Experiments on atomic Bose-Einstein condensates inside quasi-one-dimensional optical lattices and related developments in the realization of atom lasers are currently at the frontiers in atomic physics. We give a short review of theoretical progress in evaluating the coherent transport of matter in such configurations, which has been based on an adaptation of the Wannier function representation of quasi-particle states in periodic potentials and on the use of advanced numerical methods for the solution of the time-dependent Gross-Pitaevskii equation. We present various methods by which the band structure of the elementary excitations of a periodic condensate may be probed and describe in terms of Bloch oscillations the coherent emission of matter pulses from a condensate inside an optical lattice under the force of gravity. A harmonic force can be applied to a condensate inside a magnetic trap by a rapid displacement of the center of the trap and a transition of the condensate from superfluid to dissipative behavior is driven by superposing an optical lattice. Finally, in the superfluid regime the combination of a constant force and a harmonic force in the presence of an optical lattice drives Josephson-type oscillations of the condensate, leading to observable resonances and multimode behavior.
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