We investigate the effects of a nearly uniform Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) on the properties of immersed trapped impurity atoms. Using a weak-coupling expansion in the BEC-impurity interaction strength, we derive a model describing polarons, i.e., impurities dressed by a coherent state of Bogoliubov phonons, and apply it to ultracold bosonic atoms in an optical lattice. We show that, with increasing BEC temperature, the transport properties of the impurities change from coherent to diffusive. Furthermore, stable polaron clusters are formed via a phonon-mediated off-site attraction.
Bibliographical note4 pages, 4 figures