Ultracold Atoms in a Disordered Crystal of Light: Towards a Bose Glass

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We use a bichromatic optical lattice to experimentally realize a disordered system of ultracold strongly interacting 87Rb bosons. In the absence of disorder, the atoms are pinned by repulsive interactions in the sites of an ideal optical crystal, forming one-dimensional Mott-insulator states. We measure the excitation spectrum of the system as a function of disorder strength and characterize its phase-coherence properties with a time-of-flight technique. Increasing disorder, we observe a broadening of the Mott-insulator resonances and the transition to a state with vanishing long-range phase coherence and a flat density of excitations, which suggest the formation of a Bose-glass phase.

L. Fallani et al.
Ultracold Atoms in a Disordered Crystal of Light: Towards a Bose Glass
Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 130404 (2007)