exhibits a quantum phase transition from a phase in which the two superfluids are locked together to one in which, at low energies, quantum fluctuations suppress the Feshbach resonance (Josephson) coupling, effectively decoupling the molecular and atomic superfluids. Experimental signatures of this quantum transition include the appearance of an out-of-phase gapless mode (in addition to the standard gapless in-phase mode) in the spectrum of the decoupled superfluid phase and a discontinuous change in the molecular momentum distribution function. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters