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Dynamic high-resolution optical trapping of ultracold atoms

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:18 authored by Guillaume Gauthier, Thomas A. Bell, Alexander B. Stilgoe, Mark Baker, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Tyler W. Neely
All light has structure, but only recently it has become possible to construct highly controllable and precise potentials so that most laboratories can harness light for their specific applications. In this chapter, we review the emerging techniques for high-resolution and configurable optical trapping of ultracold atoms. We focus on optical deflectors and spatial light modulators in the Fourier and direct imaging configurations. These optical techniques have enabled significant progress in studies of superfluid dynamics, single-atom trapping, and underlie the emerging field of atomtronics. The chapter is intended as a complete guide to the experimentalist for understanding, selecting, and implementing the most appropriate optical trapping technology for a given application. After introducing the basic theory of optical trapping and image formation, we describe each of the above technologies in detail, providing a guide to the fundamental operation of optical deflectors, digital micromirror devices, and liquid crystal spatial light modulators. We also describe the capabilities of these technologies for manipulation of trapped ultracold atoms, where the potential is dynamically modified to enable experiments, and where time-averaged potentials can realise more complex traps. The key considerations when implementing time-averaged traps are described.

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