Non-destructive shadowgraph imaging of ultra-cold atoms

P. B. Wigley, P. J. Everitt, K. S. Hardman, M. R. Hush, C. H. Wei, M. A. Sooriyabandara, P. Manju, J. D. Close, N. P. Robins, C. C.N. Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


An imaging system is presented that is capable of far-detuned non-destructive imaging of a Bose-Einstein condensate with the signal proportional to the second spatial derivative of the density. Whilst demonstrated with application to 85Rb, the technique generalizes to other atomic species and is shown to be capable of a signal-to-noise of ∼25 at 1 GHz detuning with 100 in-trap images showing no observable heating or atom loss. The technique is also applied to the observation of individual trajectories of stochastic dynamics inaccessible to single shot imaging. Coupled with a fast optical phase locked loop, the system is capable of dynamically switching to resonant absorption imaging during the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4795-4798
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


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