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Bose-Einstein condensate in optical lattices

Trey Porto, Steven Peil, Bruno Laburthe, John Obrecht, Callum Mc Kenzie, Antoine Browaeys
Atomic Physics Division, PL



We will present some results from the two Bose-Einstein  condensation experiments at NIST Gaithersburg (on sodium and rubidium). We investigate the behaviour of the condensate in an optical lattice. The lattices are created by illuminating the cloud with the interference pattern created by two laser beams. This creates a periodic potential acting on the atoms, allowing a description of the system in terms of band structure theory. In a first set of experiments we analyzed the loading of the condensate into a  1 D lattice as well as in a super lattice in which two spatial periods are present. We then accelerate the lattice in  order to observe the Bloch oscillations. We finally investigate the coherence properties of the cloud.