Efimov physics: A review

Pascal Naidon, Shimpei Endo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

246 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews theoretical and experimental advances in Efimov physics, an array of quantum few-body and many-body phenomena arising for particles interacting via short-range resonant interactions, that is based on the appearance of a scale-invariant three-body attraction theoretically discovered by Vitaly Efimov in 1970. This three-body effect was originally proposed to explain the binding of nuclei such as the triton and the Hoyle state of carbon-12, and later considered as a simple explanation for the existence of some halo nuclei. It was subsequently evidenced in trapped ultra-cold atomic clouds and in diffracted molecular beams of gaseous helium. These experiments revealed that the previously undetermined three-body parameter introduced in the Efimov theory to stabilise the three-body attraction typically scales with the range of atomic interactions. The few- and many-body consequences of the Efimov attraction have been since investigated theoretically, and are expected to be observed in a broader spectrum of physical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056001
JournalReports on Progress in Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 28
Externally publishedYes


  • Efimov physics
  • quantum few-body physics
  • quantum many-body physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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