Schedule Oct 15, 2010
Nondestructive Cavity-assisted Magnetic-resonance Imaging of Atoms in an Optical Lattice
Nathaniel Brahms (UC Berkeley)

Tom P. Purdy(1), Nathan Brahms(2), Dan W.C. Brooks(2), Thierry Botter(2), and Dan M. Stamper-Kurn(2,3)

1.  JILA / University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
2.  University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
3.  Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful technique for investigating the microscopic properties and dynamics of physical systems. We demonstrate state-sensitive MRI of neutral atoms in an optical lattice.  Using strong magnetic-field gradients produced by an atom chip, together with radio-frequency fields, we control the spin of an ultracold atomic ensemble with a spatial resolution of 120 nm in one dimension. We monitor the ensemble dispersively, using light in an optical cavity to count atoms in a single-lattice-site with a sensitivity of 10 atoms. The technique preserves the magnetization of the gas, allowing for multiple images in an experiment.  We apply this technique to study the quantum transport of atoms within the lattice, observing both ballistic and sub-ballistic transport.

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