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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 26, Iss. 3 — Feb. 1, 2001
  • pp: 137–139

Nondestructive spatial heterodyne imaging of cold atoms

S. Kadlecek, J. Sebby, R. Newell, and T. G. Walker  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 137-139 (2001)

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We demonstrate a new method for nondestructive imaging of laser-cooled atoms. This spatial heterodyne technique forms a phase image by interfering a strong reference laser beam with a weak probe beam that passes through the cold atom cloud. The figure of merit equals or exceeds that of phase-contrast imaging, and the technique can be used over a wider range of spatial scales. We show images of a dark-spot magneto-optic trap taken with imaging fluences as low as 61 pJ/cm2 at a detuning of 11Γ , resulting in 0.0004 photons scattered per atom.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.7010) Atomic and molecular physics : Laser trapping
(110.0110) Imaging systems : Imaging systems
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement

S. Kadlecek, J. Sebby, R. Newell, and T. G. Walker, "Nondestructive spatial heterodyne imaging of cold atoms," Opt. Lett. 26, 137-139 (2001)

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