Atomic matter-wave revivals with definite atom number in an optical lattice

J. Schachenmayer, A. J. Daley, P. Zoller

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We study the collapse and revival of interference patterns in the momentum distribution of atoms in optical lattices using a projection technique to properly account for the fixed total number of atoms in the system. We consider the common experimental situation in which weakly interacting bosons are loaded into a shallow lattice, which is suddenly made deep. The collapse and revival of peaks in the momentum distribution is then driven by interactions in a lattice with essentially no tunneling. The projection technique allows to us to treat inhomogeneous (trapped) systems exactly in the case that noninteracting bosons are loaded into the system initially, and we use time-dependent density-matrix renormalization group techniques to study the system in the case of finite tunneling in the lattice and finite initial interactions. For systems of more than a few sites and particles, we find good agreement with results calculated via a naive approach, in which the state at each lattice site is described by a coherent state in the particle occupation number. However, for systems on the order of ten lattice sites, we find experimentally measurable discrepancies to the results predicted by this standard approach. 

Original languageEnglish
Article number043614
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2011


  • interference patterns
  • atomic matter-wave revivals
  • optical lattices

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