Abstract:
We review novel methods to investigate, control and manipulate neutral atoms in optical lattices. These setups allow unprecedented quantum control over large numbers of atoms and thus are very promising for applications in quantum information processing. After introducing optical lattices we discuss the superfluid (SF) and Mott insulating (MI) states of neutral atoms trapped in such lattices and investigate the SF-MI transition as recently observed experimentally. In the second part of the paper we give an overview of proposals for quantum information processing and show different ways to entangle the trapped atoms, in particular the usage of cold collisions and Rydberg atoms. Finally, we also briefly discuss the implementation of quantum simulators, entanglement enhanced atom interferometers, and ideas for robust quantum memory in optical lattices.

Abstract:
We investigate the dynamics of neutral atoms in a 2D optical lattice which traps two distinct internal states of the atoms in different columns. Two Raman lasers are used to coherently transfer atoms from one internal state to the other, thereby causing hopping between the different columns. By adjusting the laser parameters appropriately we can induce a non vanishing phase of particles moving along a closed path on the lattice. This phase is proportional to the enclosed area and we thus simulate a magnetic flux through the lattice. This setup is described by a Hamiltonian identical to the one for electrons on a lattice subject to a magnetic field and thus allows us to study this equivalent situation under very well defined controllable conditions. We consider the limiting case of huge magnetic fields -- which is not experimentally accessible for electrons in metals -- where a fractal band structure, the Hofstadter butterfly, characterizes the system.

Abstract:
We review recent theoretical advances in cold atom physics concentrating on strongly correlated cold atoms in optical lattices. We discuss recently developed quantum optical tools for manipulating atoms and show how they can be used to realize a wide range of many body Hamiltonians. Then we describe connections and differences to condensed matter physics and present applications in the fields of quantum computing and quantum simulations. Finally we explain how defects and atomic quantum dots can be introduced in a controlled way in optical lattice systems.

Abstract:
We consider the dephasing of two internal states |0> and |1> of a trapped impurity atom, a so-called atomic quantum dot (AQD), where only state |1> couples to a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). A direct relation between the dephasing of the internal states of the AQD and the temporal phase fluctuations of the BEC is established. Based on this relation we suggest a scheme to probe BEC phase fluctuations nondestructively via dephasing measurements of the AQD. In particular, the scheme allows to trace the dependence of the phase fluctuations on the trapping geometry of the BEC.

Abstract:
We numerically study the superfluid to Mott insulator transition for bosonic atoms in a one dimensional lattice by exploiting a recently developed simulation method for strongly correlated systems. We demonstrate this methods accuracy and applicability to Bose-Hubbard model calculations by comparison with exact results for small systems. By utilizing the efficient scaling of this algorithm we then concentrate on systems of comparable size to those studied in experiments and in the presence of a magnetic trap. We investigate spatial correlations and fluctuations of the ground state as well as the nature and speed at which the superfluid component is built up when dynamically melting a Mott insulating state by ramping down the lattice potential. This is performed for slow ramping, where we find that the superfluid builds up on a time scale consistent with single-atom hopping and for rapid ramping where the buildup is much faster than can be explained by this simple mechanism. Our calculations are in remarkable agreement with the experimental results obtained by Greiner et al. [Nature (London) 415, 39 (2002)].

Abstract:
We show that transient supersolid quantum states of Rydberg-excitations can be created dynamically from a Mott insulator of ground state atoms in a 2D optical-lattices by irradiating it with short laser pulses. The structure of these supersolids is tunable via the choice of laser parameters. We calculate first, second and fourth order correlation functions as well as the pressure to characterize the supersolid states. Our study is based on the development of a general theoretical tool for obtaining the dynamics of strongly interacting quantum systems whose initial state is accurately known. We show that this method allows to accurately approximate the evolution of quantum systems analytically with a number of operations growing polynomially.

Abstract:
We consider interacting bosonic atoms in an optical lattice subject to a large simulated magnetic field. We develop a model similar to a bilayer fractional quantum Hall system valid near simple rational numbers of magnetic flux quanta per lattice cell. Then we calculate its ground state, magnetic lengths, fractional fillings, and find unexpected sign changes in the Hall current. Finally we study methods for detecting these novel features via shot noise and Hall current measurements.

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.

Abstract:
We propose a simple quantum network to detect multipartite entangled states of bosons, and show how to implement this network for neutral atoms stored in an optical lattice. We investigate the special properties of cluster states, multipartite entangled states and superpositions of distinct macroscopic quantum states that can be identified by the network.

Abstract:
We present results of simulations of a em quantum Boltzmann master equation (QBME) describing the kinetics of a dilute Bose gas confined in a trapping potential in the regime of Bose condensation. The QBME is the simplest version of a quantum kinetic master equations derived in previous work. We consider two cases of trapping potentials: a 3D square well potential with periodic boundary conditions, and an isotropic harmonic oscillator. We discuss the stationary solutions and relaxation to equilibrium. In particular, we calculate particle distribution functions, fluctuations in the occupation numbers, the time between collisions, and the mean occupation numbers of the one-particle states in the regime of onset of Bose condensation.