Abstract:
We review a recent experiment with ultracold atoms in 3D optical lattices where we have observed a novel kind of bound state of two atoms which is based on repulsive interactions between the particles. These repulsively bound pairs exhibit long lifetimes, even under conditions when they collide with one another. Stable repulsively bound objects should be viewed as a general phenomenon and their existence will be ubiquitous in cold atoms lattice physics. Although the experiment described here is based on bosonic Rb atoms, other composites with fermions or Bose-Fermi mixtures should exist in an analogous manner. Furthermore, repulsively bound objects could also be formed with more than two particles. In the following we will first explain the theoretical background of repulsively atom pairs. Afterwards we will present the experiments which demonstrate several key properties of the pairs. Finally we give a short discussion of how these repulsively bound pairs relate to bound states in some other physical systems.

Abstract:
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 tunnelling. The projection technique allows to us to treat inhomogeneous (trapped) systems exactly in the case that non-interacting 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 tunnelling 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 10 lattice sites, we find experimentally measurable discrepancies to the results predicted by this standard approach.

Abstract:
We discuss how an $\eta$-condensate, corresponding to an exact excited eigenstate of the Fermi-Hubbard model, can be produced with cold atoms in an optical lattice. Using time-dependent density matrix renormalisation group methods, we analyse a state preparation scheme beginning from a band insulator state in an optical superlattice. This state can act as an important test case, both for adiabatic preparation methods and the implementation of the many-body Hamiltonian, and measurements on the final state can be used to help detect associated errors.

Abstract:
We propose a setup in which Andreev-like reflections predicted for 1D transport systems could be observed time-dependently using cold atoms in a 1D optical lattice. Using time-dependent Density Matrix Renormalisation Group methods we analyse the wavepacket dynamics as a density excitation propagates across a boundary in the interaction strength. These phenomena exhibit good correspondence with predictions from Luttinger liquid models and could be observed in current experiments in the context of the Bose-Hubbard model.

Abstract:
We analyze in detail the heating of bosonic atoms in an optical lattice due to incoherent scattering of light from the lasers forming the lattice. Because atoms scattered into higher bands do not thermalize on the timescale of typical experiments, this process cannot be described by the total energy increase in the system alone (which is determined by single-particle effects). The heating instead involves an important interplay between the atomic physics of the heating process and the many-body physics of the state. We characterize the effects on many-body states for various system parameters, where we observe important differences in the heating for strongly and weakly interacting regimes, as well as a strong dependence on the sign of the laser detuning from the excited atomic state. We compute heating rates and changes to characteristic correlation functions based both on perturbation theory calculations, and a time-dependent calculation of the dissipative many-body dynamics. The latter is made possible for 1D systems by combining time-dependent density matrix renormalization group (t-DMRG) methods with quantum trajectory techniques.

Abstract:
We investigate the dynamical formation of crystalline states with systems of polar molecules or Rydberg atoms loaded into a deep optical lattice. External fields in these systems can be used to couple the atoms or molecules between two internal states: one that is weakly interacting and one that exhibits a strong dipole-dipole interaction. By appropriate time variation of the external fields, we show that it is possible to produce crystalline states of the strongly interacting states with high filling fractions chosen via the parameters of the coupling. We study the coherent dynamics of this process in one dimension (1D) using a modified form of the time-evolving block decimation (TEBD) algorithm, and obtain crystalline states for system sizes and parameters corresponding to realistic experimental configurations. For polar molecules these crystalline states will be long-lived, assisting in a characterization of the state via the measurement of correlation functions. We also show that as the coupling strength increases in the model, the crystalline order is broken. This is characterized in 1D by a change in density-density correlation functions, which decay to a constant in the crystalline regime, but show different regions of exponential and algebraic decay for larger coupling strengths.

Abstract:
We discuss a scheme to measure the many-body entanglement growth during quench dynamics with bosonic atoms in optical lattices. By making use of a 1D or 2D setup in which two copies of the same state are prepared, we show how arbitrary order Renyi entropies can be extracted using tunnel-coupling between the copies and measurement of the parity of on-site occupation numbers, as has been performed in recent experiments. We illustrate these ideas for a Superfluid-Mott insulator quench in the Bose-Hubbard model, and also for hard-core bosons, and show that the scheme is robust against imperfections in the measurements.

Abstract:
We discuss atomic lattice excitons (ALEs), bound particle-hole pairs formed by fermionic atoms in two bands of an optical lattice. Such a system provides a clean setup to study fundamental properties of excitons, ranging from condensation to exciton crystals (which appear for a large effective mass ratio between particles and holes). Using both mean-field treatments and 1D numerical computation, we discuss the properities of ALEs under varying conditions, and discuss in particular their preparation and measurement.

Abstract:
We propose a scheme utilising a quantum interference phenomenon to switch the transport of atoms in a 1D optical lattice through a site containing an impurity atom. The impurity represents a qubit which in one spin state is transparent to the probe atoms, but in the other acts as a single atom mirror. This allows a single-shot quantum non-demolition measurement of the qubit spin.

Abstract:
We propose a fault tolerant loading scheme to produce an array of fermions in an optical lattice of the high fidelity required for applications in quantum information processing and the modelling of strongly correlated systems. A cold reservoir of Fermions plays a dual role as a source of atoms to be loaded into the lattice via a Raman process and as a heat bath for sympathetic cooling of lattice atoms. Atoms are initially transferred into an excited motional state in each lattice site, and then decay to the motional ground state, creating particle-hole pairs in the reservoir. Atoms transferred into the ground motional level are no longer coupled back to the reservoir, and doubly occupied sites in the motional ground state are prevented by Pauli blocking. This scheme has strong conceptual connections with optical pumping, and can be extended to load high-fidelity patterns of atoms.