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Ultracold quantum gases in optical lattices


Artificial crystals of light, consisting of hundreds of thousands of optical microtraps, are routinely created by interfering optical laser beams. These so-called optical lattices act as versatile potential landscapes to trap ultracold quantum gases of bosons and fermions. They form powerful model systems of quantum many-body systems in periodic potentials for probing nonlinear wave dynamics and strongly correlated quantum phases, building fundamental quantum gates or observing Fermi surfaces in periodic potentials. Optical lattices represent a fast-paced modern and interdisciplinary field of research.

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Figure 1: Optical lattice potentials formed by superimposing two or three orthogonal standing waves.
Figure 2: Optical lattice potentials.
Figure 3: Adiabatic mapping of crystal momentum onto free-space momentum of an atom.
Figure 4: Nonlinear dynamics for a BEC in a double-well system.
Figure 5: Dynamical instability of a BEC in a periodic potential.
Figure 6: Transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator.
Figure 7: Observing Fermi surfaces.
Figure 8: Quantum noise correlations in atom clouds released from an optical lattice.


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Bloch, I. Ultracold quantum gases in optical lattices. Nature Phys 1, 23–30 (2005).

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