Abstract:
We introduce the concept that there are two generic classes of Mott insulators in nature. They are distinguished by their responses to weak doping. Doped charges form cluster (i.e. distribute inhomogeneously) in type I Mott insulators while distribute homogeneously in type II Mott insulators. We present our opinion on the role inhomogeneity plays in the cuprates.

Abstract:
Recent scanning tunneling microscope (STM) measurements discovered remarkable electronic inhomogeneity, i.e. nano-scale spatial variations of the local density of states (LDOS) and the superconducting energy gap, in the high-Tc superconductor BSCCO. Based on the experimental findings we conjectured that the inhomogeneity arises from variations in local oxygen doping level and may be generic of doped Mott insulators which behave rather unconventionally in screening the dopant ionic potentials at atomic scales comparable to the short coherence length. Here, we provide theoretical support for this picture. We study a doped Mott insulator within a generalized t-J model, where doping is accompanied by ionic Coulomb potentials centered in the BiO plane. We calculate the LDOS spectrum, the integrated LDOS, and the local superconducting gap, make detailed comparisons to experiments, and find remarkable agreement with the experimental data. We emphasize the unconventional screening in a doped Mott insulator and show that nonlinear screening dominates at nano-meter scales which is the origin of the electronic inhomogeneity. It leads to strong inhomogeneous redistribution of the local hole density and promotes the notion of a local doping concentration. We find that the inhomogeneity structure manifests itself at all energy scales in the STM tunneling differential conductance, and elucidate the similarity and the differences between the data obtained in the constant tunneling current mode and the same data normalized to reflect constant tip-to-sample distance. We also discuss the underdoped case where nonlinear screening of the ionic potential turns the spatial electronic structure into a percolative mixture of patches with smaller pairing gaps embedded in a background with larger gaps to single particle excitations.

Abstract:
We prepare and study a metastable attractive Mott insulator state formed with bosonic atoms in a three-dimensional optical lattice. Starting from a Mott insulator with Cs atoms at weak repulsive interactions, we use a magnetic Feshbach resonance to tune the interactions to large attractive values and produce a metastable state pinned by attractive interactions with a lifetime on the order of 10 seconds. We probe the (de-)excitation spectrum via lattice modulation spectroscopy, measuring the interaction dependence of two- and three-body bound state energies. As a result of increased on-site three-body loss we observe resonance broadening and suppression of tunneling processes that produce three-body occupation.

Abstract:
We study the quantum phase transition between a band (``ionic'') insulator and a Mott-Hubbard insulator, realized at a critical value U=Uc in a bipartite Hubbard model with two inequivalent sites, whose on-site energies differ by an offset Delta. The study is carried out both in D=1 and D=2 (square and honeycomb lattices), using exact Lanczos diagonalization, finite-size scaling, and Berry's phase calculations of the polarization. The Born effective charge jump from positive infinity to negative infinity previously discovered in D=1 by Resta and Sorella is confirmed to be directly connected with the transition from the band insulator to the Mott insulating state, in agreement with recent work of Ortiz et al.. In addition, symmetry is analysed, and the transition is found to be associated with a reversal of inversion symmetry in the ground state, of magnetic origin. We also study the D=1 excitation spectrum by Lanczos diagonalization and finite-size scaling. Not only the spin gap closes at the transition, consistent with the magnetic nature of the Mott state, but also the charge gap closes, so that the intermediate state between the two insulators appears to be metallic. This finding, rationalized within unrestricted Hartree-Fock as due to a sign change of the effective on-site energy offset Delta for the minority spin electrons, underlines the profound difference between the two insulators. The band-to-Mott insulator transition is also studied and found in the same model in D=2. There too we find an associated, although weaker, polarization anomaly, with some differences between square and honeycomb lattices. The honeycomb lattice, which does not possess an inversion symmetry, is used to demonstrate the possibility of an inverted piezoelectric effect in this kind of ionic Mott insulator.

Abstract:
We analyze the recent vortex core spectroscopy experiments in cuprate superconductor and discuss what can be learned from them about the nature of the ground state in these compounds. We argue that the data are inconsistent with the assumption of a simple metallic ground state and exhibit characteristics of a doped Mott insulator. A theory for a vortex core in such a doped Mott insulator is developed based on the U(1) gauge field slave boson model and is shown to exhibit properties qualitatively consistent with the experimental data.

Abstract:
We propose to use Bragg spectroscopy to measure the excitation spectrum of the Mott insulator state of an atomic Bose gas in an optical lattice. We calculate the structure factor of the Mott insulator taking into account both the selfenergy corrections of the atoms and the corresponding dressing of the atom-photon interaction. We determine the scattering rate of photons in the stimulated Raman transition and show that by measuring this scattering rate in an experiment, in particular the excitation gap of the Mott insulator can be determined.

Abstract:
In strongly correlated electron systems, the emergence of states in the Mott gap in the single-particle spectrum following the doping of the Mott insulator is a remarkable feature that cannot be explained in a conventional rigid-band picture. Here, based on an analysis of the quantum numbers and the overlaps of relevant states, as well as through a demonstration using the ladder and bilayer t-J models, it is shown that in a continuous Mott transition due to hole doping, the magnetically excited states of the Mott insulator generally emerge in the electron-addition spectrum with the dispersion relation shifted by the Fermi momentum in the momentum region where the lower Hubbard band is not completely filled. This implies that the dispersion relation of a free-electron-like mode in the electron-addition spectrum eventually transforms into essentially the momentum-shifted magnetic dispersion relation of the Mott insulator, while its spectral weight gradually disappears toward the Mott transition. This feature reflects the spin-charge separation of the Mott insulator.

Abstract:
A microscopic theory is presented for the local moment formation near a non-magnetic impurity or a copper defect in high-T_c superconductors. We use a renormalized meanfield theory of the t-J model for a doped Mott insulator and study the fully self-consistent, spatially unrestricted solutions of the d-wave superconducting (SC) state in both the spin S=0 and S=1/2 sectors. We find a transition from the singlet d-wave SC state to a spin doublet SC state when the renormalized exchange coupling exceeds a doping dependent critical value. The induced S=1/2 moment is staggered and localized around the impurity. It arises from the binding of an S=1/2 nodal quasiparticle excitation to the impurity. The local density of states spectrum is calculated and connections to NMR and STM experiments are discussed.

Abstract:
We investigate the effects of finite temperature on ultracold Bose atoms confined in an optical lattice plus a parabolic potential in the Mott insulator state. In particular, we analyze the temperature dependence of the density distribution of atomic pairs in the lattice, by means of exact Monte-Carlo simulations. We introduce a simple model that quantitatively accounts for the computed pair density distributions at low enough temperatures. We suggest that the temperature dependence of the atomic pair statistics may be used to estimate the system's temperature at energies of the order of the atoms' interaction energy.

Abstract:
We present a detailed analysis of the dynamical response of ultra-cold bosonic atoms in a one-dimensional optical lattice subjected to a periodic modulation of the lattice depth. Following the experimental realization by Stoferle et al [Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 130403 (2004)] we study the excitation spectrum of the system as revealed by the response of the total energy as a function of the modulation frequency Omega. By using the Time Evolving Block Decimation algorithm, we are able to simulate one-dimensional systems comparable in size to those in the experiment, with harmonic trapping and across many lattice depths ranging from the Mott-insulator to the superfluid regime. Our results produce many of the features seen in the experiment, namely a broad response in the superfluid regime, and narrow discrete resonances in the Mott-insulator regime. We identify several signatures of the superfluid-Mott insulator transition that are manifested in the spectrum as it evolves from one limit to the other.