The field of cold atomic gases faced a revolution in 1995 when Bose-Einstein condensation was achieved. Since then, there has been an impressive progress, both experimental and theoretical. The quest for ultra-cold Fermi gases started shortly after the 1995 discovery, and quantum degeneracy in a gas of fermionic atoms was obtained in 1999. The Pauli exclusion principle plays a crucial role in many aspects of ultra-cold Fermi gases, including inhibited interactions with applications to precision measurements, and strong correlations. The path towards strong interactions and pairing of fermions opened up with the discovery in 2003 that molecules formed by fermions near a Feshbach resonance were surprisingly stable against inelastic decay, but featured strong elastic interactions.This remarkable combination was explained by the Pauli exclusion principle and the fact that only inelastic collisions require three fermions to come close to each other. The unexpected stability of strongly interacting fermions and fermion pairs triggered most of the research which was presented at this summer school.
It is remarkable foresight (or good luck) that the first steps to organize this summer school were already taken before this discovery. It speaks for the dynamics of the field how dramatically it can change course when new insight is obtained. The contributions in this volume provide a detailed coverage of the experimental techniques for the creation and study of Fermi quantum gases, as well as the theoretical foundation for understanding the properties of these novel systems.