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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 8 — Apr. 22, 2013
  • pp: 10188–10198

Sensitive absorption imaging of single atoms in front of a mirror

Atreju Tauschinsky and Robert J. C. Spreeuw  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 8, pp. 10188-10198 (2013)

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In this paper we show that the sensitivity of absorption imaging of ultracold atoms can be significantly improved by imaging in a standing-wave configuration. We present simulations of single-atom absorption imaging both for a travelling-wave and a standing-wave imaging setup, based on a scattering approach to calculate the optical density of a single atom. We find that the optical density of a single atom is determined only by the numerical aperture of the imaging system. We determine optimum imaging parameters, taking all relevant sources of noise into account. For reflective imaging we find an improvement of 1.7 in the maximum signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved. This is particularly useful for imaging in the vicinity of an atom chip, where a reflective surface is naturally present.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: February 22, 2013
Revised Manuscript: April 8, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: April 8, 2013
Published: April 16, 2013

Atreju Tauschinsky and Robert J. C. Spreeuw, "Sensitive absorption imaging of single atoms in front of a mirror," Opt. Express 21, 10188-10198 (2013)

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