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The paper studies the effect of a weak periodic driving on metastable Wannier-Stark states. The decay rate of the ground Wannier-Stark states as a continuous function of the driving frequency is calculated numerically. The theoretical results are compared with experimental data of Wilkinson et at. [Phys.Rev.Lett.76, 4512 (1996)] obtained for cold sodium atoms in an accelerated optical lattice.

The statistics of the resonance widths and the behavior of the survival probability is studied in a particular model of quantum chaotic scattering (a particle in a periodic potential subject to static and time-periodic forces) introduced earlier in Ref. [5,6]. The coarse-grained distribution of the resonance widths is shown to be in good agreement with the prediction of Random Matrix Theory (RMT). The behavior of the survival probability shows, however, some deviation from RMT.

The paper studies quantum states of a Bloch particle in presence of external ac and dc fields. Provided the period of the ac field and the Bloch period are commensurate, an effective scattering matrix is introduced, the complex poles of which are the system quasienergy spectrum. The statistics of the resonance width and the Wigner delay time shows a close relation of the problem to random matrix theory of chaotic scattering.

We study the statistics of the Wigner delay time and resonance width for a Bloch particle in ac and dc fields in the regime of quantum chaos. It is shown that after appropriate rescaling the distributions of these quantities have universal character predicted by the random matrix theory of chaotic scattering.