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Atom and nanoparticle arrays trapped in optical lattices are shown to be capable of sustaining collective oscillations of frequency proportional to the strength of the external light field. The spectrum of these oscillations determines the mechanical stability of the arrays. This phenomenon is studied for dimers, strings, and two-dimensional planar arrays. Laterally confined particles free to move along an optical channel are also considered as an example of collective motion indoi:10.1364/oe.15.011082 pmid:19547464 fatcat:ll6222vn3ze37djnonjt7dcvnq