We have demonstrated a new technique for detecting ultracold atoms. A balanced detection technique was used to reduce laser-induced detection noise in conjunction with modulation-transfer spectroscopy to distinguish cold atoms from a thermal cloud. Using this technique, we have achieved signal-to-noise ratios in excess of 2000:1.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(020.0020) Atomic and molecular physics : Atomic and molecular physics
(300.6210) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, atomic
(300.6380) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, modulation
(300.6460) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, saturation
J. M. McGuirk, G. T. Foster, J. B. Fixler, and M. A. Kasevich, "Low-noise detection of ultracold atoms," Opt. Lett. 26, 364-366 (2001)