The Fermi–Pasta–Ulam (FPU) model, which was proposed 50 years ago to examine thermalization in nonmetallic solids and develop “experimental” techniques for studying nonlinear problems, continues to yield a wealth of results in the theory and applications of nonlinear Hamiltonian systems with many degrees of freedom. Inspired by the studies of this seminal model, solitary-wave dynamics in lattice dynamical systems have proven vitally important in a diverse range of physical problems—including energy relaxation in solids, denaturation of the DNA double strand, self-trapping of light in arrays of optical waveguides, and Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs) in optical lattices. BECs, in particular, due to their widely ranging and easily manipulated dynamical apparatuses—with one to three spatial dimensions, positive-to-negative tuning of the nonlinearity, one to multiple components, and numerous experimentally accessible external trapping potentials—provide one of the most fertile grounds for the analysis of solitary waves and their interactions. In this paper, we review recent research on BECs in the presence of deep periodic potentials, which can be reduced to nonlinear chains in appropriate circumstances. These reductions, in turn, exhibit many of the remarkable nonlinear structures (including solitons, intrinsic localized modes, and vortices) that lie at the heart of the nonlinear science research seeded by the FPU paradigm.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/panos_kevrekidis/42/