State preparation and dynamics of ultracold atoms in higher lattice orbitals

  • Müller T
  • Fölling S
  • Widera A
 et al. 
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We report on the realization of a multi-orbital system with ultracold atoms in the excited bands of a 3D optical lattice by selectively controlling the band population along a given lattice direction. The lifetime of the atoms in the excited band is found to be considerably longer (10-100 times) than the characteristic time scale for inter-site tunneling, thus opening the path for orbital selective many-body physics with ultracold atoms. Upon exciting the atoms from an initial lowest band Mott insulating state to higher lying bands, we observe the dynamical emergence of coherence in 1D (and 2D), compatible with Bose-Einstein condensation to a non-zero momentum state.

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