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Bose-Einstein Condensate Experiments in 1-D Optical Lattices


A variety of experiments have been performed on the Michigan BEC project using 1-D optical lattices of varying lattice depths and durations.  In the regime of a small lattice depth and long duration, Bloch oscillations have been observed by displacing the BEC in its harmonic trap.  Counterintuitively, mean field effects seem to be a stablizing force in this system.  In the regime of a deep lattice with a short duration, Kapitza-Dirac scattering can be observed.  This scattering can be used to split, mirror, and recombine BEC components, or even thermal clouds, in a variety of ways to realize atom interferometers.  Finally, in the regime of a deep lattice with a long duration, the BEC loses its superfluidity.  However, if the lattice is slowly turned off the BEC can fully regain its original state. Although the resultant time-of-flight signal of a BEC subjected to such a lattice looks similar the 3-D case of a Mott insulator, the 1-D case is not so clear-cut; alternate explanations are given.