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Opt Lett. 2004 Feb 1;29(3):232-4.

Off-resonant defocus-contrast imaging of cold atoms.

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  • 1School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


We demonstrate the retrieval of column-density images of cold atoms, using a noninterferometric phase-recovery technique based on a single off-resonant and defocused intensity image. The quantitative column density is retrieved via Fourier inversion and remains robust with respect to detuning and defocus. The technique offers excellent prospects for simple, nondestructive imaging of atoms in magnetic and optical traps and condensates.

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