We investigate the effects of finite temperature on ultracold Bose atoms confined in an optical lattice plus a parabolic potential in the Mott-insulator state. In particular, we analyze the temperature dependence of the density distribution of atomic pairs in the lattice, by means of exact Monte Carlo simulations. We introduce a simple model that quantitatively accounts for the computed pair density distributions at low enough temperatures. We suggest that the temperature dependence of the atomic pair statistics may be used to estimate the system’s temperature at energies of the order of the atoms’ interaction energy.
Physics Review A