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Chin. Phys. B, 2015, Vol. 24(2): 024203    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/24/2/024203

Comparison of two absorption imaging methods to detect cold atoms in magnetic trap

Wang Yan, Hu Zhao-Hui, Qi Lu
Science and Technology on Inertial Laboratory, School of Instrumentation Science and Opto-electronics Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
Abstract  Two methods of absorption imaging to detect cold atoms in a magnetic trap are implemented for a high-precision cold atom interferometer. In the first method, a probe laser which is in resonance with a cycle transition frequency is used to evaluate the quantity and distribution of the atom sample. In the second method, the probe laser is tuned to an open transition frequency, which stimulates a few and constant number of photons per atom. This method has a shorter interaction time and results in absorption images which are not affected by the magnetic field and the light field. We make a comparison of performance between these two imaging methods in the sense of parameters such as pulse duration, light intensity, and magnetic field strength. The experimental results show that the second method is more reliable when detecting the quantity and density profiles of the atoms. These results fit well to the theoretical analysis.
Keywords:  absorption imaging      open-channel transition      cold atoms      magnetic trap     
Received:  24 July 2014      Published:  05 February 2015
PACS:  42.50.-p (Quantum optics)  
  32.80.-t (Photoionization and excitation)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61227902 and 61121003) and the National Defense Basic Scientific Research Program of China (Grant No. B2120132005).
Corresponding Authors:  Hu Zhao-Hui     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Wang Yan, Hu Zhao-Hui, Qi Lu Comparison of two absorption imaging methods to detect cold atoms in magnetic trap 2015 Chin. Phys. B 24 024203

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