We theoretically investigate the transmission dynamics of coherent matter wave pulses across finite optical lattices in both the linear and the nonlinear regimes. The shape and the intensity of the transmitted pulse are found to strongly depend on the parameters of the incident pulse, in particular its velocity and density: a clear physical picture of the main features observed in the numerical simulations is given in terms of the atomic band dispersion in the periodic potential of the optical lattice. Signatures of nonlinear effects due to the atom-atom interaction are discussed in detail, such as atom-optical limiting and atom-optical bistability. For positive scattering lengths, matter waves propagating close to the top of the valence band are shown to be subject to modulational instability. A scheme for the experimental generation of narrow bright gap solitons from a wide Bose-Einstein condensate is proposed: the modulational instability is seeded starting from the strongly modulated density profile of a standing matter wave and the solitonic nature of the generated pulses is checked from their shape and their collisional properties.
Physical Review A
- Pub Date:
- May 2002
- Mechanical effects of light on atoms molecules electrons and ions;
- Nonlinear optics;
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter